Today’s blog is both a mini-review of a product and a handy-dandy training tip, all rolled into one smelly, disgusting post. For the past few months I’ve been using one of the new Tri-Tronics Upland Special G3EXP e-collars and thus far it’s been a rock-solid performer. The transmitter’s layout is easy to understand, its’ shape is grippy and ergonomic. The collar is light and unobtrusive and, like virtually all Tri-Tronics products I’ve used in the past, it’s been dead-reliable. Among those who know and hunt with me I am infamous for losing and/or breaking any type of electronic gear. So if I noodle around with something for an extended period of time and it doesn’t break, it probably won’t.
I love the collar, but I have discovered the Upland G3’s one glaring flaw: it’s not unloseable (see paragraph above). This weekend I was working my young setter on some planted birds when the transmitter apparently fell out of my shorts as I bent down to pick up something. I had already finished training and loaded up the dog so I wasn’t using it and therefore never noticed it gone.
My son and I drove on, knocked around the farm, did a little scouting for deer season, shot some clay pigeons and were just about ready to start the drive home when I suddenly realized I couldn’t remember putting the transmitter back in the training bag. A quick search of the truck revealed no transmitter, so back we drove to the training area, which by this time was populated by a herd of cows.
One fruitless hour later, as I was about to give up, go home and figure out how to explain this to Tri-Tronics customer service without looking like the fool I assuredly am, I noticed about an inch of stubby black antenna sticking out of a massive cowflop, the kind of runny, steaming mess only a slobbering 700-pound steer can produce. I briefly weighed the cost of a replacement transmitter, then reluctantly began digging my transmitter out of the pile.
I wiped it off as best I could, then dunked it in the pond until it came more or less clean. A good scrubbing with a brush when I got home and it was good as new. Tri-Tronics advertises the G3 Upland Special as waterproof, but I can attest that in addition to water that they have absolute integrity against bovine effluvium intrusion. I highly recommend that Tri-Tronic began using this in their marketing because I ask you: How many products can boast of that?
And here’s today’s handy-dandy training tip: Don’t merely flag, but drape, swaddle and envelop all your e-collar transmitters, GPS receivers, hand-held radios, or other portable electronics in bright orange or yellow surveyor’s tape, because otherwise, once it falls out of your vest or pocket, that black or gray device will automatically become invisible, except to a cow’s sphincter, apparently.