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Category: Dog Gear

Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack, Bivy Bowl

Ruffwear

Having dogs share the load can save a lot of leg on a pack-in to upland camp. Ruffwear builds hard core active-dog gear. The Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack ($60) has all the right adjustment points, fits close to the dog’s body and distributes loads evenly. It took a little time for Rio the setter to learn her new dimensions while carrying her food and first aid kit, but soon she was scurrying uphill without losing a step. When the Bivy Bowl ($23) is collapsed flat it takes up almost no space in the backpack yet when expanded it still has the rigid sidewalls to which my dogs are accustomed. This is a perfect combo for your camping bird dog and we even used the Approach with light loads to help build strength and endurance leading up to the hunting season.

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SHOT Show 2013 – BugBand

Many of you followed along as I hunted the North Woods with Rio the young Jornada llewellin on her first grouse hunt this fall. Prior to that trip I had always thought that Frontline was bullet proof protection from ticks. But even though I had just applied a new dose, after every walk in the woods we’d return to vehicle and I would notice 15-20 deer ticks all migrating towards Rio’s head.

 

We obviously needed something to apply from tip to tail, but that also wouldn’t be harmful if ingested since dogs will obviously lick. None of the local shops in the rural area had any suggestions. They obviously hadn’t heard of BugBand who have a full line of natural products derived from geranium oil.

I’m excited to put these to the test while grouse hunting. Though there are all sorts of guns and gadgets at SHOT, this is truly one of my big finds. Anything that helps protect my hunting dogs from evil disease-ridden ticks is a good thing.

The SportDOG TEK 1.0 GPS + E-Collar

The trend toward technology is a turnoff for many traditionalist bird hunters. So it was with some hesitation that we strapped the SportDOG TEK 1.0 on our young setter Rio this fall. The anxiety of becoming a slave to technology soon faded. This collar gives you the confidence to allow an inexperienced dog to explore, make mistakes and realize for themselves the value of proximity to the gun. And it removes the stress of losing the dog; the 7-mile range insures that you’ll be able to collect even the most wayward explorer. There are a number of unique features which set this collar apart, but the ability to separate the trainer from the GPS and the vibrate on-point alert are two of our favorites.($499 / $399 for the GPS sans trainer). Click here.

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