Hunters hooking up dogs to cellular tracking system
HELSINKI, Finland Along with the sounds of rifles, the wilds of the Finnish forests will ring with strange crackles this fall as hunters command their dogs by mobile phone.
Hannu Lohi checks the cell phone system strapped to his Norwegian elkhound Missa that will help him track game in the forests of Haukipudas, Finland.
A dog's bark will help determine from hundreds of miles away what animal it has tracked, and hunters will be able to give orders on the two-way mobile system.
"We can hear the dog absolutely live, whether it is running on a road or in the forest," Asko Makinen said as he stroked Retu, a Finnish spitz with a mobile phone strapped on its back.
"The most important thing is that we can see exactly where the dog is moving on a map," Makinen said.
The cell phone, equipped with receivers tied to the Global Positioning System, was developed by the Benefon mobile phone company and Pointer, a company in northern Finland that makes dog tracking devices.
Hunters tested it for more than a year on several dogs under different weather conditions.