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I'd add, the reward of returning to you has to outweigh the thrill of the hunt.

There's a book about working with your dog's prey drive rather than battling against it, which you might be interested in.

Hunting Together by Simone Mueller.
 

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@Wranglercmd as stated this is a non-aversive forum and promoting e-collars is specifically prohibited in our rules, which members agree to observe when joining.


Several things leap out from your replies.

First, he is only nine months old. His head will be all over the place, like most dogs of that age.

I'm not sure people understand when the dog is properly trained (by being rewarded for a proper response to the collar), it can be a sure way to shift the dog's focus from the prey to your command.
If you can train by rewarding a response to the collar, you can train by rewarding a response to something else. And your e-collar could fail too. A lot of dogs get such an adrenaline high from the chase that they just power through the pain. So, you turn it up a notch. Then, you have to do it again. When do you stop? That's a rhetorical question, this is not a debate and further attempts to justify this type of tool will not be accepted.

consulted many different people because the reality was if I couldn't come up with a safe way for him to be off-leash, I would have to give him up... which wasn't an option because I love him so much.
So, you put your wishes ahead of what was best for the dog.

he HAS to be off leash in a park or area where it is safe because although I am active and able-bodied, there is NO WAY I could properly exercise him by walking.
Secure fields with a perimeter fence? Or maybe training him differently, or participating in an active sport like bikejoring ? Or maybe putting his needs before yours and accepting you are maybe over-dogged?

Anyway, there are alternatives to shock collars - @dierne, please don't follow the advice to get one, there are alternatives that are far kinder.
 

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there is an information gathering bias that appears much like ignorance - when information is available and not considered because the choice to remain uneducated on a given topic is made on purpose - repeatedly.
We believe there are kinder alternatives to e-collars and there are plenty of studies to back that up.

But, when I said this isn't a debate, I meant it. On this forum, promoting their use is not allowed. Full stop. If that's going to be a problem for you, then perhaps you will find more support on other forums.
 
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