Handheld radios for hunting


July 6, 2007, 05:20 AM
Gday all,
I am looking fro info on handheld radios and know that there are radio types who visit.
What I really need to know is what sort of power would be considered a minimum, ie 1-5W.
This would be for variable terrain and scrubby country, gullies, creeks, some small hills.
All help is appreciated,


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July 6, 2007, 08:03 AM
Get the max power-- the range they quote is straight-line, no obstructions. It falls off rapidly when you are in the kind of place you describe.

Bottom Gun
July 6, 2007, 12:23 PM
We have used several different types and have found the only worthwhile ones are the older Motorola DPS Distance series radios. They are rather large radios but have an honest range of almost 5 miles. They do well in timber and other obstructions.

The Talkabout types have been disappointing, even the ones which are supposed to deliver a 8-12 mile range. We tried the plain vanilla Talkabouts and the super duper “long range” Talkabouts, which were no better. In fact, the fancy ones were very irritating with all the beeps, tones and other noisemaking features. It was hard to figure out how to disable the beeps and harder yet to make them stay off.

I also tried a pair of Cobra FM handheld 2W radios. They worked slightly better than the Talkabout types but were strictly line of sight.

We are continuing to use the large Distance DPS radios. They aren’t as small and handy as others but they work the best of all the family type radios.
I’m not even sure f they are still produced, but if you can find some, they are the best we have found so far.

Here are some:



Hope that helps.

B.D. Turner
July 6, 2007, 04:25 PM
I picked up a pair of Cobra Microtalk's FRS GMRS from Kmart two weeks ago. They were org. $49.95 but after the sales discount they ended up at seventeen dollars and some change. They come with rechargeable batteries and a desk top charger. These are the twelve mile models but in real world as we have tested them they will do a dependable five miles (flat heavy wooded land). They have scan, roger beep(can be cut off),Call alert, Hi/Low power. We used a pair just like them last hunting season and they worked great.

July 6, 2007, 10:35 PM
Look into MURS radios. Do a search on "MURS" and you will find everything you need.

They use VHF, which propagates much better than UHF, and higher power is allowed.

MURS operation is license-free, and hardly anyone knows about it. As a consequence, it is harder to find radios, however just about any commercial VHF FM walkie talkie can be programmed for this type of operation.

July 7, 2007, 09:19 PM
No sure how much you want to spend but there are radios with built in GPS now that can show you your position and the position of others using the same type of radio. I think the Garmin Rhino series is one brand that has this capability, there may be others.

July 8, 2007, 04:42 AM
Here is your Kenwood TK2100 MURS (http://mursradio.googlepages.com/home1) for $49.

If that isn't enough (it probably is), here is a 5W Kenwood (http://mursradio.googlepages.com/home2) for $79.

July 9, 2007, 01:11 PM
+1 on the Cobra FRS/GMRS radios.

I have the largest model they make (I think), they have an advertised range of 16 miles in ideal conditions. That means high altitude, mountain peak to mountain peak line of sight.

In reality, I've had them work pretty well in real world conditions. I got about 1.5 miles in thick timber, hiking down into a twisty river valley while the other handset stayed back in camp in a small depression. I got about 5 miles out in the Arizona desert surrounded by light scrub and small washes.

I use the high powered channels, and I have the FCC license necessary for the GMRS band use. It only took a week to get the thing, not a big deal at all.

July 16, 2007, 03:42 PM
Ive hade both an FRS and a GMRS the type a range on them depends on were you at. Ive found that GMRS have a much greater range the type I have is a Motorola its also best to get a charge kit with it unless you want to spend a fortune on batteries.

July 16, 2007, 04:52 PM
You might want to check your local laws before you take a radio with you hunting. Around here using radios while hunting is illegal.

July 17, 2007, 10:50 AM
That is definately the case in Montana, the radios cannot be used to coordinate the hunt. I'm sure there is a fair amount of fudging on that, but it is the law.

July 17, 2007, 10:59 AM
MIDLAND NAUTICO Hand Held VHF Marine Radio
and while hunting, a no no in most places
just say there for SAFETY purposes

July 17, 2007, 11:34 AM
In some states, Kansas being one of them, it's illegal to use radios during a hunt. There's *some* question about cell phones as well. Either way - get caught using radios to co-ordinate a hunt and you go to jail.

July 17, 2007, 03:13 PM
There is no law against having a radio while hunting, only using a radio to coordinate a hunt. Safety is important and help is few and far between in the wilderness.

July 17, 2007, 03:53 PM
Note that marine band frequencies are only legal for use between boats or licensed land stations dealing with boats.

big blue
July 17, 2007, 07:49 PM
We use them at our club...they work great for us. I have the Midland gmrs radios. I think mine are 14 mile range, but now they're up to 26 mile range I think.

July 19, 2007, 03:06 AM
I use the Garmin Rino. Get the both of best worlds with radio and GPS. Also if another Rino user calls you it shows you their exact location on GPS. The Rino has FRS and GMRS capability.

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