Modern day sportsmen have found endless practical applications for two way radios and integrated them into the culture of the outdoors. Regardless if you hunt from horseback, the nations waterways, or run hounds along the hardwood ridges in the south, communications with others in your hunting partners is a valuable asset. Let’s take a look at the best two way radios for hunting that are on offer today.
The 5 Best Two Way Radios for Hunting 2019
- Best waterproof walkie talkie
- Best “Motorola” walkie talkie
- Best for hunting in the woods
- Best value for the whole hunting party
Hunting Walkie Talkie Reviews
Here is a review of the top 5 hunting walkie talkies that are best suited for hunting. Choosing any of these 5 you can be confident in your decision. Each have unique strengths, but they all get the job done.
This is the Best Two Way Radio for Hunting!
- 50-Mile Range - Uniden FRS radios keep you in touch whether you are...
- With 22 channels, and 142 Privacy Codes/142 Direct Call Codes...
- Uniden SX507-2CKHS is certified JIS7 and can be submerged in up to...
- The SX507 operates on industry-standard frequencies, you can easily...
- 14 hours of battery life - rechargeable AA NiMH batteries.
If your hunting strategies included the possibility of a boat or canoe trip, the Uniden Submersible SX507-2CKHS two way radio may be a viable option for you. Uniden has engineered this radio to not only float and be waterproof but also it’s designed to withstand being submerged in three feet of water for thirty minutes and still function properly. That is quite a claim and would make it my first choice for predawn boat ride in log infested water.
I’m not positive of the wattage output the SX507 is capable of but it is rated at fifty miles so that would put it at five watts or better. Of course this radio is no more capable of actually transmitting or receiving at that range than any of the other brands available. All radio manufacturers have what would seem to be an inflated range rating. It’s not that they are attempting to misinform customers, it is simply a metric or measurement of what the radio is supposed to do under ideal conditions. The Uniden Submersible SX507 is rated 50 miles mountain peak to valley with a clear line of sight, 6 miles across open water (unobstructed) and maybe 2 miles in and urban area.
The SX507 has 22 channels, 7 FRS (family radio service) and 15 GMRS (general mobile radio service) channels. Due to multiple privacy codes and settings there are a possible 6,270 channel combinations to choose from. My advice is if the secret is that big don’t say it on the radio. It features NOAA weather alert, emergency strobe light, caller ID, and direct call capability, giving you the option to talk to select members of the group without being heard by the entire hunting party.
2 radios, 2 rechargeable battery packs, 2 hands free VOX headsets, 2 carabiner clips, 2 belt clips, and charging cradle.
The Best Motorola Walkie Talkie
- VibraCall vibration alert or 20 different call tones. AA batteries...
- 11 weather channels (7 NOAA) with alert features
- 22 channels each with 121 privacy codes for superior interference...
- Pair of two-way radios with up to 35 mile range
- iVOX hands-free communication without the need for an audio accessory
The Motorola MR350R has a neat little PTT or push to talk feature that when utilized gives the radio a boost in wattage output and in theory increases range. The MR350R has 22 channels and is rated at 35 miles mountain peak to valley, 6 miles open water, and 2 miles around the neighborhood. Now it’s time to drop the other shoe, all of the radios we’ll discuss today have both FRS and GMRS channels programmed into them. To use GMRS channels you are required by law to obtain a license from the FCC. It costs just under a hundred bucks and is valid for five years.
On most handheld radios the bottom seven channels are FRS and do not require any license because they only put out one watt. The next series of channels are mid range with a slightly higher output of maybe two or three watts. The higher channels put out five or more watts and as you may have already guessed the more watts the better the range. More information about the FCC license is available here.
The push to talk feature is a big plus for this radio because it provides a small wattage increase while still using the FRS frequency. The MR350R is available in camouflage and offers vibralert as well as 20 different notification tones and nine hour battery life. It has 11 weather channels plus 7 more NOAA alert channels. The VOX provides hands free communication without the need for audio accessory cables and the charging cradle handles both radios at once.
2 radios, 2AA rechargeable NiMH battery packs, 2 belt clips, 2 headsets, and 1 dual drop in charger.
Best Waterproof Walkie Talkie
- 2-WAY RADIOS - These walkie-talkies feature 50 GMRS (General Mobile...
- 36-MILE RANGE - Longer range communication in open areas with little...
- 142 CTCSS/DCS PRIVACY CODES - The privacy codes give you up to 3,124...
- NOAA WEATHER SCAN + ALERT - NOAA Weather Scan will automatically scan...
- INCLUDED IN THE BOX: Radios (x2), rechargeable battery packs (x2),...
The Midland GXT1000VP4 comes programmed with 50 channels and includes several GMRS channels as well as FRS. It’s available in either black or Mossy Oak Breakout camouflage and has 142 privacy codes to avoid radio skip from other groups bleeding into your conversation. The Midland GXT1000VP4 features HD dynamic audio and has a range rating of 36 miles. The unique call alert allows the user to adjust the settings to customize the ringtone sound of a duck, turkey, cougar, or other animal calls.
The long-life lithium battery pack charges in an impressive two-hour fast charge mode for those last-minute spontaneous trips. Even while speaking softly, the whisper feature picks up your voice and transmits it clearly to the others in your hunting party. This Midland radio is waterproof, can be set to vibrate for incoming transmissions, and has low, medium, and high output settings. It also offers NOAA weather alerts and an SOS siren to signal for emergency help.
2 Midland radios, charger, desktop charger, 2 rechargeable battery packs, and 2 belt clips.
Best Walkie Talkie for Hunting in Woods
- This is a GT-3WP dustproof and waterproof resisting two way radio....
- Frequency range: VHF 130-176 MHz UHF 400-520 MHz 65MHz-108MHz (only...
- High power / mid / low (5W / 3W / 1W) selectable; Selectable Frequency...
- Cross band reception / transmission, CTCSS & DCS, Tone end of...
- If you want to buy the programming cable, you may search ASIN...
The BaoFeng PoFung GT-3WP dual band UHF/VHF 136-174/400-520 MHz two way radio is worth a serious look if you need to stay in radio contact while hunting dense timber land. Trees and foliage greatly effect the performance of two way radios by blocking the signal. This radio is my first choice for use in the woods for a few different reasons, the high gain dual band antenna is one and another is the ability to switch between wide band and narrow band frequencies.
Old fashioned AM radios from decades ago transmitted at 2 MHz (megahertz) or below and carried hundreds of miles by following the curvature of the earth because the radio waves bounced off the atmosphere. Modern radios usually operate on much higher frequencies and the radio waves travel in a straight path toward the horizon and require a relatively clear line of sight.
Radio waves travel on different frequencies and are transmitted in cycles that are measured by kilohertz or megahertz. A hertz is one cycle per second and the distance traveled in that time determines the width of the band. Lower frequencies produce a longer wave length and typically transmit a greater distance and have better penetration. That isn’t always the case though, at times the broader band has difficulty passing through obstacles and a higher frequency is better.
Not being a radio expert by any means my theory is probably full of holes but the capability to utilize lower frequencies or higher ones via the dual band UHF/VHF feature and the 128 channels and the frequency range of 136-174/400/520 MHz, should provide satisfactory radio function even in standing timber. No doubt it will require experimentation to find the right combination of settings and channels.
To their credit, BaoFeng downplayed the range of this radio. They listed it much more realistically at 5 miles peak to valley. They also built it to be dust proof as well as water proof and bless their heart, they put in an FM radio receiver. Also the PoFung GT-3WP has a battery saver function, SOS alarm, scan mode, high/ medium/ low output settings, and VOX hands free operation. You likely won’t need it but the programming cable is sold separately.
1 radio,charger, battery, belt clip, and headset.
Retivis H-777 Six Pack
- Compact and lightweight yet rugged two way radios is great for your...
- Charging 6 pack walkie talkies together and more safe and...
- Flashlight will make things handy in dark environment; Emergency alarm...
- Updated antennas and belt clip are more durable than before; The...
- Large capacity battery allow you charge 2-3 hours then use it for 8-9...
Outfit your whole tribe with the Retivis H-777 six pack. You’ve heard the old saying “cheaper by the dozen,” that holds true for the half dozen Retivis radios for about $85.00. The H-777 single band UHF radio packs a 3 watt punch, has 16 channels, and boast a good battery life. It features a scanning function, high/low power selector, and only weighs 6 1/2 ounces. It also has busy channel lockout and time out timer to limit transmission time of those more long winded hunting partners.
Retivis customer service offers a 30 day, no matter the reason return policy and free reprogramming software if the need arises. The lithium battery pack has built in overcharge protection to prevent damage. This radio is also equipped with an emergency alarm to aid you in calling for help.
The H-777 six pack is an economical solution for those in the market for basic communication for their group. It’s ideal to toss into the ATV for those long rides and if you have a larger crowd it comes in ten packs as well.
6 radios, antennas, battery packs, ear pieces, chargers, and belt clips.
History of Hunting With Radios
Growing up in the very rural setting of the southern Missouri backwoods I’d never seen a two way radio. That was about the time that Smokey and the Bandit made it’s premiere on the big screen at the drive in theater and ushered in a new era of communication for every pickup truck on the dirt road expressway. The movie sparked an interest in big trucks and CB radios, not to mention many schoolboy crushes on Sally Fields. I was about to learn that some of the best two way radios for hunting up until that time, were being installed by deer hunters in preparation for the upcoming season.
That was the year I’d anticipated for quite some time, the year my Dad took me along on the annual gathering with all the community deer hunters. The gathering took place at the residence of a clan of saw millers that lived up on the county line. They had a large extended family, notorious for their ability to gather large quantities of venison and play bluegrass music. The crowd gathered there, was a boisterous good nature’d group and everyone had a two way radio in their truck. They were more than happy to show me their CB radios, even letting me key up and talk a bit. Plans were made for the next day’s hunt, then they broke out the fiddles and mandolins, the party was on.
Looking back now, their way of hunting seems unorthodox yet I still employ similar tactics today on a much smaller scale. They would encircle an area, parking on every possible road crossing forming a perimeter that might be three miles in diameter. Others would drive in where possible or walk in where necessary and essentially drive the deer out. They communicated with CBs to let each other know when a deer got up and where it crossed. It was a very effective strategy and I saw right away how valuable communication could be on a hunt.
Coyote and Predator Hunting
There is an abundant coyote population in Missouri and the popularity of coyote hunting is on the rise. I have acquaintances that frequently hunt the Missouri boot heel area and won’t buy anything other than Midland CB radios. The terrain surrounding the Charleston, Missouri area is wide open, cotton fields, soybean stubble, and broken up occasionally by a fence row or an irrigation ditch. Those guys rely on two way radio communications to head the coyotes off and run them down. They are hard core coyote hunters and account for several “dawgs” each weekend.
Another group of friends are passionate about running hounds in pursuit of coyotes. Their priority is listening to the hounds chase the coyote rather than shooting it. They insist that Motorola is the best walkie talkie for hunting in woods and to stay in touch while they bounce along an old logging road in the Ozark hills.
There are times when my family and I deer hunt in fairly close proximity to each other and when I climb down from my tree, I’ll walk out the hollows in an attempt to get a deer up for the guys still in their stand. It would be handy to have a walkie talkie in those circumstances to alert them that a deer is heading their direction. We usually send text messages but cell phone service is unreliable in many areas that I hunt. That very thing occurred this past rifle season when a small buck got past me and left out in the direction of my youngest son but I couldn’t alert him.
Another consideration is the safety factor. It’s always a good idea to let someone know where you intend to hunt or to hunt with someone. yeah yeah I know. Most of you are probably just as bad as me about changing your plan or not losing an opportunity to hunt because your buddy can’t make it. If I were to be injured and my phone didn’t work I’d want the best long range walkie talkie on the market. In the event of a dicey deer camp cook, you might want to radio ahead before heading to camp to see what’s on the menu. If the camp cook is serving his five alarm chili you know to stop by the store and get a value pack of antacid or a McDonald burger.
There are many factors to consider when deciding on the best two way radios for hunting for your particular and unique situation. Cost, FCC license, distance you want to communicate, what type conditions the radio will be exposed to. The terrain has a great deal to do with the effectiveness of radio performance as does battery strength. Regardless of which radio you buy it is advisable to carry extra batteries and verify warranties.