Contributors to this thread:
Two Way Radio in Backcountry??
I have been through every gear list that I can find and have yet to find mention of a two way radio for a back country mule deer hunt, yet every video I see, it seems that they are radioing their buddies after the shot.
Do you carry one in the back country? If so, which one do you recommend?
I am not sure that I need one but I can think of where they might be nice to have.
I hunt solo, so no. If I was with a partner I think a radio would be worth carrying.
Most tv shows is with an outfitter and are calling back to the outfitters to come pick them up. As well as I believe in some states the use of radios are illegal. I'm shure more folks in the know will chime in.
There are many to choose from. But in general here are some guidelines for the inherent radio frequency properties. The lower you go in the spectrum, the farther the transmission and the more the radio signal will follow terrain features rather than being blocked by them. Data does not carry well and voice quality can be less than desireable, which is most likely not an issue for your needs. Think AM radio. The higher you go in the spectrum, the shorter the range and more line of site the broadcast is. Cel phones etc. Terrain features even leaves on trees can disrupt the signal. Carries data well and voice quality is generally better. If I were in the market, I would be looking at 5 watt hand held radios in the 150Mhz range.(VHF)
We use Garmin gps and radio in one unit. Not illegal to use in Oregon for regular communication but illegal to use to lead someone to an animal. That's why in videos and especially mule deer spot and stalk you see guy's using hand signals. Fred
We carry them in CO. I use the radio on my Garmin Rino. Works pretty well, but it's line of sight so you can be 100 yards from your buddy and still not be able to reach them if there is a hill in the way. Other times you can get someone that is 4 miles away no problem.
When I think of 'back-country', I think of high altitude backpack type hunting.......the added weight of a radio wouldn't make the cut. :)
My wife and I use the Garmin Rhinos. GPS and Radio together in one unit. They are one of the best tools we have. It allows me the ability to watch her movement, tells me where she is and lets us radio. It also takes the hunting maps chip and all. they are expensive but just one time missing your destination point will make it well worth the price.
Where we hunt alot of times there is no cell service. Radios are a must.
coelker x2. Rinos are great tools. I never thought knowing exactly where my partner was would be a big deal but it turns out it's handy as heck. A great tool. And not a half bad radio either.
I use mine on hog hunts all the time. In the backcountry though, no, way too heavy. On truck hunts, they are handy, but the little FRS frequency toys are junk and not worth the trouble. Something like the Motorola CP200 in UHF or VHF (depending on your needs) are worth the money, and IMO, are the only radios to consider. And I've been thru them all.
Using radios to guide a hunter to an animal would be against P&Y and B&C's definition of "fair chase". But, it is legal in most states as stated by others.
BB, Yep... can't beat a 5 watt VHF marine radio.
Thanks for all of the replies and input. I am looking at cabelas and see no mention of either of the numbers that BB mentions.
We've used Moto Talkabout for years with good success, considering the limitations. I've had ridge-ridge conversations with guys 9 miles away LOS. Our page signal is an elk bugle.
Know that game wardens drive around with their multi-frequency scanners on and can listen in. They hear some REALLY interesting stuff. Last year my game warden friend heard me and AndyJ checking in on our location way up on a valley, recognized my voice, and we had a friendly chat. He was miles away.
You won't find the type of radios I'm mentioning in Cabelas. You would have to get them from a two way radio shop most likely. Generally what you find at cabelas or box stores are fairly anemic. The ones I'm referencing are expensive by comparison but the performance is far superior. You can probably find them in a place that specializes in marine products but If it says marine on it, you will pay even more. Brands That you would look at (disclaimer, it's been a long time for me since I have been involved in this, so I don't know the status and possibly all the brands available anymore)
EF Johnson, Kenwood, Motorola, GE. Those were always the top of the line.
You don't want a trunked radio as that will require you to be on a network which would limit you to a geographic area.
Saw some guys on tv show using them to steer a hunter to a Mule deer (with his rifle). One guy above radioing the other guide and hunter. Very sad!'
Look at the Beofeng UV5R. They are inexpensive and seem to be fairly durable. I bought two for under $100.00. Use them on atv trail rides, ect.
Charlie, Sad indeed. It is not legal to direct a hunter to an animal via radio communications in 17 states. The others do not have any regulations, Colorado included except if you are in an airplane but not on the ground.
my best, Paul