The Five Best Hunting Walkie Talkies You Need To Know
When you’re out in the woods hunting, you cannot bank on your cell phone to communicate with your buddies. Instead, you’ll need to rely on one of the Best Hunting Walkie Talkies in the market today to help you connect with your group.
For one, a walkie-talkie, or a two-way radio, does not need a tower to send signals. So unlike your cell phone, a good hunting walkie-talkie affords you a reliable means to reach your friends even when you’re deep in the woods.
Two, it’s compact, sturdy, easy to carry, and simple to use. All these factors make it perfect for the outdoors or when you’re tracking a prey with your hunting party.
Fortunately, there’s a whole range of walkie-talkies available in the market today. Some of them even include features that are tailored to suit the needs of a hunter.
Five Best Hunting Walkie Talkies
To help you choose the best from the lot, we’ve done extensive research to bring you this list of the five best hunting walkie-talkies in the market today:
|Rank||Walkie Talkie||View Product|
|1||Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio||View Product|
|2||Motorola MT350R FRS Weatherproof Two-Way – 35 Mile Radio||View Product|
|3||Midland GXT1050VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio||View Product|
|4||Baofeng Green/Camo BF-F9 V2+ 8Watt Tri-Power||View Product|
|5||Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-way Radios||View Product|
But before we go into the details of why these are our top five recommendations, we’ll start with the basics of a hunting walkie-talkie.
The Basics Before You Get To The Specifics
All walkie-talkies operate on two frequencies: Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). As radio transmissions are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), usage of some frequencies will require you to register with the FCC and obtain a license. You can get an FCC license by registering on the FCC website.
As per the most recent FCC reforms, FRS/GMRS radios of 2 watts or less are considered as FRS radios. An FRS radio has relatively limited power and range and, hence, does not require you to obtain an FCC license. A GMRS frequency covers a wider range and requires an FCC license.
Walkie-talkies operate several channels that are shared across both FRS and GMRS radios. However, some channels are available only on FRS radios, while others are specific to for GMRS ones alone. For the shared channels, no license is required to use them although the transmission power is at a lower level.
To use a two-way radio you need to first select a channel. Once you’ve done that, you can communicate with your partner through that particular channel. However, this means others on the same channel can listen to your conversation, just as you will be able to listen in to theirs. For this reason, walkie-talkies come with privacy codes that essentially allow you to create subchannels in a particular channel to block out the other transmissions on it.
Note: Before buying a model with privacy features, you need to ensure it is compatible with the brands or models owned by your friends and family. Remember, not all two-way radios include this feature.
While walkie-talkies with privacy codes allow you to filter out any unrelated conversation on your particular channel, you still will not be able to do anything about others listening in on yours on the same channel. For this reason, some radios provide a voice-scrambling feature which has the ability to distort your signals to prevent others from listening to your conversations.
You also need to check for warranty periods. A GMRS model typically has a higher warranty period when compared to that of an FRS one, with some radios offering you a warranty for up to 3 years. If you’re buying a more expensive model, opt for the one that’s offering you a longer warranty period.
**Check out this video that compares the different warranty periods offered by FRS and GMRS models:
Key Features To Check Before Making Your Buy
When it comes to choosing The Best Hunting Walkie Talkie, this factor tops the list. That’s why the GMRS models, which can enable power output of over 50 watts, are recommended for hunting trips because its coverage area can range up to or more than 30 miles.
Still, it’s important to remember that the advertised maximum range may be an optimistic figure as the actual range will depend on weather conditions, terrain, and obstacles.
The second thing to consider is good battery life and the option to use AA or AAA batteries to power your two-way radio. Some radios also provide an adaptor to charge your radio in the car, which is a helpful option to have. However, if you’re using one with a signal booster, you need to be wary about using it too often as it’s the surest way to suck up your battery life.
Features for the outdoors
When choosing a walkie-talkie for your hunting trip, get one that is sturdy and includes features that can help you survive any crises when you’re out in the woods. This means choosing one that is water-resistant; provides NOAA weather alerts and scans, and; is lightweight, compact and durable. Other great features include a flashlight, headset, animal calls, SOS sirens, voice-activated talking, call alerts, and silent mode.
**Did you know? The FCC encourages consumers to share their stories and experiences about using a particular service or product through its website. It uses this to ensure effective regulation and influence policy decisions.
And now the details…of the five Best Hunting Walkie Talkies
#1: Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio
Midland’s GXT1000VP4 two-way, 50-channel walkie-talkie is one of the most popular choices for hunters and for good reason.
With a range of 36 miles and features such as waterproof protection and NOAA weather scan and alerts in the event of severe weather updates, this sturdy walkie-talkie is perfect for hunters seeking excellent performance across a large expanse of land.
This model comes with several others features that make it a great buy for hunters, particularly given the price it comes in. But, perhaps, its best attribute is the clarity of the sound you get, followed closely by its battery power of up to 11 hours.
It also has a 3-year long warranty period – which is perhaps the longest among peers.
- 36-mile range, with 50 GMRS channels and 142 privacy codes
- Splash resistant, waterproof, hands-free
- Features NOAA weather scan and alerts
- Has good silent features like the whisper feature and a vibrating alert
- Features 3 customizable power settings, i.e., high, medium and low
- Includes a DC adapter for charging in the car, which is helpful
- Good battery life of up to 11 hours, with the option to upgrade
- Allows the use of AA batteries to power the walkie-talkie
- 3-year-long warranty period; top brand in this category
- May seem relatively more expensive (but we still think it’s great for the price)
- Some users complain about reduced battery life after recharging (but opting for an AA set helps resolve this)
#2: Motorola MT350R FRS Weatherproof Two-Way – 35 Mile Radio
This model features a range of up to 35 miles and comes with an IP-54 rating, which means it is waterproof and should survive heavy rains or dunking in water. As is true for most Motorola products, this radio also features good sound clarity.
Like the Midland GXT1000VP4, this model also features NOAA weather scans and alerts that allow you to stay informed about any harsh weather changes. This also features a VibraCall option, allowing you to set your radio on vibration mode to avoid any interference when you’re in the middle of your shot.
It’s also great for outdoors as it features a sturdy design, is lightweight, and allows the use of AA batteries to power the radio. This walkie-talkie also comes with a built-in flashlight, which is great for emergencies and when you’re navigating the woods in the dark.
Check out this video for more
- Has an IP-54 rating and hence is great for wet weather conditions
- Among the best waterproof option
- Covers a range of up to 35 miles
- Supports 22 channels, with 121 privacy codes
- Features a built-in flashlight
- 1 mini USB charging adaptor
- Comes with a rechargeable battery pack
- Allows the use of AA batteries which is helpful if you don’t have the option to charge
- Many users complain about the inconsistent range coverage, as you tend to get distortions even within a 3-5 mile range distance
#3: Midland GXT1050VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio
Another Midland product? Well, what can we say? When it comes to hunting walkie talkies, they really do set the standards.
Like the Midland GXT1004VP, this two-way radio also operates on the GMRS frequency, which means you’ll need to buy an FCC license to use this model.
With a range of upto 36 miles, this walkie-talkie is a great option for those seeking a sturdy device that can withstand wet weather and rough use.
This walkie-talkie also features direct and a group calling options, silent mode, call vibrating alert, and a whisper function that allows you to be heard clearly even when you speak softly. It also has additional safety features like an SOS siren and privacy codes.
More specific to hunters and as is the case with most Midland walkie-talkies, this one too features animal call alerts.
- Equipped to cover a 36-mile range
- Supports 50 GMRS channels and 142 privacy codes
- Good sound clarity with group call and silent features
- Durable, waterproof, and keypad lock feature to save your settings
- Features NOAA weather scan and alerts
- Allows the use of AA batteries to power your radio
- Bright, LCD display
- The actual range coverage may not be as advertised, based on the terrain and if there are too many obstacles nearby
#4: Baofeng Green/Camo BF-F9 V2+ 8Watt Tri-Power (4/6/8w) (USA Warranty) Dual-Band 136-174/400-520 MHz FM Ham Two-way Radio Transceiver
This is a great budget choice for anyone looking for an upgraded version of Baofeng’s popular ham model, the BaoFeng UV-5R V2+. These upgrades include doubled output power (8 watts from earlier 4 watts), high gain V-85 antenna, 30% larger battery (2000mAh), a new hardened durable shell case, and 3 power settings.
While we were initially skeptical about the brand, BaoFeng models all come highly recommended. This latest model has an expanded frequency range and comes equipped with a new chipset that allows for noise-reduction to filter out any disruption or noise.
Based on the kind of hunting trip you’re planning, this ham radio could serve as a perfect walkie-talkie, with its built-in FM radio and flashlight features. An added comfort factor is the 1-year concierge help and warranty support.
- Frequency range: 65-108MHz (FM Receive only) 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz (TX/RX)
- Has 3 customizable power settings
- Features a built-in FM and a flashlight
- Durable and has a noise-disruption feature
- Preferred by those into HAM radio (but is increasingly being used by hunters and campers as a walkie-talkie for outdoor trips)
- The radio is not sold as a pair
- This will also need some PC programming/HAM experience
- Not recommended for beginners
#5: Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-way Radios with Earpiece
If the price is an important criterion, then this model is a sensible buy. But just because it’s relatively cheaper compared to the other walkie-talkies does not mean it skimps out on the features.
The Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-way Radios comes equipped with some features that even the higher-priced models don’t have, such as VOX functions. While it covers a relatively smaller range of up to 5 miles, which is within your line-of-sight, the model is a good buy based on the kind of hunting or outdoor trip you’re planning.
These two-way radios are also water resistant and come with 16 pre-programmed channels. This also comes as a four-unit pack, which makes it a good buy if you have a big party.
- Decent range coverage of UHF 400-470MHz and 16 pre-programmed channels
- Channel changes are made using a rotary knob which gives you audio feedback about which channel you are on
- Armed with a rechargeable Li-ion battery
- Two customizable power options — high and low
- Can be PC programmed, though you will need to buy a separate cable for that
- Features a built-in flashlight and headset
- Water resistant
- Build quality isn’t as perfect as the higher-priced brands
- If you’re looking for a higher range coverage, this isn’t the model for you
Time To Make Your Choice
So finally, after this rather long and detailed overview of the options available in the market today, you are now set to make a more informed choice about the Best Hunting Walkie Talkie to buy.
But when it comes to choosing the best two-way radio, much will also depend on the kind of hunting trip you’re planning. Still, we’re sure you’ll agree that understanding the basics of a two-way radio and knowing how to pick the best hunting walkie talkie is imperative – and, we hope, this was a good place to start.