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Best Walkie Talkie for Hunting: The Best Long range Radio of 2023

Introduction Hunting is not just a solitary journey; it’s often more enjoyable when memorable moments are shared with friends. When you venture into the wild with a group, staying in touch is vital for a successful hunt. That’s where you need the best walkie-talkies for hunting. They are lightweight and compact, and they are indispensable…

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Introduction

Hunting is not just a solitary journey; it’s often more enjoyable when memorable moments are shared with friends. When you venture into the wild with a group, staying in touch is vital for a successful hunt. That’s where you need the best walkie-talkies for hunting. They are lightweight and compact, and they are indispensable for a triumphant hunting expedition.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Hunting: Things to Know Before Buying Walkie-Talkies

Range:

The range is super important. It should match the size of the area you’re hunting in. If you’re in an ample, brushy space, go for a long-range radio because a thick brush can block signals.

A long-range radio has more signal power, which helps you stay connected. Most good hunting radios cover around 20 to 50 miles, but remember, these numbers are based on perfect conditions.

So, it’s wise to pick a radio with a range more significant than what you think you’ll need. This accounts for things like trees and hills that might get in the way.

Battery Life:

Radios need power to work. You can power them with rechargeable or disposable batteries. When outdoors, you should consider using rechargeable NiMH batteries, as they are excellent choices that can withstand a wide range of temperatures without losing their ability to sustain information. Another option is disposable alkaline or lithium-ion batteries. They tend to have a more extended life than NiMH and can function in many conditions.

Privacy Codes and Channels:

Two-way radios, like the ones commonly used for hunting and outdoor activities, rely on designated channels for communication. These channels are frequency bands on which the radios transmit and receive signals. They help to allow interference-free communication between users.

Of course, these types of channels are not without regulations and rules. General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is an ideal choice for outdoor use, as it is instrumental in wilderness areas or when hunting remotely. However, to use them, you would need to get a license called the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) license.

This license helps regulate and manage radio communications to ensure efficient and interference-free use of the GMRS frequencies.

FRS/GMRS radios, which are commonly available, provide access to a total of 22 channels for communication. While these channels are valuable for keeping in touch with your group, they can get crowded, especially in popular outdoor locations. The resulting chatter can be distracting and make it challenging to have clear conversations.

To address this issue, most two-way radios come equipped with privacy codes, also known as Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) or Digital Coded Squelch (DCS). These codes work as a sub-audible tone or digital code transmitted with your voice.

If you and your group use a specific privacy code, it helps filter out messages from other users who aren’t using the same code. As a result, you’ll only hear transmissions from members of your group who are on the same channel and using the matching privacy code.

The best hunting radios usually offer a wide range of privacy codes, often exceeding 120 or more. Having a plethora of privacy codes at your disposal allows you to find a unique combination for your group. This significantly reduces the chances of interference from other radio users, ensuring that your communications remain straightforward and confidential.

Weather Alerts:

Weather can change fast, and it’s essential to stay informed. Some radios offer access to NOAA weather forecasts and alerts about weather changes. Some radios are even tuned to the NOAA weather channel, so you get all the updates on your radio. This feature can be a lifesaver during your hunt.

GPS Tracking and Waypoints for Enhanced Hunting Adventures

Hunting in the wilderness, while thrilling, often leads you into uncharted and challenging landscapes. In these situations, walkie-talkies equipped with GPS tracking and waypoints become indispensable tools, significantly elevating your hunting experience.

GPS Tracking: Navigational Precision in the Wild

Imagine yourself in the midst of a dense forest, mountainous terrain, or vast open fields. In such environments, where natural landmarks may be scarce, GPS tracking is your guiding star. This feature enables you to stay oriented and informed about your precise location. It’s a fundamental tool for maintaining your bearings, especially when traversing remote and unfamiliar areas.

Crucial Location Awareness: With GPS tracking, you’re never left wondering where you are. Your walkie-talkie constantly updates your coordinates, allowing you to relay your exact position to your fellow hunters. This information is invaluable for staying connected and ensuring that everyone maintains a clear sense of direction.

Waypoints: Leave a Trail of Breadcrumbs

The ability to mark specific locations as waypoints revolutionizes the way hunters navigate the wild. It’s akin to leaving a digital trail of breadcrumbs that can guide you back to essential sites, even when visual cues are absent.

Strategic Location Marking: You can mark a range of critical locations, including your campsite, promising game trails, favored hunting blinds, or other notable spots. As you move through the wilderness, your walkie-talkie diligently records these waypoints, creating a virtual map of your journey.

Safety and Coordination: Group Hunts Made Safer

In the context of group hunts, the GPS feature emerges as a potent tool for ensuring safety and enhancing coordination among fellow hunters.

Real-Time Location Sharing: By sharing your precise coordinates with your hunting party, you facilitate uncomplicated rendezvous and offer assistance if necessary. This real-time location sharing significantly bolsters overall safety, a particularly vital aspect of hunting when sticking together is imperative.

Wildlife Call Sound Library:

One of the most valuable and innovative features in modern hunting walkie-talkies is the inclusion of a wildlife call sound library. This feature significantly enhances a hunter’s ability to communicate effectively with the local wildlife, bringing a whole new dimension to their hunting strategy.

Realistic Wildlife Calls:

The core of this feature lies in the collection of pre-recorded calls that replicate the sounds of local wildlife. These calls are painstakingly crafted to be incredibly lifelike, capturing the nuances and subtleties of various animals’ vocalizations.

Whether you’re after deer, turkey, predators, or other game, the realism of these calls is striking. This authenticity is critical to their effectiveness in the field, as animals respond to these calls as if they were communicating with one of their own.

Attracting and Locating Game:

One of the primary advantages of the wildlife call sound library is its dual functionality in attracting and locating game. When hunting, the ability to mimic the calls of specific animals is a strategic game-changer.

1. Attracting Game: Many hunters use these calls to lure their prey closer. For example, if you’re targeting deer, you can use a realistic deer call from the library to create the illusion of a deer in the vicinity. This piques the curiosity of nearby deer, making them approach your location and ultimately giving you a better shot. This technique works for various animals and increases the odds of a successful hunt.

2. Locating Game: Apart from attracting game, these calls can also help you pinpoint their location. By playing the call of a specific animal, you can provoke a response from the real animals in the area. For instance, if you’re uncertain about the whereabouts of a turkey, broadcasting a lifelike turkey call can prompt nearby turkeys to respond, revealing their position.

Diverse Strategies:

The richness of the wildlife call sound library provides hunters with a versatile toolset for adapting their strategies. The availability of various calls allows you to experiment with different approaches based on the local fauna and the specific species you’re targeting.

Specific calls may better elicit responses from certain animals, and environmental conditions can also influence their receptiveness. Therefore, having a selection of calls available can allow you to tailor your strategy in real time. It’s like having a conversation with the animals in their language, increasing your chances of a successful hunt.

Additional Features:

1. Voice Activated Transmit (VOX):  VOX technology allows you to communicate without pressing any buttons. The walkie-talkie detects when you start speaking, automatically transmits your message, and then switches back to receive mode when you’re done.

VOX is convenient when you’re wearing gloves, holding onto hunting gear, or in any scenario where manual operation is challenging. Imagine you’re deep in the woods, carrying your hunting equipment, and you spot game. With VOX, you can quietly communicate with your hunting party without fumbling for buttons, ensuring a stealthy approach.

2. Camouflage Design: Hunters often need to blend seamlessly with their natural surroundings to avoid startling games. Walkie-talkies with camouflage patterns are designed to meet this need. The subdued, nature-inspired colors and patterns ensure that your walkie-talkie won’t stand out in the wild. This design element is not just about aesthetics; it enhances your hunting experience by helping you stay concealed.

Top Two Way Radio in 2023: The 7 Best Walkie Talkies For Hunting

Baofeng UV-5G:

This is a picture of a Baofeng UV-5G
Baofeng UV 5G

The Baofeng UV-5G is a long-range walkie-talkie that is like the upgraded version of the popular UV-5R model. With UV-5R, you need to get an FCC license; however, that is not the case with Baofeng UV-5G, where you have to pay a fee and fill out a form. In situations where you are in haste, without a license, you can employ the use of FRS channels, but you need to note that it would have a shorter range than GMRS.

When we took the UV-5G for a spin during our deer hunting trip, it didn’t disappoint. In the middle of a thick, wooded area, we could chat clearly from more than 1.5 miles away. Plus, the battery is no slouch, lasting more than 12 hours of solid use.

Pros:

  • GMRS channels give you a longer talking range than FRS radios.
  • You can connect it to repeaters for even more range.
  • The big battery lasts over 12 hours with regular use.
  • It automatically scans NOAA for weather alerts.
  • You can use Push to Talk or go hands-free with VOX.

Cons:

  • You’ll need to set up the privacy code, but it’s simple.

Buy Now on Amazon

Motorola T260 Talkabout:

This is a Motorola 25-Mile Talkabout T260 2-Way Radios
Motorola 25 Mile Talkabout T260 2 Way Radios

Now, let’s shift our focus to the Motorola T260 Talkabout, tailor-made for outdoor adventures like hunting. This time, we took these radios on our hunting trip to give you the lowdown.

Motorola has a knack for improving its products, and the latest T260 series is no exception. These radios come with safety features and keep you updated with NOAA weather alerts. They also offer iVOX/VOX, allowing you to chat hands-free without fumbling for buttons.

In conclusion, the Motorola T260 Talkabout is a top pick for hunting walkie-talkies under $50. Despite some limitations, it delivers excellent performance, durability, and affordability.

Pros:

  • Excellent battery life for extended field trips.
  • NOAA channels and alerts for real-time weather updates.
  • Handy scanning feature for finding clear channels.
  • Reliable reception, even in wooded areas.

Cons:

  • Limited range in dense forests or hilly terrains.
  • The built-in speaker could have better audio quality.

So, whether you choose the Baofeng UV-5G or the Motorola T260 Talkabout, you’ll have a reliable hunting buddy and be able to stay in touch during your outdoor adventures.

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Midland GXT1050VP4:

This is a picture of a Midland – GXT1050VP4
Midland GXT1050VP4

The Midland GXT1050VP4 is like your trusty sidekick. It’s the Black/Mossy Oak Camo version of the popular Midland GXT1000VP4.

The moment you unbox this bad boy, you can feel its toughness. It’s built for adventure.

When trying out this device,  I used it all day, and guess what? They lasted the entire day. The next day, I switched to alkaline batteries, and they kept going strong for over 10 hours.

These walkie-talkies are like your reliable buddies. Plus, they come with a belt clip, so they’re always within reach. You can pop them off the clip when you need to chat. With 50 channels and 142 privacy codes, your group’s conversations stay private and secure.

Midland claims a range of 36 miles, but in our real-world test in dense woods, we got a solid mile of clear communication. The sound quality was loud and crisp, with minimal interference.

Pros:

  • Fifty channels and 142 privacy codes give you plenty of options.
  • You get a clear sound, even in the thick of the woods.
  • It comes with five animal call alerts (for duck, turkey, cougar, crow, and wolf).
  • There’s a vibrate feature that lets you stay silent when you need to.
  • It can scan NOAA weather updates and give you alerts.

Cons:

  • It’s splash-resistant (JIS4) but not fully waterproof.

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Motorola T465

This is a Motorola Talkabout T465 Rechargeable Two-Way Radio Bundle (Green)
Motorola Talkabout T465 Rechargeable Two Way Radio Bundle Green

Straight out of the box, you’ll notice the Motorola T465 Talkabout radio is built to handle the great outdoors.

Many radios claim they can reach several miles, but in reality, they often need to catch up, especially when trees and nature surround you. But not the Motorola T465. During our test in the woods, we were able to chat clearly at a distance of up to 2 miles. That’s impressive.

Let’s talk batteries. We charged our sets for about 14 hours before our first day out. They powered us through three whole days of 8-hour daily use. That’s some remarkable battery life.

Sure, these radios might be a tad larger than some others, but the benefits they bring are totally worth it.

Pros:

  • There’s an SOS signal button in case things get dicey.
  • You’ve got options for power – use rechargeable batteries or AAA batteries.
  • It’s challenging and rugged, perfect for the outdoors.
  • And to top it off, it comes with a carry case and 2 PTT earbuds.

Cons:

  • A few users have reported some occasional interference or static during communication, but it didn’t bother us too much.

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Cobra ACXT1035R:

This is a picture of Cobra ACXT1035R
Cobra ACXT1035R

The Cobra ACXT1035R FLT CAMO walkie-talkie is IP67 waterproof, which means it can withstand rain and splashes without a hitch. With a range of 37 miles, it is the ideal choice when considering the best waterproof two-way radio. It boasts a long-range, waterproof design and some advanced features that make it stand out. It’s a reliable tool for tracking games or coordinating with fellow hunters.

Pros:

  • You get long-range communication, up to 37 miles.
  • There are 122 privacy codes and 121 channels for secure conversations.
  • You have round-the-clock access to NOAA weather channels for up-to-date forecasts.
  • The Rewind-Say-Again function lets you replay messages, so you never miss important info.
  • It’s built tough to handle outdoor adventures.

Cons:

  • It’s a bit bulkier compared to some other models, but the performance makes up for it.

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Retevis RT68:

This is a picture of a Retevis RT68 Two-Way Radios Long Range
Retevis RT68 Two Way Radios Long Range

The Retevis RT68 walkie-talkies are built to handle the outdoors so that they won’t let you down. You can quickly adjust the volume, use call alerts, and access essential features without any fuss.

We’ve put these radios to the test in some pretty tough situations, and they’ve always come through. You can chat clearly for up to 2 miles in most types of terrain. That’s a good range that keeps you connected with your hunting crew.

Now, let’s talk about batteries. The 1200 mAh rechargeable battery is a champ. It keeps going strong, even during those intense hunting days. You won’t have to worry about constantly recharging them so that you can focus on the hunt.

The Retevis RT68 has accompanied us on countless hunts in various weather and landscapes, and it has never let us down.

Pros:

  • The battery life is awe-inspiring for those long hunting days.
  • Charging is a breeze with the USB charging base.
  • These walkie-talkies are built tough and ready for outdoor adventures.

Cons:

  • They don’t come with an earpiece, but you can quickly get one if you need it.

Buy Now on Amazon

Retevis RT22:

This is a picture of Retevis RT22 Two Way Radio Long Range
Retevis RT22 Two Way Radio Long Range

The Retevis RT22 has 16 channels, a VOX hands-free feature, and impressive battery life. It’s more potent than your typical FRS radio.

The Retevis RT22 even comes with privacy codes, a handy feature that keeps conversations private within a group. This feature came in real handy when we were out hunting in an area where other big-game hunters were present.

And here’s a bonus – Retevis offers a one-year warranty and a 30-day return policy for no particular reason. The battery lasts quite a while with moderate use, making it perfect for those all-day trips with your group.

Pros:

  • Perfect for larger groups, thanks to the 10-pack.
  • It offers excellent value for your money.
  • Slim, light, and easy to carry around.
  • The belt clips are more extensive, making them easy to remove.
  • You’ll enjoy loud and clear sound quality.

Cons:

  • Though it lacks the ruggedness of the previously discussed options, it is not without its promise of merit and always ensures the job is done.

Buy Now: Amazon

Conclusion

As you search for the best walkie-talkies for hunting, you’re likely to encounter various options, including the highly regarded Rocky Talkie, two-way radios, and GMRS radios, such as the Midland X-Talker and Motorola Talkabout series.

Our extensive research, conducted up to October 2023, has led us to some standout choices. From the remarkable Midland GXT1000VP4 with its impressive range and long battery life to the Midland X-Talker T10, we’ve explored a wide range of options to suit your needs. The ease of use, best waterproof designs, and compatibility with accessories like earpieces have also been taken into consideration.

When it comes to hunting walkie-talkies, we understand the importance of features like range and clarity, as well as the need for portable two-way radios. That’s why we’ve tested and reviewed models like the Midland 50 Channel GMRS and FRS walkie-talkies. Our experiences with these radios, both on hunting trips and out in the field, have provided valuable insights.

If you are interested in reading more of ours, you can check out our article on the best 10 compound bows under $500. Check here

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Walkie Talkies

What is the best walkie-talkie for farm use?

The best walkie-talkie for farm use should offer good coverage across open fields and long-range capabilities. Radios like the Motorola T260 Talkabout or Retevis RT27 are popular choices for farm communication.

Is UHF or VHF better for mountains?

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) is generally better for mountains, as its signals penetrate rugged terrain and obstructions like trees better. Look for UHF radios when hunting or communicating in mountainous areas.

Is VHF better than UHF for hilly terrain?

VHF (Very High Frequency) can be better than UHF for hilly terrain, especially if you need long-distance communication over open spaces with minimal obstructions. VHF radios offer better coverage in such environments.

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