Need Some Advice

Im going hunting and am looking to get some radios (not sure if thats the right term) to communicate to others in my party.

Im am a complete newbie when it comes to radios. I’ve done some light research on them and I think I have come to the conclusion I am looking for a GRMS radio. I understand there is a fee to get a license($85) and thats not a problem.

These are the things I am looking for:
-Be able to communicate between at least 5 miles apart.
-Be portable, able to attach in some fashion to my hunting gear that I’ll be walking around with.
-Be able to attach some sort of a earbud/mic to keep the noise/random squelches from scaring off the animals.

The problem I am having is I see some 2 way radios from motorola/midland etc… that are about $60 ish give or take that claim to be GRMS radios and gave crazy ranges listed of 20+ miles. Now I know those are in “ideal” conditions. A friend recommended Motorola cp200. After doing some research those look professional quality and meet the requirements. However, if I read the doc’s right they need to be programed by software that costs $200…

Given what Ive said, a license isnt a problem, and I dont mind spending money for a quality product. What would you guys recommend?

Advice, suggestions, explanations… all welcome!

Thanks in advance

Hi Billy, that depends somewhat on where you will be hunting. If it’s open grassland or on the same side of a mountain, it is possible to get a few miles.
If it’s in the woods, probably not. This question has been asked many times, so rather than post the same answer repeatedly, here are some other threads and resources that cover your specific questions.

Forum threads
Best Two Way for hunting
best radios for hunter?
Radio for hunting
Best Radios for Hunting

The Two Way Radio Show Podcast
TWRS-03 - Radios in the Woods
TWRS-05 - Radios in Range
TWRS-06 - GMRS Radio Licensing
TWRS-45 - The Truth About GMRS Radio Range
TWRS-47 - Hunting With Radios

Radio 101 Videos
Radio 101 - The truth about FRS / GMRS two way radio range
Radio 101 - The difference between UHF and VHF radios

Two Way Radio Basics
MURS: Unlicensed VHF

I have to agree with Rick on this one.

If your hunting party is dispersed over a area of several hundred acres, a bubble pack radio combo and no license can be a viable option.

If you are trying to extend range to a couple of miles, there is not much that you can do except to employ some type of repeater. This poses several problems. First - you don’t own the repeater - if there even was one in the neighborhood. Second - most states it is illegal to use radios to organize for the purpose of hunting ( which means you can use the radio to call one another, but you can’t use it to say - hey bob, there is a big buck com’in your way!)…

Bigger radios and more power presents another challenge - if you only have a limited amount of room in your gear for radios and you do not have a way to recharge them out in the field.

The more power you produce, the more batteries it will require and the more weight it will add to the radio.

Using my Motorola Talkabout plus radios, maybe 10 minutes a day and listening for 10 hours a day to a frequency with little or no radio traffic, I can expect my battery to last about 2 or 3 days depending upon how cold it is outside when I am using them.

Using my radio more then 30 minutes talk time in one day or on a channel with frequent radio traffic, I wouldn’t expect the battery to last more then 16 hours. By the middle of the second day, the radio would be beeping and you would be looking for another set of batteries.

Fortunately, most bubble pack radios offers the option of using nicad or other types of replaceable batteries. Some of the more expensive batteries will last longer then the rechargeable batteries that the radio came with! And they don’t physically require a license! - although you should have a license if you operate them with more then one half of one watt.