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  • Haul road radios?

    Any thoughts on using two way GMRS/FRS radios for a 6 mile haul road/ gun hunt? Can they be used by a lone hunter for an emergency? Some of the new model's are 5 watt, and boast a 16 mile range.Do the state police monitor any GMRS/FRS cannels on the haul road? Have any of you gun hunters used them in this way? Thanks in advance for any help.
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  • #2
    My party always carries them but we are EXTREMELY careful in how they are used. We only turn them on when we split up. Our communication is restricted to "Hey, I have a caribou down and need help" or "I'm going back to camp." Other wise they are for emergency use only in case someone needs help. I don't know if anyone routinely monitors the frequencies but they can listen to us all day and it wouldn't make a difference. For safety purposes, I don't know who would hear you up there if you were a lone hunter needing help. The GMRS radios currently require a licensse from the FCC but I doubt all users have one.


    • #3
      I think you'd be better off carrying a sat phone in case of emergencies.

      Just my opinion but carring and using a 2 way at all would be pushing things a little to much! Not to mention considering one of the troopers on the slope visit's this site I don't know how open I'd be with information of even USING one. Up until this spring I didn't even OWN a gps let alone a 2 way and should I ever buy one it'll never find it's way into my pack/hunting camp!


      • #4
        Rino are great!

        I use a Rino GPS/2way and carry it on all my hunting trips. Simply used for non-hunting uses, "I have a animal down and will not be back on time", "Its meal time", or someone else is late returning and you have contact (piece of mind). It also can send your position to your hunting buddys Rino and he can see you on his map (selectable on/off). Do not use them to guide you/your hunting buddys onto game it is illegal, as would be a cell phone.. etc.
        Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins


        • #5
          I have the rino 520 and love it. But a radio is only good if you know someone is listening. And then they need to be on the same chanel. Your better off with the sat phone.
          Shoot to kill, kill to eat!


          • #6
            Read some of the stories of hunting up along the haul road. Weather is an extreme issue at times. Having a GPS/radio, or sat phone is a GREAT idea.
            Tradbow.........if us hunter types get lost and overdue..........guess who comes looking for us............the troopers. Bet they'd be happy then someone had a GPS and radio.
            If your planning on bringing radios to zero in and stalk some bou, maybe not such a good idea. If you want them for safety..........bring em on.

            Hi Mr. Trooper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
            I have less friends now!!


            • #7
              Originally posted by LongHunter7 View Post
              Any thoughts on using two way GMRS/FRS radios for a 6 mile haul road/ gun hunt? Can they be used by a lone hunter for an emergency? Some of the new model's are 5 watt, and boast a 16 mile range.Do the state police monitor any GMRS/FRS cannels on the haul road? Have any of you gun hunters used them in this way? Thanks in advance for any help.
              It's not illegal to have a radio with you while hunting, as long as you don't use it to facilitate your hunt in any way, except for talking to a friend about anything except hunting. So if you have a dead moose or caribou and you need help from your hunting partner, there is nothing wrong with using the radio to ask for help. And yes, nowadays you bet that all frequencies are monitored.

              I have a couple of the GMRS radios, the Midland GXT600. These are listed as 18-mile radios, and transmit at 5 watts for the GMRS transmissions, and 1/2 watts for the CB transmissions. I do have a GMRS license. You don't need a GMRS license as long as you transmit at 1/2 watts, but anything higher than that requires a GMRS license. The license covers all the members of your family, but not your hunting partner. It means that your hunting partner can talk to you with his radio set at LOW power (1/2 watts), but you can talk to him at HI power if you have a GMRS license. The License costs $85.00 (I believe), and is good for 5 years.

              The only problem I can see is that most radios are designed to use certain frequencies that may not match the frequencies used by other brands of radios. For example, my hunting partner has a set of Motorola 1/2-watt radios (blue color). I can hear him calling me from his radio, but he can't hear me when I use mine. This is done by the manufacturers to provide you with some channel privacy. However, if you buy a matched pair of radios, all other radios of the same model number from the same manufacturer can be used to communicate back and forth, except as follows:

              If you set the radio so you can have channel "privacy" to communicate with members of your family (GMRS radios), all the radios (same model numbers) must be set to use the same privacy mode. If one radio is set to the same channel, but to a different "privacy" mode, then one can't communicate with the other. The radios I have also have a channel scan feature one can use to scan for any transmission throughout all the radio channels.

              I have no idea which are the emergency channels nowadays. Anybody knows what channels are used in case of an emergency?


              • #8

                Sure they are nice to have. It's a fine line I wont personally walk with radios.

                If safety is the name of the game, bring a sat phone done deal.

                The only reason I have a GPS is I'm also a charter boat captian. It's nice to have when your main rig dies (and it did happen to me this past summer on a foggy day). My hand held has the charts on it so I can keep my clients fishing.

                I don't however rely on it for hunting. Why? To many years of practice with a map and compass. Something everyone should know before walking into the woods! Simple woodsmenship seems to be a lost treasure these days


                You mentioned, "as long as you don't use it to facilitate your hunt in any way, except for talking to a friend about anything except hunting."

                Wouldnt asking for help to pack an animal out be in that relm of anything but hunting?

                I guess my question here is guys, where do you draw the line and where does the troopers start writing tickets? If saftey is the concern, a sat phone is your best option. Learn to use a Map and Compass, don't always be relying on gizmo's as your sole option!


                • #9
                  What does "woodsmenship" do for you on the tundra?
                  Once your animal is dead, you are no longer hunting. The use of a radio to call for help to care for your dead animal will NOT get you a citation.
                  I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
                  I have less friends now!!


                  • #10

                    I'm sure it wont. (get you a citation)

                    I guess hunting for me is from the minute I step into the field to the minute I step out, kill or no kill. Afterall when does packing a moose constitute it becoming a leasurly stroll, or even better, sheep hiking practice VS it still being part of your hunt?

                    Sure having them for saftey or hey I'm going to be late getting in this evening don't send out a search party (had this happen minus the radio) is one thing. Asking for help on a kill or to get a kill out instead of hoofing it back to camp and getting help is another. Sorry just my personal opinion. There's to much of a fine line for me to carry or recommend carrying one.

                    And the woodsmenship comment was about getting lost on the tundra. You would think you'd carry a map and compass and know how to use them, ESPECIALLY on the tundra. Woodsmenship being a generic term, can be used in the MTs, Woods, Tundra, etc etc. Technology is no excuse for this all to seemingly common short coming. Just my 2 bits of copper.


                    • #11
                      The regulations concerning radios clearly states: "Communicatons equipment may be used for safety: however they may not be used to aid in the taking of game" MT is right and if your partner is a mile away, why walk the ditance back to camp for help when 1, he's not there, 2, it just delays getting the meat back to camp? And besides, if you need help from your partner, a sat phone is not going to do you any good, both of you would have to have one and both would have to be on. ITs cheaper and easier with the radios. However, I believe a Sat phone is an excellent idea for getting outside help.
                      GPS is a tool, just like a compass and map. I use both the GPS and the compass. Haven't found, out on the tundra, the need for a map yet, although I take one of the area everytime I can.


                      • #12
                        maps, schmaps

                        I carry a sat phone, a radio, maps/compass and a gps. The sat phone is useless for calling your buddy to say "I'm dead", unless he has one, too.... and the satellite is OK. Use the two-way radio without hesitation or worry. They are very reliable in the open (line of sight). As for troopers, who gives a fat rat's? I ASSUME that they are listening, as it is a no-brainer to drop in on someone's call. So, use it properly and relax. As for using maps on the tundra in the fog: Not even close. To use a map, you need to see something. When visibility is 30', put your map in your pocket and keep it dry. Even when visibility is great, how do you know which gopher mound you are standing on? They all look the same, and triangulating off of mountains requires you being able to see a mountain or three. Often can't. So, carry 'em all and use them appropriately.


                        • #13
                          SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE!(Long Story, but worth it)

                          About 4 years ago on the North Slope, 3 buddies and I were hunting caribou. We all had our little Motorola radio's burried deep in our packs should we need them for "safety", and link up after dark. Two of us were bow hunting within a mile or so from the road, and the other two were going to walk to the 5 mile to hunt with they're rifles. When we woke that morning, and climbed out of our camper, there were caribou everywhere, of course that means plenty of hunters, and troopers as well. We all left the truck at the same time. My bow partner and I found a nice place away from all the hunters that looked like a good place to ambush a bull or two, so we said good luck to the other two, verified hunt plans, and away they went. After a while I could still see them and since there were no caribou in my immediate area, I thought I would do a radio check with them to see if they had they're radio on, and see if we could in fact talk to each other at that distance. My radio transmission consisted of " You, this is me...... radio check over" no responce....... " You this is me, if you can hear me wave" as I looked at them through the bino' responce, no reaction from them....... then just as they were to go over the hill and out of sight for the rest of the day(until after midnight actually), I seen an awsome Bull caribou walking on a ridge away from them, and back towards the road. This was clearly the largest bull I had ever seen, and was clearly a Boone and Crocket animal. My last transmission to them consisted of " You this is me, if you can hear me check out that bull to your half left about 300 yards........ I know you arent at the 5 mile yet, but its an awsome bull to get a picture of........ With no answer from them, or reaction that I could tell through the bino's, I shut my radio off, and put it back in my pack, not to be thought of again for the rest of the day. This took place at about 1000a.m.
                          We hunted all day, and about 5p.m. that evening, us two bow hunters headed back to the truck to start dinner, and warm up, and wait for the arrival of the others that were way out gun hunting. Just as we were about to the pipeline, we seen a trooper walking up to us, so we walked towards him to save him from walking some of the distance. He started talking to us with the same mumbo jumbo as they alwasy do, then He said he had been about 5 miles away at around 1000 O'clock that morning, and monitored some illegal radio traffic on a radio he had in his truck, and recorded it. I told him up front and honestly of the radio transmissions I had made that morning, but other than that I had not heard nothing illegal because my radio was off and packed away, and my partners were gun hunting out past the 5 mile, and I found that with that ill fated transmission I made in the morning, I couldnt reach them anyway. Well to make a long story short, He doesnt believe my story, and since I admitted of merely making mention of that one Bull Caribou, he cited me with the "class A" Misdemeanor of using radio's in the aid of taking big game, and confiscated our two radio's. I basically told him that he was wacked!!!!!! I told him he was making a mistake! I asked to hear the transmission he claimed he had recorded in his truck, 1. to see if that was mine he recorded, and 2. So I could explain to him the whole situation. He refused, and said he would be back to talk to the others that were gun hunting when they got back, so to not go anywhere! Now I am really getting pissed........... anyway, sometime after midnight my gun hunting partners show up, with the rear quarters of a nice caribou that they had taken just shy of the 6 mile mark. Thank god they took a grid with they're GPS, because I figured we would need that info to protest my ticket, and show the trooper that in now way was that the caribou I had mentioned over the radio. I then explained to them that a trooper wanted to talk to them when they got back, so we couldnt go anywhere for a while. Obviously, that was a suprise to them because they didn't monitor any of my "Illegal transmissions" because they're radio's were off anyway.
                          Well, "Ol Trooper John" came back, talked to them, and rightfully cleared them, but wanted to verify they're story by having a plane from Cold Foot fly over the grid they claimed was the gut pile. This wouldn't take place until about 1000a.m. the next morning, so we bed down, and waited until we heard from him again. He came back about 1100a.m. the next morning, and said we were good to go, everything checked out. I then asked him once again about my ticket, as I was completely up front and honest with him, and if he compares the so called "recorded transmission" in his truck to what I transmitted, he would see that I, or my buddies, in no way, shape, or form, used our radio's in the aiding or taking of big game. He refused, and said that the ticket I was issued stands, because of the fact that I had mentioned a big game animal during my transmissions! I asked him for my radios back, and he said they would remain in his possession as evidence until after the court date in barrow. I voiced my opinion of the whole situation once more so he knew how I felt about it all, and we left it at that. (No reason to start some **** with a trooper way up there where they can basically do what they want to you anyway, and get away with it, right?) Ofcourse even though we had taken one bull as a group, we no longer were in the hunting mood, and packed up and left............
                          Three months later I attended court by phone as they didnt require me to fly to Barrow to be present, and I just pleaded "no contest", as the price to fly up and beat the lousy ticket would have been more than any fine, or the community service I was told to conduct would of costed me. So in the end, I still havent received my two radio's back, my community service was painless, but a pain in the ass, and to come find out...... a trooper buddy of mine that lives by me, said he knows the trooper that wrote me up that ticket, and said he was new, and the over anxious type, and agreed that that was a bull**** ticket. So, with that in mind, I still say it is a good idea to have either a Sat Phone with you, or radio's but what ever you do, dont mention anything on the radio that may be misconstrude as an "illegal transmission"!!!!!!!!!!!! I know this was a long post, and to some of you a boring story, but if it saves just one guy from getting in trouble with the troopers, and feeling as violated as I did, then I feel the time I spent writing it, and the time you spent reading it, was well worth it. As always, take care, have a safe hunt, and thanks for the opportunity to post............
                          Be safe, and enjoy your time outdoors!
                          Mountain Man

                          "I'm not here for a long time! I'm here for a good time!!!!!!!!!!!"


                          • #14

                            To be honest, given what I understand of the laws regarding radio use, I'm not surprised you were done...

                            You and your buddies were hunting caribou and you use the radio to attempt to notify your hunting partners of a possible B&C animal just so "they could take a picture of it"...And you wonder why the Trooper booked you?

                            Put yourself in the Trooper's shoes and see how believable it sounds...


                            • #15
                              ditto, Pete

                              Case looks closed to me, too. Mountain Man informed another hunter of an animal.
                              The "photo story" isn't gonna change things with the troopers, thats a given. It just makes it sound worse, imho.
                              Proud to be an American!


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