MARINE RADIO USE
I am looking for a radio to use hunting. Marine Radios are cheap
and powerful. Can't I just use one of those when hunting?
NO! It is VERY illegal.
From the FCC website:
YOU MUST NOT TRANSMIT --
your ship is on land (for example, while the ship is on a
False distress or emergency messages.
Messages containing obscene, indecent, or profane words or
General calls, signals, or messages on channel 16, except in an
or if you are testing your radio (these are messages
not addressed to a particular station), or
(1) OK let's reason this thing out...if you have a marine
radio mounted in your truck, it IS NOT in a "ship".
If your truck was designed to be driven on land, not water, so it
is "on land".
Therefore, having a marine radio mounted in your truck is
(2) If you are carrying a marine handie talkie, and you are not
in a boat that is in the water, and not walking on water, then
you are "on land".
Therefore, having the marine handie talkie is ILLEGAL!
(3) No one will ever know...really? Get on the right frequency,
and the COAST GUARD WILL KNOW and they do have ways to pinpoint
where your transmission comes from.
And last but not least:
(4) But what if I am duck hunting from my boat? Then it's
legal, right? Well, depends on what the communications are. If
you are having valid marine related communications with another
boater, boat dock, lock master, Coast Guard, etc, yep, you're
legal. But...if you are telling your buddy up stream "The ducks
are a comin' your way!" then YOU ARE ILLEGALLY USING A MARINE
What can I
User Radio Service
MURS radios operate on 5 specific channels:
MURS handie talkies put out about the same power,
and have the same operating characteristics that a marine radio
handie talkie would on land.
MURS does not require an FCC license to use the radios.
MURS stations are prohibited from operating as a
repeater station or as a signal booster.
The highest point of any MURS antenna must no be more than 18.3
meters (60 feet) above the ground or 6.10 meters (20 feet) above
the highest point of the structure on which it is mounted.
MURS radios will cost about the same as marine radios, and even
used commercial radios off eBay can be programmed to use in the
As ham radio operators, we know that a good
antenna, and good height do more for communications than extra
power (aka "power boosters" or "linears"). Why not setup one unit
with a deployable antenna of good gain and height to communicate
with your other fellow hunters? You are allowed 60 feet above
ground to the top of the antenna, and a good quality high gain
antenna can be had for under $100. You can even let your wife be
"Hunt Central Control"! A little coordination and cooperation can
ensure good reliable communications for your next hunt!
Well, they are cheap, and the orignal true 14 channels assigned
to FRS are license free. BUT... buyer beware! The radios that
have GMRS frequencies or channels in them DO require a license,
$75 from the FCC. And the range of FRS...maybe 1/4 mile is
A dime a dozen. Noisy, range is 3-5 miles (if you're lucky). No
license required. Illegal to use linear amplifiers (boosters,
"pill" boxes, etc).
Why not operate LEGALLY while hunting and not run the risk of
getting huge fines, possibly jail time, and interfering with bona
fide marine communications?
By the way, did you know that most of the states that DO allow
"hunting" radios (yep, some states DON'T allow them) DO NOT allow
you to use them for "spotting" or "chasing" animals? KNOW THE
To report violations of Marine Radio Spectrum use, see the FCC
Investigations and Hearings Division web page at http://www.fcc.gov/eb/ihd/
the FCC Technical and Public Safety Division web page at http://www.fcc.gov/eb/tpsd/.
And, if you think this page is just a rant against hunters,
please take time to read
Also see http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/2005/DA-05-1597A1.html.
This link http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=7748
details all the marine channels assigned for a VHF Marine Radio.
NOTE: there are NO "hunting" channels.
Need advice? Contact the MCARC at email@example.com