I am looking for a radio to use hunting. Marine Radios are
cheap and powerful. Can't I just use one of those when
NO! It is VERY illegal.
From the FCC website:
Communications YOU MUST NOT TRANSMIT --
False distress or emergency messages.
Messages containing obscene, indecent, or profane words or
General calls, signals, or messages on channel 16, except in
an emergency or if you are testing your radio (these are
messages not addressed to a particular station), or
your ship is on land (for example, while the ship is on a
(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 RADIO!
What can I do?
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
MURS radios will cost about the same as marine radios, and
even used commercial radios off eBay can be programmed to use
in the MURS service.
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 lucky.
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 LAWS!
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 http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=service_home&id=maritime
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 firstname.lastname@example.org