Cell Phones or Radios for Hunting Parties

   12.12.19

Cell Phones or Radios for Hunting Parties

Whatever happened to hunting parties having handheld radios to stay in touch? Remember back in the 1990s when someone in one stand would use a two-way radio to talk to someone in another stand?  Some of the readers may be too young to remember stuff like that.

Some of the readers may be wondering why people would want to stay in touch? Up until a few years ago my family and I had three adjoining sections on a hunting lease. If we heard a shot from the direction of a family member we would key up the radio and ask if it was them that shot.  If they did shoot and the deer did not drop in its tracks, we would leave the stand to go help find the deer.

Eventually cell phones became more popular and two-way radios faded away. This was mainly due to most hunters having a cell phone. Even though cell phones have replaced two way radios, I am not sure it was for the better.

Cell phone technology has come a long way in the past decades, but they still require a nearby tower, as opposed to a two way radio that does not require a tower. From the time my family got on the hunting lease in the late 1990s it was probably a decade until a cell tower was put up close enough so we had cell service. Sometimes we could get on top of a hill to get service, but for the most part the creek bottoms and thickets still do not have service.

This leaves a technology gap where the newest toys may not always be the best option. When a hunter tracks a deer into a creek bottom with thickets of timber and rolling hills on each side (it has happened to me), cell service can be nonexistent. This leaves the hunter alone in the dark, tracking a wounded deer, and unable to call for help.

However, if the hunter and his buddies had two way radios they would be able to stay in touch, regardless of where the cell tower is.

Most of this article is based on personal experience. Over the decades, there have been several times when I was either tracking a deer in the dark, or helping someone else track a deer. Being able to contact someone for help when there was no cell service would have been a great help.

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