January 04, 2022
Pheasant hunting is officially underway in the State of Kansas.
Midland Radio's Director of Marketing Shared Services, Andrew Kinsman, took several pairs of walkie talkies with him to the Kansas Pheasant Opener.
He shares how handheld two-way radios are a must-have for your next hunting trip.
The trip began early Friday morning on November 12 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Two trucks made their way to WaKeeny, Kansas for the Pheasant Opener.
Kinsman said they used walkie talkies along the way.
“When we were using the radios it was so easy to communicate. We didn't have to pick up the phones to call or text and hope that the other truck responded in time. We just hopped on the radios when we needed to make a stop.”
The group then met up with another truck near Topeka.
"When we got close we were able to call him on the radio so he could just start driving and we didn’t even have to stop," Kinsman said.
As they got closer to their destination, the radios became even more crucial to the caravanning.
"We were out in Western Kansas with no cell service. We needed the radios to communicate."
Once the group of 11 in three trucks arrived Friday, they began scouting.
“Scouting is preparing yourself for the next day of hunting and putting yourself in the best position to find birds. We had a lot of maps- topography maps and even used the onXHunt maps to show us where the property lines were.”
While scouting they navigated between corn and milo fields, CRP (Conservation Reserve Mix), natural grass, and heavy bushes to get a good look at the birds.
“You have to form a plan based on the birds’ behavior because sometimes it’s not what you expect it to be.”
Kinsman said the walkie talkies made scouting more efficient.
“We communicated with the walkie talkies about what we were seeing. We talked extensively on the walkie talkies and had full blown conversations between three vehicles over the the radios."
He said the walkie talkies were instrumental as they made changes to their hunting plans throughout the scouting process.
“At one point we were scouting a specific field and I looked to my right and a pheasant had just crossed the road. It went from CRP grass to the corn. We were able to communicate that right away through the walkie talkies. We went to a completely different field because we actually saw where the birds were to formulate a different plan.”
Kinsman said the group spent about four to six hours scouting the fields.
Saturday, the hunt day, was an early morning. The group of men headed out to the fields to set up ahead of the 6:50 a.m. start to shooting hours.
“Once we got to the fields we used the walkie talkies to position our trucks based on the areas that we mapped out the day before.”
They needed to make sure those who were blocking were set up before they started walking.
"It was still pretty dark out and you couldn’t see very well so we used the walkie talkies to make sure that everybody was set up in their positions before we started.”
Kinsman said they didn't have to wait long to get their shot at grabbing a bird.
“We started walking and almost immediately flushed a few birds that we ended up harvesting. Guys on the south side couldn’t see us, but heard us shooting and asked if that was us through the walkie talkies."
The group used the walkie talkies throughout the entire hunt and the radios were an item that at first, some didn't understand the importance of.
“Most people don’t even realize how they could benefit from the walkies until they used them, they really give us a strategic advantage out there. They're easy to use plus we also didn't have cell service so we had to have something else to communicate in replace of the phones.”
Pheasant hunting he said is special because it's a group effort.
“Pheasant hunting is cool because you can have a ton of people. It’s about more than hunting. It’s about the camaraderie and having fun with people who like to do the same things as you. You’re part of a team.”
Kinsman and his group of friends used several Midland handheld walkie talkies including the X-Talker T71VP3, X-Talker T75VP3, and Midland Outfitter Quad Pack 2-Way Radios 4-Pack from Cabela's.
"We changed the batteries only once a day so they were lasting up to eight hours. I was really impressed with the battery life," Kinsman said.
He also said the maximum distance between the groups set up across the field was about a mile.
"We had clear communication the entire time. Having that communication made the trip that much more fun."