All Terrain Hunting

It’s hard to imagine a time when big game hunters didn’t use ATVs or

utility vehicles (UTVs). The classic images of western hunters packing

in with horses and mules are now kept by only a nostalgic few. Of

course there are plenty of hunters today who don’t use off-road

vehicles. However, all hunters from those who stalk big game to ones

who hunt upland birds, could benefit from using an ATV or UTV. From the

first snow machines to the modern day side-by-side, the extreme demands

of avid hunters have influenced the evolution of these vehicles.

Mirroring this evolution, off-road vehicles themselves have changed the

sport of hunting. History proves there’s no turning back from these

advanced machines, and the farthest frontiers are only as far as a few

extra gas cans.

Two main factors have increased hunters usage of off-road vehicles

during the past few decades. Hunting popularity has increased, and

innovations of hunting products and tactics have been introduced.

When something is popular everyone wants to do it. For hunters

this means traveling farther to find that perfect secluded hunting

spot. Whether it’s hunting farther from base camp, or scouting a

potential hunting lease, off-road vehicles allow hunters to quickly

expand their range. Realistically, there’s only so far a hunter can

venture on foot, but with off-road vehicles remote hunting locations can

be reached sooner, hunted longer, and daylight is no longer an issue.

With increased popularity comes more hunting pressure, especially to

public access areas. Once secluded destinations have become hunting

hotspots, forcing hunters to spread out to find their piece of paradise.

Perhaps just as important to the evolution of these machines is

the use of hunting tactics that require vehicles with hauling

capabilities. Deer feeders and tree stands, for example, are popular

among whitetail hunters. Scouting and staging multiple feeder-stand

locations can be a one man job when using a UTV. UTVs easily haul

multiple passengers and cargo through a variety of terrain, making them

ideal for hunting clubs and lease partners. On the other end of the

hunting spectrum UTVs are ideal for setting up remote hunting camps.

There’s so much time devoted to creating or escaping to a hunting

paradise that off-road vehicles have become a necessity.

Great Plains Kubota salesman, Brent Elliott has a large family,

and they all enjoy the outdoors. He stated that without his off-road

vehicles they would do a lot less hunting.

“We use our ATVs and UTVs to check cameras, which is a great way

to scout for a busy guy like me. There’s no way I could check five

cameras after work if I was on foot. I also use them to drop off family

and friends at different hunting spots on my property. They’re more fuel

efficient than larger vehicles so I can haul kids, recover deer, and

scout without breaking the bank or my back. I wouldn’t be able to hunt

the way I do without these machines,” said Elliott.

Planting food plots is another increasing tactic hunters use to

attract deer. Hunters on a budget can easily plant supplemental food

anywhere on their property with an off-road vehicle paired with an

all-in-one tow behind implement.

The dedicated woodsman who treks solo after big game knows the

importance of a maneuverable off-road vehicle, such as an ATV. When it

comes to packing out game, a well-equipped ATV or UTV is simply the

superior method. Accessories like winches, trailers, cargo boxes,

additional lighting, GPS, and protective coverings are essential to the

all-terrain hunter. Another Great Plains Kubota hunter who knows the

challenges of hunting dramatic terrain is Allen Dennis.

“The land I hunt is only accessible by a steep ridge next to a

river. Trucks can’t handle the extreme incline so we have to use ATVs

to haul our gear to the hunting locations. We’ve even used ATVs to pull

trailers with riding mowers, so we could maintain our food plots. It’s

not like we actually hunt on them, but we couldn’t hunt without them,”

said Dennis.

Off-road vehicles used in hunting have also created conflicts

among the hunting community. Hunting and shooting from these machines

isn’t fair chase, and reflects poorly on the sport. Laws set in place

are designed to protect both the environment and the future of using

ATVs and UTVs for hunting.

So, which off-road vehicle is better? Choosing between ATVs or

UTVs comes down to preference, price, and capabilities. Typically ATV’s

are less expensive. They are faster and narrower than UTV’s, making them

capable of going places UTVs can’t. However UTV’s make up for this with

their torque and towing capabilities. With more storage capacity and

passenger options utility vehicles offer hunters versatility ATVs don’t

have. Despite there small differences off-road vehicles were both

designed to get hunters to and from extreme destinations.

For some, hunting is about creating a private paradise. For

others, it’s about escaping to far away destinations. Whatever’s

desired, off-road vehicles can be a hunter’s companion, pack mule, or

rescue team. They’re invaluable when setting up remote camps, scouting

property, planting food plots, or reaching extreme destinations. They

make all the wants and needs of the modern day hunter possible, and will

continue to evolve with the sport.

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