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Deer hunting has already started in many parts of the country or is about to kick off everywhere else, and an ATV can be a useful tool to help make it a successful season. While there are lots of reasons to use an ATV in your hunt, there appear to be just as many arguments against it. Most people with an opinion on the matter fall decisively into one camp or the other.
An ATV gives you access to remote or impassable areas that are not reachable by truck or too far on foot. If you set up miles away from home base or your pickup truck, as opposed to yards, you want to have a quicker means of getting there than on foot.
Using an all-terrain vehicle allows you to haul equipment and supplies to isolated areas with lots of storage space. ATV accessories like an ATV cargo box or specialized carrier like a gun rack work great for keeping your gear clean, dry, secure and organized and are especially nice for transporting heavy or cumbersome items like tree stands.
Four wheelers are invaluable for carrying your deer back to your vehicle or cabin and a much better option than dragging a buck or doe by hand over muddy, rough or steep terrain, or across streams or creeks. However, there are also non-motorized options for this, such as a pull-behind hand cart designed specifically to traverse wooded and grassy areas.
Hunters with disabilities often benefit greatly from the use of an ATV or quad during hunting season. For some, the use of one is the difference between being able to participate in the hunt or not at all and is the only means of getting to their stand.
Most hunters using ATVs make it a point to leave some distance between their ATV and their stand, but others report taking quite the opposite approach. Some sportsmen actually park their ATV in tall grass, top the machine with a camouflage cover and sit behind It like a blind. In some areas, deer populations are already used to the sounds and smells of the local farmers’ machinery, or hunters take the time to make regular, frequent trips with their ATV to their hunting stands in order to get the deer acclimatized to its sound and smell. However, the temperament and tolerance of the herd you are hunting will dictate whether this could be a successful strategy for your area.
First and foremost, you should know the local regulations regarding ATV use or the preference of the landowner where you hunt, since many public lands prohibit the use of ATVs. It would also be a smart strategy to find out your neighbor’s viewpoint on the matter, too, to keep the peace when tensions may run high.
The obvious objections to four-wheelers in the woods during hunting season are the noise, smell and footprint left behind by an ATV when a trail is disrupted or torn up. Fumes from an ATV may carry not just in the area surrounding the machine but also on your clothes, though walking into the woods may help minimize the scent. The noise issue may be improved with an add-on, secondary muffler, which can quiet ATV exhaust noise by up to 50% and without any sacrifice in performance.
Some hunters claim that the use of ATVs in hunting areas (even out of season) keep deer away, spook them or diminish the numbers of mature deer who will occupy your territory. Others, however, have had the opposite experience, and have downed a mature buck within 100 yards of a parked ATV.
For the purists, part of the hunting experience is to get as close to nature as possible; that includes using your legs and all your senses to their fullest to take in every detail possible. Driving past nature doesn’t allow the same experience, and you may miss a lot! Sometimes, the sound of total silence can be the payoff, whether you fill your tag or not.
Reminders for Hunting with Four Wheelers
Should you decide that you want to use an all-terrain vehicle for your hunting endeavors, here a few things to keep in mind:
Learn the local laws in your hunting area regarding the use of ATVs on public land. On private land, find out the landowner’s decree for riding four-wheelers in his kingdom, as well as having at least an awareness of the neighbors’ positions on the matter.
Stay on established trails and roads, and avoid widening that trail by unnecessarily driving around obstacles that can be crossed over.
Steer clear of stands as much as possible, preferably, driving part of the distance, then walking in the last leg on foot.
Limit your ATV driving time to coincide with off-peak activity hours of the deer. Plan ahead to drive in well before sunrise, and wait until after dark to return. The less disruption, the better.
Be safe! This includes driving with unloaded, secured weapons, riding slowly while keeping an eye out for other hunters on foot and wearing the necessary protective gear. Make sure your rig is outfitted properly with tools in the event of a breakdown and a GPS if you are covering unfamiliar territory.
Be aware of how additional weight on your ATV racks or cargo boxes affects the machine’s handling and responsiveness. An overloaded ATV, combined with steep hills, can make a vehicle tippy.
A Happy Medium?
A modified approach seems to work for many. For example, consider using an ATV to retrieve downed game at the hunt’s conclusion or just off-season for utility, recreation and hunting preparations like hanging stands, raking trails or preparing food plots; hoofing it for the initial trek out to your stand creates the least amount of disturbance.
An electric golf cart could also be a possible alternative. While a golf cart won’t have the power or traction of an ATV on certain terrain or in wet or snowy conditions, it doesn’t have the noise or odor, either. Golf cart accessories for the outdoorsman, such as gun carriers or bow holders, also help to make this a more appealing option.
Sometimes getting your ATV to your destination can be half the battle, and the hunting hasn’t even started! Use the right equipment to haul your four-wheeler for a hassle-free and enjoyable outdoor adventure.
If a pickup truck is your mode of transportation, a good set of ATV loading ramps (and not some spindly 2 x 4’s) can’t be beat. Don’t just “make-do” with scraps you have on hand, and take care of your equipment. Otherwise, a hitch-mounted ATV carrier is another option, so that the bed of the truck remains available for all the other gear and equipment you need to take along on your hunt.
For the larger-scale expedition that requires the use of a trailer, trailer ATV ramps let you load your four-wheeler quickly and without blowing out your back. Save the work for climbing into your tree stand.
Have a safe and productive hunt!
No, summer isn’t over; there’s plenty of time left. But with Labor Day having come and gone and the kids getting back to school, you know winter is on its way. And with the onset of the colder weather comes a huge laundry list of “season end” chores that need to be addressed before the snow flies. Sure, you may already have weeded all the whites out of your wardrobe for the season, but there’s a lot more to be done.
The Big Cover-Up
There are tasks like closing up the cottage, pulling in the pier from the lake, picking the final harvest in the garden and preparing your beloved toys and tools and equipment for storage. No small feat, and, thankfully, there are plenty of resources and checklists available to help in making sure you’ve got it all handled. A critical step in this process is the ‘covering’ part; specifically, what you use to cover your equipment as it rests over the cold months.
As you proceed through the steps of winter prep for your motorcycle, boat, Jet Ski, lawn tractor, kayak or canoe, you might be tempted to use a plastic or canvas tarp, a retired blanket or even some bed sheets. Don’t go there! By using a good cover that is designed to fit your equipment properly, your equipment will be protected and in good shape to provide many more years of dependable service.
The selection of a cover should be based on the material of construction and the fit.
Made of the Right Stuff
So ask yourself:
Is the cover waterproof or water-resistant to protect against moisture?
Is it breathable or vented to guard against moisture build-up, which can cause corrosion, mold, etc.?
Will it protect against dust, dirt and UV rays well enough to prevent scratches, fading, etc.?
Is it durable to withstand tears? (Note that not all covers are not necessarily designed for trailering.)
A Good Fit
Is the cover a good fit without gaping pockets of excess fabric? (These can be a welcome mat for bugs or small critters looking to nest.)
Is it easy on / easy off? (With less bulk, a better fit usually means less hassle, especially if you are doing this job solo.)
We Cover Everything
Getting a close-to-custom fit for your equipment going into winter storage is easy and affordable with a wide selection of covers to choose from:
Boat covers (aluminum boats, hunting boats, fishing boats, pontoon boats, outboard motors)
Motorcycle covers (styles for all makes of motorcycles, including Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, BMW, Triumph and more; also available for motocross and scooters)
Personal watercraft covers (Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, Wave Runner, more)
Garden Tractor / Lawn Mower covers (riding, push-behind, zero turn)
Car / Truck / SUV covers
Camper covers (full size RVs, motorhomes, travel trailers, pop-up campers)
Patio Furniture covers (grills, patio chairs, chaise lounges, tables, benches, cushions, umbrellas, standup heaters)
The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting bitterly cold temperatures for two-thirds of the country this winter with a bonus of heavier than normal snowfalls for some of us. It’s time to button things up and batten down the hatches because winter, she’s on her way. Have you started your fall cleanup and storage yet?
Discount Ramps is proud to offer the 15-017-010401-00 Classic Accessories Expandable ATV Cover. Whether you need to cover up one or two ATVs, the Classic Accessories Expantable ATV Cover will get the job done. This heavy-duty ATV cover provides maximum protection from extreme weather and other damaging elements. The cover comes in black only. It comes with a windshield envelope for extra protection, if needed, and a rear storage envelope for ATVs with raised rear cargo areas. A zippered expansion pannel is integrated into the cover for two-ATV storage.
Featuring ProtekX Extreme fabric, this cover is the most heavy-duty protector for your ATV. It resists and dispells both inclemite weather and damaging UV rays, prevents sratches, and guards against dirt. There are two air vents in the cover to reduce inside moisture and wind lofting. The Classic Accessories Expandable ATV cover also features an elasticized hem for a snug fit.The integrated tension panel and strap system featured with this ATV cover make towing your covered vehicle easy. The unique tension panel and starp system distribute stress form tailoring and special “pass thru” welts to ensure extra secureity. The quick adjust straps that are sued with this cover snap right into the built-in buckles, making this a safe, easy, and secured attachment. Centered and zippered up, this cover measures 83 inches in length. Unzipped and laid out, the cover measures 103 inches in length, 50 inches in width, and 57 inches in height. A reflective safety triangle is on the rear pane, making you visable to other motorists, and the cover comes with a two year warranty from Classic Accessories.
If you would like to learn more about the Expandable ATV Cover or would like to place an order, please visit our ATV Covers website. Discount Ramps also recommends the Kolpin Kwick Cinch System, which allows you to quickly and easily switch out hard storage accessories. Included in the kit is two steel mounting plates and two straps. You attach the plates to your storage accessories, secure the straps to the attachment plate and your rack, and cinch the cam-lock buckle to secure the utility boxes. The model number for the Kolpin Kwick-Cinch system is 98400; if you would like to learn more please visit our Kwick Cinch website.
Discount Ramps is now proud to bring to you the Kolpin XXL ATV Covers! Help keep your ATV clean and dry with an ATV storage cover by Kolpin. These durable, water proof covers are large enough to cover all big ATVs and even some UTV’s. These durable ATV covers have an extra large design to fit all the big ATVs, even if they have accessories attached; they can also fit some of the smaller UTVs. Kolpin has designed Rhino Hide reinforcement and integrated it into the design and production of all of its XXL ATV covers. The Rhino Hide makes all these covers for your ATV waterproof. Securing this cover down is a breeze with its tie-down grommets. You have two choices of cover colors for the ATV protector — silver and black. These ATV covers are sewn and cut specifically for the ATVs, and the durapoly nylon that these bad boys are made out of will withstand all weather conditions. A gusset is sewn into the form, and multiple tie-down grommets are located along the bottom edges; they are also elasticized for a secure fit.
The Discount Ramps model number for the XXL ATV Cover is 95104 in black and 95108 for the silver ATV cover. These XXL ATV covers measure 95 inches in length, 48 inches wide, and 48 inches in height. They are cut and sewn specifically for ATVs and constructed from a durable durapoly nylon to withstand all weather conditions. These ATV travel and storage covers have an integrated tailoring system designed with Kolpin protection engineering. The Tough U.V. resistant material has dual air vents that are meant to reduce inside moisture and wind lofting. This system also comes with a zippered fuel tank door for easy access as well as rear rack access doors. The elastic corded hem is designed for a tight, fast, and more tucked away fit. The Durable Rhino Hide water proof reinforcement protects your ATV from water, dirt and wind. If you are going to be tailoring your ATV, this cover must be removed. This travel ATV cover will work in all weather conditions and fit snug to your ATV to protect it from the elements.
If you would like to know more about the Kolpin XXL ATV cover or to place an order, please visit our ATV/UTV Cover website.