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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!
|Discount Ramps is proud to announce these new and exciting products added to our ATV / UTV product lines!|
|The ATV Windshield by Rage Powersports is a universal fit windshield that attaches to the handlebars of most ATV models. It covers your face, hand grips, and torso — keeping you safe from rain, mud, bugs, rocks, and even a cold wind. The windshield is a strong clear acrylic plastic with a black bottom accent, and it assembles in about 15 to 20 minutes (mounting kit included). This product comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty.|
|Click here for information about the ATV Windshield.|
|The Kolpin Full Tilting UTV Windshield allows control of airflow while giving added windshield protection from debris. Everything on this windshield is made to last: 1/4″ abrasive-resistant GE Lexan MR10 construction, durable injection molded clamps, and black powder-coated stainless steel hardware. It is easy to install and works with a variety of ATVs.||The Kolpin Half Folding UTV Windshields feature an abrasive-resistant 1/4″ GE Lexan MR10 (3/16″ Lexan 9034 for Rhino model) polycarbonate shield construction for protection against debris when closed and add ventilation when open.|
|Click here for information about the Kolpin Full-Tilting UTV Windshield.||Click here for information about the Kolpin Half-Folding UTV Windshield.|
|The 1/4″ abrasive-resistant GE Lexan MR10 polycarbonate Kolpin Half Fixed UTV Windshield provides limited protection while allowing airflow in this unique design. The hardware is included, and the windshield is easy to install.|
|Click here for information the Kolpin Half-Fixed UTV Windshield.|
|The Kolpin Full Vented UTV Windshield is a full length windshield that offers protection from mud and debris. The integrated vents allow air to flow through the windshield.||The Kolpin UTV Rear Shield / Back Panel is a great way to add rear protection to any UTV cab.|
|Click here for information about the Kolpin Full-Vented UTV Windshield.||Click here for information about the Kolpin UTV Rear Shield / Back Panel.|
|The Kolpin Polaris RZR 170 Roof / Windshield Combo is a Youth ATV accessory that increases the safety of Youth ATV’s.|
|Click here for information about the Kolpin Polaris RZR 170 Roof / Windshield Combo.|
|Thanks for reading! Jay Tamez – Discount Ramps LLC
|You have an ATV. You want to load it onto your pickup bed. You don’t want to spend a lot of money. You need one of these! We’re now introducing the newest dual folding steel ramps in our ATV ramp line, model series ST-AF Mudrunner. They are steel, folding, dual runner ATV ramps from Discount Ramps.com. They feature a steel mesh surface, which helps remove mud and water from ATV tires while also adding traction while loading. These ramps are economically priced starting at $89.99 for the 80 inch version. The welded steel handles offer easy handling and the total weight is only 35 lbs per runner. The slight arch design makes for easier loading, and they fold down to a compact 41.4 inches long x 12 inches wide x 4.5 inches flat storage height. They easily fit under the tires of most ATV‘s.|
|Click here for more information on the Mudrunner ATV Ramps.|
|Thanks for reading! Jay Tamez – Discount Ramps LLC