It’s the Season: Let’s Go Hunting … for an ATV

First Financial Bank
You count down the days to the start of hunting season.

Whether it’s for deer, turkey or even bear, having an ATV can be a huge help on the trail. Being able to get deeper into the terrain and scout out the best spots for the game you’re hunting is great. What’s even better is being able to get that 12-point buck you bagged back to your truck easily.

But there are a ton of hunting ATV choices out there with a variety of features. How do you choose the best one for you? Let’s look at some of the categories and options, plus get some insight from experienced reviewers on which ones they think are the best ATVs for hunting.

ATV or Other Type of Off-Road-Vehicle (ORV)

Many people use the term all-terrain vehicle or ATV as a catch-all for any type of off-road vehicle, but there are differences. For choosing an off-road-vehicle for hunting specifically, you’ll most likely want to decide whether you want an ATV or a UTV (a “utility task vehicle”). What are the major differences? Specifically:

  • An ATV is typically meant for a single rider. It’s similar to driving a motorcycle, with some of the same pros and cons: fits down a narrow trail or one with tight turns; can be easily transported via trailer or even in the bed of your pickup; you’re exposed to the elements without a rollbar or cage for protection; and, the ride tends to be bumpy – and the fun of a dirt bike type of ride in the woods.
  • A UTV or “side-by-side” allows for passengers. Depending on the model, it allows for 2, 4 or even 5 total occupants. With controls and driving style similar to a golf cart or small car, you and your passengers get more protection from the elements and usually a less bumpy ride. But it’s bigger to haul and has less maneuverability when in tight places.

There are trade-offs with each type, but only you know what is a better option for your hunting trips.

Electric vs Gas-Powered

As you shop for ATVs, some of the specs you want to consider are power, performance and distance. What’s the size of the engine/horsepower? After you “fill up”, how far can you go? How much can you carry or pull? The power source for your vehicle will be one of the determining factors.

Gas and electric-powered ATVs are both available. Gas-powered tends to be easier for a quick refill of the tank and away you go, while electric takes longer to charge. On the other hand, the electric powered engine tends to be more environmentally friendly, with an added bonus of typically being much quieter than gas-powered engines.

You can check out some of the comparisons online about specific models and “best of” lists for each type, but it’s always important to do your own research.

Functional Features for the Hunt

There are lots of great ATVs and UTVs out there, but what makes one especially good for hunting are the other features. Some things to ask about/check out are:

  • Overall storage space: what type of cargo or rack space is included? How many tie points for racks? If geared for more than one rider, how much storage do you lose if you carry more passengers?
  • Storage placement: There may be a lot of storage space, but is it well-placed and useful for what you carry and how you want to use it?
  • Winch power: Depending on where, what and how you hunt, the winch can be a star or just a good solid supporting player in your trip’s success.
  • Optional updated suspension, better wheels or seats: Depending on the manufacturer or dealer, you may find that there are some upgrades or aftermarket options that can improve the ride for you (and any passengers).

There are also other optional and aftermarket items that can help you expand, organize and transport your gear.

Buying Your Vehicle

As you shop for your new ATV or UTV, you’ll want to know just how much you are willing to spend. They range in price from a few thousand dollars to the equivalent of a mid-range SUV. You’ll want to have a solid plan and know what are required features for you and your budget constraints. Be sure to know those things first before you start shopping and fall in love with something outside your range.

Happy hunting!

Need some help figuring out what to spend and getting your financing lined up? Give us a call at 800-562-6896.


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