If you’re at all like me, you’re interested in anything that can make you a better hunter. One key piece of equipment is an ATV.
If you have one parked in your garage, there’s a good chance you already put it to use each season, but you may not be maximizing its potential.
If you don’t have one, what are you waiting for? ATVs are getting better every year and what they can do for your hunting season alone is enough reason to go get one.
1. Scout More Efficiently
When it’s time for scouting—which, for me, is anytime that I’m not hunting—using an ATV makes it much faster to cover more ground and terrain types than I can reach with my truck. Now, you’re still going to need to get out and put boots on the ground, but reaching those spots can take less time.
Some folks say that ATVs alert game. Sure, they can. But I’ve rode right up on deer, turkey, and other game animals without spooking them. The noise isn’t a huge issue—most ATVs are quieter than you think. Using one to haul your trail cameras and heavy optics can actually be less disturbing and allows you to find where you’re going to hunt faster.
2. Plant Better Plots
Have you ever watched those shows where they are hunting over huge, perfect food plots and thought, “If I only had the equipment to do that…”? An ATV can do just about everything a tractor can at a fraction of the cost.
3. Safely Hang Stands
With an ATV, you’re not limited to what you can haul in to place your stands. It makes it not only more effective, but safer. I’m now in the habit of using my Arctic Cat Prowler as an extra hand when putting up ladder stands. I use the machine to help brace the stand while I climb up and finish securing it to the tree. The Warn ProVantage winch helps too.
4. Haul Game Home
You’ve put in all the preseason work and everything comes together just like it should. You draw back the bow like you’ve done a thousand times in practice, put the pin on his chest and gently trigger the release. The arrow is perfect and you see the buck crash just across the food plot.
Without an ATV the real work would be just beginning. Anyone who has ever drug a mature whitetail a mile back to the truck understands the effort this process requires. This part of the hunt has even been linked to causing heart attacks.
An ATV allows you to skip the drag and get right to making jerky. You’ve earned it.