Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

Best ATV for Hunters

Best ATV for hunters is a Pandora’s Box that I cannot believe I am jumping into. Yet, here I go. This post and the next will look at some of the things hunters and land owners should consider when looking for an ATV for their property and usage.

To begin with, we will not look at individual brands, per-se, but the key features that landowners need to consider when purchasing an ATV. For many, this is a very large investment and one that should be given a lot of thought before diving into. It is hard to justify spending five to ten thousand dollars on a piece of equipment that is for fun only. It must be dual purpose. Actually, in my personal view, any piece of equipment used for land management is a tool, it should help with your work reduce your work load and serve different functions. Next week we will look at the choices in UTV market. But for now we are looking at the ATV. Also known as a quad, 4-wheeler, wheeler, etc. the ATV is a four wheeled machine designed for one rider (sometimes two) who sit in line with and between the wheels. These are steered with handlebars.

Some of the things to consider when purchasing a modern ATV include power steering. While these are definitely not difficult to steer without power steering, the added convenience is definitely a plus. When hauling loads or uneven distributed weight, the power steering is a definite plus. Let’s face is, most hunters are hauling a lot more on the racks of these things than the manual says they are rated for. So being able to steer effectively is an important thing to consider.

Secondly is hauling capacity. Many ATV’s are rated for around 100 pounds on the front rack and around 150 lbs. on the back rack. Barely enough to bother with. Just a few bags of corn and you are overloaded. Look for a model that has the maximum amount of hauling ability. Some of the bigger ones can now haul a heavy load. Honda’s big Red can carry a whopping 1000 pounds and the Can Am 500 can carry over 300 pounds on the rear rack and almost 200 on the front. While it is true you may not need it that often. It is a relief to know that when you need to haul a load, your machine can handle it.

In addition to hauling, is the towing capacity. Not many ATV owners consider the towing capacity when purchasing a unit for their farm or lease. Then they decide they need to plant a food plot and get something to drag behind their ATV and the unit cannot pull it sufficiently. At a minimum, landowners and managers should have a towing capacity in excess of 1,500 pounds. A plow or planter will easily weigh half of that, then if you get something like a plot-master, you have both in one and you are pushing the limits of the machine.

Size of your machine can be a big deal. By this I do not mean engine size, rather frame size. If your property is wide open it really does not matter. If most of your driving is on roads and fields, width and height are a non issue. But, if you have a lot of woods, tight two track roads a lot of turns and twists, then size does matter. Personally I have opted for the smaller framed machines simply because when I need to get through the woods, I need to get through and don’t want to be bothered with a big machine that I cannot maneuver through the woods.

Recently, I took my 2001 Honda Rancher 350 and my buddy took his 2007 Polaris 500 to the property, the difference between where these two machines could go was very noticeable. The width, and turning ability of the smaller machine was much friendlier. Granted, the little 350 won’t haul or pull nearly as much, but it sure is easy to drive through the woods.

Next are the racks. If you cannot lash something down on the rack there is little need for them. A good rack system is paramount for these machines. Too many nowadays are more about esthetics than function. I don’t care how it looks, I need to tie stuff down to it easily. Personally, I prefer the open bars over the panels. Make sure yours has what you need for your usages.

Lastly is your budget. Considering all of these factors it can easily push you well past the $10,000 mark for a machine with limited function. Make sure you know what you want, what are your priorities and find a machine that will fit most of your priorities. It is hard to write a check for over ten grand and then be frustrated that your machine won’t do what you wanted it to do.