The all-terrain vehicle, or ATV/4-wheeler, as it is sometimes called, has become one of the most essential tools of the hunter -- used for everything from scouting game, hauling out game and treeetands, to traveling trails to the hunting stand, and gaining access to dense
The ATVs popularity began in the early 1980s, and although these vehicles
were actually developed in the 1970s, they only began to garner interest in the
80s as a mode of transportation for the average hunter. As time went on,
various attachments and accessories were introduced, specifically to make the
ATV more hunter-friendly. As a result, most hunters today now make use of these
vehicles during most of their outdoor excursions. An all-terrain vehicle is a
luxury in some ways and a necessity in other ways. By understanding its
usefulness and using it to your advantage, will certainly ensure a more
successful and productive hunting trip.
Special Equipment For ATVs
As the size and strength of the ATV grew over the years, so too did the
availability of hunting attachments and accessories. The first accessory
introduced for hunting was the gun boot -- a case for guns, rifles, or
muzzle-loaders, which could be mounted on an ATV. The gun
boot has proven to be one of the most versatile attachments available today.
There are other styles of firearm racks and bow mounts now available and used
quite extensively by the North American hunter.
Various electronic attachments can also be housed on a 4-wheeler and used
during a hunting trip. There are two-way radio attachments and GPS mounting
brackets meant for extended use during a hunting trip. Most 4-wheelers are now
equipped with a winch system for pulling it out of a jam, and the new "bikes" also have
ample storage space, and all the power a hunter could ever need, for hauling
even a moose out of rough terrain.
Advantages Of Using An ATV For Hunting
The first advantage of using an all-terrain vehicle for hunting is the ability
to cover a great deal of ground or territory in a short period of time. Hunters
can travel from their treestand locations; around rough forest trails in almost
any condition, all year long, and today's 4-wheeler can go virtually anywhere
you point them. Another advantage is the ability to haul and tow a large amount
of weight, which may include towing a trailer with a deer or moose quarters on
it, hauling ladderstands around, or even hauling out firewood for the hunt
camp. These powerful units are geared for work and more than strong
enough to do the job. Not only are ATVs handy for travel in the north woods,
they have become the popular mode of transportation for all hunters.
ATV big-game hunters have a big advantage over the competition, by getting
into position earlier in the morning, and returning to camp faster at the end
of the day. With an ATV, you can stay at your treestand or hunt location
longer; thus increasing your chance of seeing game. Another huge advantage of
an ATV comes after a large game animal is on the ground. We all know that this
is when the real work begins, and a 4-wheeler can be used for packing out deer,
moose, and even bears from the deepest forest depths. A winch can also be used
to hoist an animal out of a deep hole, and the heavy-gauged racks on today's
bikes are more than strong enough to support the weight of a whitetail deer or
a moose quarter. With a trailer hitched to it, the ATV can also pack out
most wild game and assorted hunting equipment with little effort.
The ATV has become so ubiquitous that even game animals are accustomed to
the sight and sound of an all-terrain vehicle. Traveling into the backwoods on
a 4-wheeler has its advantage because big-game are less wary of a hunter
driving an ATV, than one walking on foot. In regions with heavy forestry work,
for example, the droning sound of a tree-skidder will not phase the deer or
moose nearby. ATVs can quietly and quickly slip through the backwoods into a
hunting position without really disturbing animals in the area. This is also
evident among small game hunters, as grouse and even rabbits are rarely alarmed
or threatened by the presence of an ATV, thus making your approach more
efficient. Many moose and whitetail deer have also grown accustoming to seeing
an ATV in the forest, and are not at all bothered by them.
Becoming Essential Hunt Gear
We have witnessed the evolution of the all-terrain vehicle and its popularity
among hunters, and that when used properly, it can create a huge advantage for
hunters. ATVs have nearly replaced the 4 x 4 truck as the most common form of
transportation in the back woods. Their strength, versatility, and adaptability
make them an essential part of any hunting trip. When used properly and
responsibly, an all-terrain vehicle can often make or break a hunting
trip. Good Luck, good hunting, and drive carefully!
For a fine selection of ATV Accessories, click here.