ATV Hunting AccessoriesMaddy Scheinost
What You Need to Turn Your ATV Into a Hunting ATV
So, you want to transform your ATV into a hunting ATV. And why wouldn’t you? ATVs and UTVs are ideal for hunting because they’re like a combination truck, tractor and pack mule all in one, helping you to scout game more efficiently, plant your food plots, get your treestand up and all your gear in, and get your deer or other game out of remote areas, quickly and easily. ATV and UTVs can go places trucks can’t. All you need are a few ATV hunting accessories and you’re good to go to get that wall hanger, and food for the table.
A good place to begin when choosing hunting accessories for ATV or hunting accessories for UTV is by determining what you’d like your ATV to do. Is it all about getting your gear, including securing and transporting your guns or bows or both, to and from your hunting area? Do you want to camouflage your machine to keep from spooking game? Do you want ATV accessories that will help get your game out of the field and back to camp? Might you find yourself searching in low light or after dusk, either for downed game or a fellow hunter?
Getting the right ATV accessories for hunting can make your hunt easier, safer, more convenient, and ultimately much more enjoyable.
Knowing how to equip your ATV for hunting can be a challenge, so the experts here at Treadworld have put together a few tips and considerations to help you set your ATV hunting accessories priorities.
Gun boot, gun or bow rack, firearms carriers
When it comes to traversing unpredictable terrain, having your weapon secured is a must. You essentially have two options when it comes to safely transporting your hunting firearms or bows. A gun boot carries one rifle in waterproof, weatherproof, snow-proof, and dust-proof safety can generally be locked, and can usually be positioned with the barrel pointing down, always a good idea. Keep in mind when choosing the one that’s best for you that you may want a boot that not only accommodates your scope, but provides adequate knock protection to keep it sighted in, and also a lining that will protect your firearm’s finish. A gun or bow rack keeps rifles or bows, or both, accessible for quick use, but will not provide protection in inclement weather and wet conditions. Something else to consider is that in some states, it’s a law that all firearms, bows, and crossbows must be cased during transport.
ATV game loader/power loader
If you’ve ever had to lift a 40 to 50-lb. bag of salt for your water conditioner, you know what a back-breaking chore lifting even a relatively light dead weight can be. And, since deer can easily reach weights of 150 to 300 lbs. the heaviest whitetail on record for years was a 511-lb. monster harvested in Minnesota – you may want to consider a game loader to avoid wrestling a dead deer, to save your back and to save time as well. Designed to be mounted on either the front or rear rack of your ATV, game loaders offer you a complete system for loading and transporting your deer. Many models work like a forklift attachment. Some work with a winch (see below) or a hydraulic pump (often not included with your loader), but once you’ve got it installed you ‘reset for more than loading deer. Think off all the hay bales, firewood, ice chests, toolboxes, camping equipment, tree stands, and more the loader can help you with.
ATV game hoist
Another option when it comes to getting your harvest from the field and away from your treestand and hunting area is to use a game hoist to help lift the animal onto a rack, then to get it hanging for easier processing. Processing a deer on the ground is not impossible, but why add layers of difficulty to the job? You’ll need to consider how much weight you need the hoist to be able to lift, 300 lbs. to 500 lbs. are common, and also whether you want a model that comes with a winch or one that works with your winch. A gambrel is also another consideration. Get a hoist with a gambrel included or use your own. It’s also possible to find hoists that mount on a tree, rather than a hitch on your ATV.
A winch is pretty much a must-have workhorse for hunting 4-wheelers. While a winch can come in handy for transporting and/or processing game during a hunt when used with an ATV game loader or ATV game hoist as mentioned above, that’s really just the start of the ways a winch can save your bacon. A winch can be used to remove trees and other obstructions from the trail, it can be used to get your ATV unstuck from sucking mud or deep snow (or to unstick a friend’s ATV). It can also be used to help you navigate steep climbs and dangerous descents. Winches come in different designs and will typically have a pulling capacity ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 pounds. They can be installed permanently, or semi-permanently.
Ways to camouflage your ATV
If you want to park your ATV closer to your hunting area and stand, camouflage will help it blend into the surroundings, so it doesn’t scare game, especially game with excellent eyesight like turkeys. You can get a camouflage cover for the entire ATV, which will also help protect it from the elements, or you can camouflage seat covers and add camouflage graphics or wrapping to the body of your ATV. Another option is a cab enclosure which serves the double benefit of hiding you from keen-eyed game, while also helping you escape the wind and rain to keep you comfortable. It can also double as a blind. There are also camouflage ATV cabs available. Another option is a camo blind you can set upright on top of your ATV. That way, you don’t have to venture off your machine, in effect using it as your stand. In that case, consider how comfortable your ATV seats are because you may be sitting in them for hours waiting for game to come into the area.
This one is simple. An ATV trailer could be part of the answer to the question of how you’re going to get your harvested game from the field to camp, especially in the case of larger game like moose or bears. Just envision the gear you’ll be taking with you, either to prepare an area for future hunting, to set up your stand, or on the actual hunt, then ask yourself if you have enough room on your ATV racks to carry it all. If not, consider getting a pull-behind trailer that attaches to a hitch on your ATV.
ATV storage box
If you don’t have an ATV storage box on the front or back of your ATV, you’ll want to seriously consider getting one for hunting because you need somewhere to store your ammunition, rain gear, emergency kit, ATV tire repair kit, tools, water bottles, binoculars, flashlights, and snacks. A waterproof storage bin can provide protection against rain and snow, giving you a reliable way to keep clothing, non-waterproof electronics, and other items, like your wallet, dry. You’ll need to decide between a hard side case and a soft cargo pack, which is generally less expensive and easier to install, while still providing lots of storage space. Zip-up fender bags are another option. Since they usually attach to the backside of front fenders, they provide extra storage on the sides of your ATV so you’re not taking up valuable space on your racks or in your rack boxes.
ATV safety lights
For hunting, you may need more flexible lighting capabilities than you’ll find on most ATVs, which are often fixed direction lights, though some ATVs have handlebar lights that move according to the position of the handlebars. Lights will especially come in handy if you find yourself searching for a lost hunting buddy at night, searching for dropped or wounded game after dusk, or navigating difficult terrain on your way back to deer camp after dark. (Of course, spotlighting and hunting game after dark is illegal.) LED headlights and LED light bars will illuminate the trail in front of you, rear-facing back-up lights can be helpful for loading gear and backing up on tight trails, and installing a moveable searchlight, either manual or motorized, can give you after-dark flexibility that could make your hunting life easier.
ATV muffler silencer
Whether or not you need a muffler silencer depends in large part on where you’ll be hunting. Especially in heavily forested or mountainous areas, a loud ATV can make game scarce, but if you’re hunting in farm country, the game may be somewhat used to the sound of farm equipment being used. Another consideration is that newer ATVs and UTVs tend to be quieter than older model ATVs, but perhaps not quiet enough, depending on the hunting situation. All ATVs have combustion engines, which simply are not quiet engines. You can get a muffler silencer for your specific model or a universal fit design. It’s quite possible you can install a muffler silencer in less than 10 minutes as long as you don’t have to fabricate mounting brackets.
These are just a few of the considerations you have when you’re outfitting your ATV or UTV for hunting. Of course, there are many others, including emergency supplies like first aid kits, tire patch kits and tool kits, GPS systems, phones and communication systems, as well as personal equipment like helmets, goggles, gloves and socks.
We also haven’t mentioned tires. The right set of ATV tires can make an enormous difference in your machines’ off-road capabilities. Here at Treadworld, we have the ATV tires you need for all your off-roading, hunting adventures. Our Master ATV Tires and Master UTV Tires are the high performance tires you want to keep you moving and safe, made from top quality rubber compounds, triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect, and covered by our Ultimate Advantage Lifetime Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have, and to get the ideal Master ATV tires for you.