A serious hunter can find near year-round use for an ATV. You know the deal. Planting food plots, hanging stands, hauling gear to camp and pulling that monster buck out of the woods are just a few of the chores an ATV makes easier and more enjoyable. To get the most out of your ATV for hunting, some cool accessories are worth having.
Four-wheelers have come a long way in the last decade. With top-of-the-line models now pushing 1000cc and costing upwards of $10,000, some of these off-road vehicles cost more than the trucks guys are using to pull them to camp. The accessory market has followed suit, and exploded with offerings to help hunters with every task. These goodies will help turn your ATV into one cool hunting machine.
The first piece of gear to add to any ATV destined for the deer woods is a winch. A winch is good for so much more than pulling you out of the mud. Any time you need to move something, like a fallen tree across a trail, a winch can help you do it. Another out-of-the-box application for a winch is running the cable over a meat pole and hoisting your deer up for skinning and butchering.Winch
Rear boxes with a seat in the center offer protected, waterproof storage and a comfortable place for a passenger to sit. Weather is always an issue in the outdoors. You need a safe place to store electronics, like your phone or GPS. Enclosed molded boxes allow for worry-free storage of such items. It’s also a great place to store a small tool kit for flat tires and the like. Ask anyone who has cracked their tailbone on a rear rack if a comfortable seat is an important accessory, and the answer is always yes.Rear Molded Box Seat
For quick access to items you need to keep secure, an ATV front bag is the answer. Rain gear, ropes, gloves, a flashlight and more can all have a permanent home in a front bag. Front bags are also nice for transporting small game, like rabbits and ducks, out of the field in a protected environment. (Many are compatible for use on either the front or rear rack.)Front Bag
Noise can be a limiting factor when it comes to ATV use. You don’t want to ride a loud machine into your hunting area and possibly alert game of your presence. A number of manufacturers produce muffler attachments to help reduce the noise of ATVs. These simply slip over the exhaust system and reduce ATV noise by up to 50 percent.
Look around at old ATVs and you’ll quickly notice that seats are one of the first things to go. As seats age, they crack and tear. Protect your seat for the long-haul with a seat cover. Choose a Realtree pattern to add extra style to your hunting rig.
Don’t struggle with hauling a deer on your front or rear rack. Complete your ATV outfit with a strong and durable trailer. I have a Polar trailer myself, and couldn’t live without it. At all times of the year, you’ll have gear to haul in this most useful accessory. Dead deer, duck decoys, treestands and firewood are just a few examples. Extend the height of the sides with a side rack, and keep gear secure and protected with a cover.Trailer
The last thing you want to do is sling mud all over your gear in the trailer behind you. Installing extended mud flaps will help keep your gear clean and in proper working order. Plus, the mud flaps give you another cool spot to put a Realtree sticker.
Secure your gun or bow in a forked rack in front of you to keep an eye on it and to have quick access. Select a cushioned rack system with clamps to lock your gear in place and to protect it from scratching or being knocked around. Mount your rack behind the front bag to offer greater protection. Be sure to choose the proper mounting system to install on either your tubular or composite rack.
Riding an ATV during winter in most parts of the country is a cold experience. A windshield system with handguards will help keep you warmer by deflecting bitter cold air from your face, body and hands. It will also help you see if riding in the rain. During food plot season, it’ll keep you from swallowing any unwanted snacks in the form of bugs while on the trail.Windshield System with Handguards
Having tough, durable tires is extremely important. You are going to be riding over rocks and logs and through mud. Your tires must be able to hold up under the harshest conditions. You don’t want to blow a tire when you’re out hunting. Don’t skimp. Buy the best, longest lasting ones you can afford and be sure to check them each time before heading out for an adventure.Tires
The last thing you want to do is bang your gun against something while riding your ATV and possibly knock your scope off or worse. A gun boot mounted on the side of your ATV ensures your firearm will have safe passage to and from your hunting area. Make sure to purchase a gun boot with a strong exterior shell and heavy interior padding.
Of course, spotlights are illegal in most hunting applications, so you must use your best judgment as to when is or is not the proper time to turn one. If you have a weapon with you, leave it off. However, if you are returning to the field to pick up a downed animal, or you are searching for a lost hunting partner, then a mounted spotlight is a valuable tool.Spotlight
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