With hunting season already started for most archers and rifle season coming up fast, it’s time to hone your bugling skills, clean your rifle or sharpen your broad heads, and load up that ATV. Whether you’re hunting for that elusive buck, bull elk, or black bear, if you’re using an ATV this hunting season to get to your favorite hunting spot, there’s a few things you might want to read before heading out this season. Review our ATV hunting guide to make sure you and your ATV make the best of the big hunt this season.
It’s crucial to have a properly working ATV when you head up to the high country. The last thing you need in the back country is problems with your ATV. Here’s a short checklist to review before loading the quad up in your truck.
- Make sure you check all fluids are topped off (brake, differential, coolant) and grease your suspension zerks
- If you’re close to oil change time, change it for peace of mind.
- Check tires for wear, damage, and proper air pressure
- Check differential fluids
- Check chain (if equipped) and sprockets for slack and signs of wear
- Make sure your brakes don’t squeal (Sure way to scare off animals)
As a hunter, you know anything can happen while in the woods including severe weather, break downs, injuries, equipment failure, sickness, and getting lost. By packing the right gear with you, you can help to make sure these situations are just a mild annoyance instead of a life threatening emergency.
- Pack a first aid kit and include some common medicine you may need in the field such as ibuprofen, allergy medicine, and antibiotic ointment
- ATV tool kit that includes screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, pliers, spark plug wrench, extra spark plug, duct tape, zip ties, spare fuses, flat tire kit, and wire.
- GPS, extra flashlight and batteries, flare, emergency blanket, water purification tablets or pump, waterproof map, compass, firestarter and lighter
- While not a necessity, having an ATV winch can be a real life saver if you get into a sticky situation or if you need help moving or hanging a heavy animal.
Hunting Responsibly with an ATV
While ATVs are a great tool to get into the back country and for hauling out harvested game, they can give hunters a bad name if not operated responsibly and respectfully. By following a few guidelines, you can set a good example to the public and those around you who also use ATVs for hunting.
- Drive into your hunting area before shooting light and keep on foot to avoid scaring off game and increase your chances
- Only use trails that are designated for ATV or OHV use. (check local regulations and maps) Keep in mind that some trails are closed during specific times of the year.
- Keep your weapon unloaded and in a secure case while riding the ATV to avoid damaging it. It is also required by law in most states. (Check your states ATV hunting regulations)
- Do not trespass on private land
- If you harvest an animal, drag the animal to the trail instead of driving off the trail with your ATV to get the animal
- Be respectful of other hunters
- Avoid marshy or muddy areas that can easily be damaged by ATV tires and keep your impact on the land to a minimum
We hope we shed some light on how to be prepared for your hunt this season and how to properly make use of an ATV. If you have any suggestions for hunting with an ATV this year, or if we missed anything, please write them in the comment section below. All of us at GearHead wish you a successful hunt this year!