All-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) have become perhaps the most essential tool in all big-game hunting pursuits in North America. They are utilized in every aspect of hunting for such things as scouting, trail exploration, tree stand/hunting blind travel and game retrieval, while offering improved access to any dense wilderness areas. Those enthusiasts who pursue moose, deer, bear or other large game understand how the ubiquitous ATV, along with a myriad of great accessories, make for a more comprehensive hunt every time!

Off-road advantage

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The advantages of using ATV’s for hunting greatly outweigh the disadvantages. The first advantage is the ability to a vast territory in a short period of time.  Biggane hunters can commute from tree-stand locations, cruise rough forest trails in almost any condition, and today’s off-road vehicles will go virtually anywhere. I use my ATV’s to haul game, gear and copious hunting partners to, and from, our hunting areas. All my gang’s harvested whitetail deer are transported this way.

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These specialized machines have the power to transport hunting gear and complete such tasks as hauling firewood, or packing out game animals. ATV’s are powerful machines, geared for work and more than strong enough to do the job. Sure, the 4X4 pickup truck still has its place in hunting, but there are many backwoods trails throughout North America where trucks simply cannot go, and ATV’s flourish.

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Travel time during the average hunting day is greatly reduced, thus improving safety by not having to walk-out of a hunting location after dark. With an ATV, you remain at your tree-stand longer thereby increasing your chance of seeing (& harvesting) big-game. When scouting new territory with a map or GPS, ATV’s makes short work of covering ground.

ATV Hunting Attachments

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As the popularity of ATV’s for big hunting grew, so too did the availability of attachments and accessories. The first accessory introduced for hunting in the 1970’s was the classic Kolpin gun boot – a hard-shell attachment for transporting firearms, mounted on an ATV at various locations. The gun boot has proven to be one of the most versatile attachments available today.

Source: Kolpin

Many ATV accessories are available to attach to a 4-wheeler and used on a big game hunting trip. There are two-way radio attachments and GPS mounting cases available by Ram Mounts; for extended use during a hunting trip. The new bikes now have ample storage space and all the power a hunter could ever need, for zooming up a steep incline or hauling a moose out of rough terrain. With a trailer hitched to it, an ATV can pack-out most wild game and copious hunting equipment with little effort.

Source: Ram Mounts

Warn ATV Winch

Source: Warn

Most 4-wheelers today come equipped with a winch system for pulling yourself out of a jam. Warn ATV winch’s like the AXON 35-S feature Spydura synthetic rope instead of braided cable, with a capacity of 3500 pounds. These modern winches are easily capable of pulling any off-road vehicle out of mud or snow. They are also great for hoisting large game into position on a game pole or other tasks around camp.

Wildlife friendly

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Along with the multitude of uses already identified, all-terrain vehicles have another lessor known advantage which may surprise you. The presence of ATV’s is so well accepted that animals are accustomed to the sight, and sound of an ATV travelling the bush. Motoring into the backwoods on a 4-wheeler has clear advantage over traveling on foot, since resident big-game are generally less wary of a hunter on an ATV, than one on foot. This phenomenon in seen in areas of forestry work where the drone of a large tree-skidder does little to offend nearby game. ATV’s can quickly slip through the woods into hunting position without really disturbing moose, deer or black bears in the area. I have seen myself!

Final Word

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If you have not yet purchased an all-terrain vehicle for your big-game hunting needs, you must look into it. I would never consider moose or deer hunting at my mountain hunt camp without one, or perhaps two, trusty ATV’s.

For more information on big-game hunting, read this feature on field aging deer and moose.