The whitetail deer are calling and depending where you live it's time to get your ATV or UTV ready for hunting season. To help you get started, we've put a little shopping list together of things you and your machine can use.
The items listed below might not be exactly what every hunter needs, but this will give the first timer something to think about. When shopping for items to add to the hunting fold for the ATV/UTV, these 10 items are worth remembering.
Garmin 655T GPS Two Way Radio
In the wild of nature you always want to know just where you are. Not only would you want to be able to roam free without worrying about getting lost, but you may also want to contact other hunters in the area to keep yourself from becoming the hunted. With the Garmin 655T ($599.99) you have many options to not only keep yourself on the right track, but you can even get weather alerts so youíre not caught in the storm. Visit Garmin.com for more information.
Kolpin Gun Boot
When hunting with a rifle or shotgun the last thing you want to do is to expose the weapon to the elements when driving to or from the stand or blind. The use of a Kolpin gun boot will keep your hunting rifle dry and safe from dirt or mud that might get flung up by the tires on your ride. Kolpin also offers a really nice padded liner in some of its gun boots to keep the weapon from bouncing around inside the plastic carrier. With features like lockable covers your firearm will be safe at camp as well. Visit Kolpin.com for more information.
Under Armor Camouflage Gear
Getting your ATV or UTV covered in Camouflage is one way to disguise it in the woods, but what about yourself? Hiding from the game you are hunting is always a task. Blending into the surrounding foliage and brush will sometimes allow the curious turkey or deer to pass you byÖprovided you are really still! Having quality hunting wear and protective gear keeps you comfortable in the conditions on the hunt. Under Armor has a full line of quality moisture wicking camouflage gear as well as pullover fleece jerseys that not only work great but keep you warm in the winter months as well. Visit UnderArmour.com for more information.
Rack-Mounted Gear Bag
Going to the hunting woods means you will have a few items to carry with you. Yamaha, like most other manufacturers, has a line of rack bags and hard boxes for its ATV/UTV offerings. The fabric rack bag has heavy-duty zippers, a large storage area inside with small zippered pockets in the top. There is also a sealed map bag on the outside top of the gear bag. The quick connect latch system on the carry all allows quick and easy mounting and with the large carry handle on the front you can just unlatch the bag and toss it in the truck after the hunt. Itís always good to have a place to put your stuff. Visit Yamaha-Motor.com/Outdoor for more information.
Helmet and Goggles
Wearing a helmet anytime you get on an ATV or in a UTV is most definitely a priority. Using a quality DOT or Snell approved helmet is also something to consider. The certifications on helmets means that they have been tested to withstand impacts that could be life threatening and you want to make sure you make it back to camp to show your buddies the dayís take. Using goggles is also a great way to protect your eyes. While riding through the woods in the early morning heading out to your favorite spot you donít want to have a branch or even a small bug get in your eyes and make it hard to aim for the prize game.
Hunting happens primarily in the colder months down south so riding in a UTV at 5:30 in the morning to get in your blind can be very chilly. One way to keep from freezing before you get there is to add a windshield to your UTV. A plexiglass windshield not only blocks the blowing wind, but it can redirect the rain or snow as well. Choosing a windshield that either folds in half for hotter days or is just a fixed piece of shielding is entirely up to the hunter and his/her region. We prefer an option that allows us the opportunity to do either one. Even though this may be a little more expensive, it really gives the riders a lot of versatility. This full windshield for the Kawsaki Teryx4 retails for $399.95. Visit Kawasaki.com for more information.
Polar HD 1200 Game Trailer
Getting to the blind or stand is relatively easy, but if you are the lucky dog in the camp and score a great trophy buck you might feel like you have fought the devil getting it back unless you have a good game trailer. The Polar HD 1200 utility trailer ($399.99) has many features that make it a good choice, including a dump bed. The lever action allows the bed to dump the cargo and the bed/body of the trailer is plastic so it is easily cleaned up afterwards. The high sides on our HD1200 are add-ons that really help in the off-season by carrying seed and materials needed to build our food plots. Itís a must have for the working hunter. Visit ClamOutdoors.com for more information.
There are many choices for lighting and when traveling around the property whether its early morning or late evening we have found you really need an auxiliary light source to see where you might need too. Having a handheld or ATV/UTV rack mounted light to scan potential fields or just to see where you thought you left the stand is great. The fact that the Moose Utilities spotlight ($49.95) is portable make this product even better as you can spin it around 360 degrees on the stand and point it in any direction or simply direct it in one position for the ride. This 12-volt light simply hardwires to the battery and it is internally switched at the lamp. Visit MooseUtilities.com for more information.
Ok, so youíve gotten in a sticky situation and your out in the wild acreage at camp with no help around. The ATV or UTV you are riding in is deep in the nasty mud or possibly just high centered on a bank and you have no way to get out. This is where a Viper winch from High Lifter products is going to be your saving grace. The Viper line has been proven in the muddiest mud and if it can work there then you have no worries. With a winch mounted on the front of your ATV or UTV you always have a way out. Just remember to always have a back-up plan and include a winch in the list. Visit HighLifter.com for more information.
There is no replacement for a great group of hunting buddies. Having someone around camp to share the experience with is always fun and if you happen to get the biggest or best game before the rest of the group then you have a little bragging room as well. Hunting with a group, whether it be you and the wife or kids or a camp full of rowdy buddies, makes you feel safe knowing someone is aware that you are out and will go looking should you not return. So try it out just like I did and you may become next yearís newest hunter!
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