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I am considering an ATV purchase in the near future and right now I am leaning towards a side by side over a standard size machine. For all you who use ATV's out west for hunting or just having some fun, are there any major restrictions I need to be concerned about? I don't need great detail, just whether it is too restrictive in a lot of cases with the wider side by sides or not vs a standard size machine.
I like being able to haul a partner, a dump box for hauling and plenty of towing power to tow a wheeled fish house. I live in MN so only a small percentage of time would it be used out of state; if I even brought it out at all. I like the hike in/out kinda thing anyway for my elk hunts and generally tend to avoid ATV areas but who knows what's in my future. Thanks for any information you can share! TODDY
I hunt in areas that have ATV restrictions such that you can ride in to hunt but must camp overnight. No day hunting. I’d say that rule stops 60% of the hunters. Better than nothing. Just do some research on the area you want to use them. Since I hunt alone often, this works great so so can park my truck in a safe spot down low, ride in, hike in and hunt without worrying about getting out. Saves my truck from too much abuse.
I didn’t go with a side by side due to their size, cost and times I would have a passenger. Anyway, as far as ATV recommendations I recommend the Yamaha Grizzly 700 with power steering. Been very happy with mine.
There are width restrictions on some atv trails that won't let you take anything wider than 50". This would restrict you to a smaller side by side like a Polaris RZR.
I knew some areas have the width restrictions. Is that a small or large percentage of the trails?
I'd add on about the width restrictions too. My bro's ATV has two seats front/back so it can carry two people and still be narrow. Maybe that is an option???
i have both - well actually three.
i have a 1999 honda fourtrax 300 - my favorite ATV Ever - air cooled and bullet proof i use it 8-10 times a year - usually throw it in the back of the pick up for road trips - i'll never get rid of this ATV
i have a 2010 Polaris Electric ranger that i use for hunting, trail cam checking, hanging stands - its good for that - but not good for farm work or food plots -
I have a yamaha Rhino 660 side by side - this is my food plot and farm work ATV and its perfect for that - lots of power plenty of storage and dependable.
If i was going to get just one New ATV - it would be the Honda pioneer side by side - or the Kawasaki Mule. side by sides are just more comfortable and easier to operate than an atv. if your set on a Four Wheeler - i would look for something in the 350cc-500cc range with as few bells and whistles as possible.
I will add a consideration - for simple hunting transport when you are not towing or carrying much; I prefer a very small 4 wheeler. They are so much more nimble, you can move them if they get stuck, easier to load.... They are not good for food plots or hauling much stuff. ATVs are like swiss army knives, boats and deer stands. There are some that do everything but they don't do everything well. I have a 250 Yamaha I got for my kids when they were younger that I have all but taken over. I look like a praying mantis sitting on that little 4 wheeler, but it is so much more capable in dense woods than a bigger machine.
This is great stuff, thank you for all of the input!
The Honda pioneer 500 is a side by side that meets the width restrictions mentioned. I think that is my next atv purchase unless there is something I have not heard about them.
The 500 Pioneer is one I have considered and have not ruled out.
I'm with CANDOR. I have a Kawasaki 220. It's 2 wheel drive (which is my ONLY regret as it doesn't do well in snow greater than say 5-8 inches unless I'm just horsing around on it). I put a winch on it from Harbor freight which helps me out from time to time, but generally I can lift it up and over things/logs/rocks because of it's size. I've had this since 99 and I can say bulletproof for sure. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles but it does some serious work for me. I do light foodplot work (drag harrow, haul in seed/lime, etc.). Drags a deer or it will go on the rack if I can get it up there. Aside from the winch, the only money that I've put into it was add a new set of rear tires a few years back.
I have a silverado with a truck cap. The cap is slightly taller than the roof (like 4-5") and that actually allows me to get the ATV in the truck bed and under the cap with room to spare! So I can still throw in a cooler, gas can, chain saw, or whatever else. Plus it's all locked up. And leaves room for passengers in the seats.
A friend of mine (he was 70+) died when his ATV rolled over on him and he couldn't push it off. Hell of a way to go for sure. I think of that as I've rolled this thing over me a couple times in the years that I've had it (doing some dumb stuff). I hunt alone at my property and the only way anyone would know that I was in trouble would be if I missed my designated contact time with my wife (she would be 90 minutes away and have no real idea of exactly where I am but I leave a note and a map on the table in my cabin - JUST IN CASE).
The Honda Pioneer 500 is bulletproof but it is a bit of a dog power wise. If you don't need much in the way of power and are just going back and forth elk hunting or maybe hauling some gear and hopefully elk quarters then you'll be good to go. You better like the buddy you are riding with as well. I looked at one really hard but ended up going with the Honda 700-4 Pioneer. Love it so far.
Like someone above said, there is not greatest for everything.
I had an older Ranger for 7 years and loved it. And I just replaced it with a newer Ranger 1000 XP. It does everything I need and more.
The places I've hunted out west (New Mexico, Northern Nevada, Bighorn Mountains WY, White Mountains in AZ) have not had width restrictions.
If I just wanted it for western hunts, I'd get a Rzr 570 or 900. They are 50" wide. But not much hauling capability. And not as easy to jump in and out of.
But I needed something that would work at home for hauling and other chores. I also needed multiple seats because my daughter is my shadow outside a lot of the time. Ranger is VERY safe I feel for kids. She's 7 and drives the thing around in low gear all the time.
Good luck. It's really fun to shop around. There are a LOT of choices anymore
Thanks Brotsky for the Honda pioneer 500 thumbs up. The power issue will not be a problem unless top speed with 2 hunters is inadequate. I had a 2001 foreman that developed a transmission repair that cost more than the machine was worth so I junked it. The machine did not own me a dime. I pulled discs and had it in places no atv should venture. I lean towards the pioneer 500 as it fits in my pickup bed if I do not want to pull a trailer.