Hunting ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) have evolved significantly over the last decade, and in doing so, have changed the way hunters target and hunt their prey forever. Now, it is possible to cover hundreds of miles of extreme terrain and hunt areas that were previously inaccessible, all this while hauling your hunting gear and cargo.
These extraordinary vehicles can tow over 1000 pounds, so getting your kill back to camp is a breeze. Hunting ATVs also allow our senior citizens and the disabled to get out there and hunt with the rest of us, having to walk for miles over rough terrain would be extremely tough for these hunters, so it is great that they are still able to get out there and enjoy a hunt.
Living off the grid has become popular in recent years, with numerous guys living in some of the most remote and harshest environments on the planet. Choosing the best Hunting ATV is imperative for a successful hunt, but in some cases, it can vital for survival. So how do you find the best Hunting ATV?
How to Find the Best Hunting ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle)
All-Terrain Vehicles are excellent hunting vehicles that allow you to cover more ground and harsh terrain than ever before while hauling all your heavy hunting gear and cargo. Often the excitement of purchasing a Hunting ATV can lead us to purchase on a whim, and subsequently make the incorrect purchase. To avoid this below is a 5 step guide to buying the best hunting ATV:
- Be patient before making your purpose. Avoid entering a Hunting ATV Dealership and buying the first ATV that has been shown to you. Salesmen or sales ladies might be incentivized to sell a certain brand or model, and in some cases, will tell you what they think they want you to hear. Hunting ATVs do not have the best resale value and simultaneously might be difficult to resell.
- Ask as many questions as possible, and do as much research as possible. Once you have an ATV or shortlist of machines that you are interested in, take your time to find find out as much information as you possibly can. Check for any manufacturer’s recalls or any recurring model issues. Read forums online, there is a wealth of information straight from the consumers, and can be helpful to track problems and reliability issues.
- Do not let the excitement get the better of you and be realistic with your requirements, do not pay for functions or accessories that you may not need. Set a realistic budget for the ATV determined by the information you have received, and stick to it.
- Identify the terrain and environments you intend to hunt and the type of off-roading that you will be doing. If you intend to hunt varying environments, you may want to consider a more powerful ATV. It is important to keep a few horse-power in reserve. Traveling through thick mud or ascending steep hills can take its toll on your ATV.
- Consider maintenance and the cost implications that come with it, do not put yourself in a position where you have purchased an ATV but cannot afford to maintain it. Be aware of aftermarket parts and their availability. Purchasing a Hunting ATV from a reputable manufacturer ensures parts availability, quality, customer service, and after-sales service.
Is it a Good Idea to Purchase a Second-Hand Hunting ATV?
In some cases, it can be a good idea to purchase a second-hand ATV, especially if you know the history of the vehicle. If you happen to be familiar with the owner and know that the ATV has been properly maintained, it can often lead to a good purchase and save you loads of cash.
It is also a good idea to purchase a second-hand Hunting ATV if you are new to the sport with limited hunting experience. If the bug bites and you enjoy hunting with an ATV, gain some experience and upgrade to a bigger and better Hunting ATV in a year or two.
There are times when making a private purchase can save you loads of cash. If you are patient and wait for the right deal, you can purchase an excellent Hunting ATV at a reduced price.
Where Can You Purchase Second-Hand Hunting ATVs?
If you are in the market for a decent second-hand Hunting ATV, I suggest heading down to the local ATV club to chat with the members.
These ATV enthusiasts have direct access to the second-hand market and will point you in the right direction, if not to the perfect second-hand hunting ATV. They are also more inclined to give you valuable and accurate information, as they are enthusiasts and want to see the sport grow.
Purchasing a second-hand ATV from a Dealer is always a good idea, dealers often have new and used Hunting ATVs, that are serviced and repaired by qualified technicians. Buying from a Dealer often comes with a hefty price tag but there is significantly less risk. All vehicles purchased from dealers are offered with an extended manufacturer’s warranty for peace of mind. Dealers also offer finance options to ease the financial pain.
If you are purchasing online, there are hundreds of websites dedicated to the sales of second-hand ATVs and Hunting ATVs, each of them comes with a degree of risk, you must be extremely careful when making purchases. Facebook MarketPlace, atvtrader, and eBay Motors are great sites to check for a used ATV, but the most used website to source second-hand hunting ATVs is Craigslist.
How to Get the Most Value for Your Money When Purchasing a Hunting ATV
When purchasing a second-hand Hunting ATV, there are three steps to ensure you get the most value for your money:
Do Not go Too Big When Making Your Purchase
Essentially all ATV models are similar except for the size of the engine, some aesthetic upgrades and electronic features. As the engine size of the Hunting ATV increases, so does the price tag, so its a good idea to settle for a smaller-engine Hunting ATV. You will still be able to go and hunt where the big engines go and simultaneously save yourself a substantial amount of cash.
The Base Model is Good Enough
There is a significant price difference between the base model and the top-of-the-range model. Regardless of who the manufacturer may be. We all would like to have the latest and greatest Hunting ATV with all the bells and whistles, but starting on a base model is fine, it will get you to where you need to go, and will save you a lot of cash.
Buy a Well-Maintained Second-Hand Hunting ATV
Purchasing a second hand will allow you to get an ATV with a bigger engine and more electronic features, than a new model for the same price. Sure there will be some mileage and wear and tear, but if you can be patient and wait for the right deal, it can be excellent value for money.
What About Insurance?
Purchasing a Hunting ATV can be a substantial financial investment. Keeping in mind that you may be traveling over extreme terrain and that your vehicle will be exposed to the elements, it may be a good idea to consider insurance.
Some State Parks and conservations require by law that your Hunting ATV be insured if you want to access those areas. Most insurance companies will gladly insure your vehicle with Hunting ATVs falling into the motorcycle category. Fortunately for us, off-road vehicles have significantly lower premiums than on-road vehicles and on-road motorcycles.
Maintaining your Hunting ATV
Lack of proper maintenance is the main contributor to ATV problems and failures. Properly maintaining your ATV will give you years of reliable, stress-free driving and will save you money in the long run.
If you purchase a new Hunting ATV, you must stick to the service manual. The service manual will indicate when your ATV needs a service. You must adhere to this to retain your manufacturers’ warranty.
If you have an older model ATV that happens to be out of warranty, you can easily do some maintenance yourself. A basic service once a year will do wonders for your vehicle. Change the spark plug/s, fuel filter, air filter, oil filter, and engine oil. If you have limited mechanical experience, then you can consult YouTube.
There are numerous tutorials available. Specialized parts such as drive belts, carburetors, brakes, and engine components, should always be replaced by a qualified technician.
If you happen to identify a faulty component, you must replace it or have it replaced as soon as possible. Don’t wait. When it comes to Hunting ATVs and off-road vehicles in general, small problems can quickly escalate to big problems. Paying attention to the small faults can eliminate the chance extensive damage to engine and vehicle.
Related: Best Ways to Clean an ATV Engine
The Top 5 Hunting ATVs
Below is a list of some of the top 5 hunting ATVs available today:
Kawasaki Brute Force 750 EPS
The Kawasaki Brute Force lives up to its name and delivers immense power from an excellent 749 cc liquid-cooled engine. Made from premium materials and using the latest technology, it is an excellent hunting ATV. The EPS (Electronic Power Steering) makes maneuvering this beast a dream and it offers high levels of control and stability.
- Engine: V-Twin, SOHC (Single Overhead Cam), liquid-cooled, Four Stroke Engine
- Displacement:749 cc (Cubic Centimeters)
- Maximum Torque: 42.7 lb/ft at 4750 Rpm
- Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
- Bore and Stroke: 85.0 x 66.0mm
- Ignition: Digital DC-CDI
- Transmission: Automatic CVT (H,L,N,R)
- Fuel System: DFI with two 36mm throttle bodies
- Final Drive: Selectable 2WD/4WD with variable control front differential lock
The front brakes feature Dual Hydraulic 176 mm discs with dual-piston calipers. The rear brakes feature sealed oil-bathed, multi-disc with an independent park brake.
The front suspension features a double-wishbone design with 6.7 inches of wheel travel. The rear suspension features a double-wishbone design with 7.5 inches of wheel travel. The ground clearance is 9.4 inches and the wheelbase is 50.6 inches.
The overall length of the Kawasaki Brute Force 750 EPS is 86.4 inches. The overall width is 46.5 inches, the overall height is 48.0 inches, with a seat height of 35.8 inches.
The Kawasaki Brute Force offers an impressive towing capacity, and can easily tow 1250 pounds with a 242-pound total rack capacity.
Pros and Cons of the Kawasaki Brute Force 750
- Powerful 749 cc Kawasaki Engine
- Outstanding acceleration
- Electronic Power Steering
- Quality Automatic Transmission (H, L, N, R)
- Corrosion on the connectors
- Drive Belt slipping
- Radiator fan can stop working suddenly
Polaris Sportsman 570 Ultimate Trail le Model
The excellent Trail le Model is an upgrade to the Polaris Sportsman 570 Ultimate. It is packed full of the latest features, such as arched arms, seals bushings, LED on both upper and lower lights, and remarkable ride control. Polaris has a reputation for quality and reliability, this 570 Ultimate Trail de Model is the toughest and most robust to date.
- Engine Type: Liquid Cooled, Pro Star four-stroke, DOHC (Double Overhead Cam) Single Cylinder
- Displacement: 567 ccs (Cubic Centimeters)
- Maximum Torque: N/A
- Compression Ratio: N/A
- Bore and Stroke: N/A
- Ignition: Electric
- Transmission: Automatic PVT (L,H,N,R,P)
- Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection
- Final Drive: On-Demand True AWD (All Wheel Drive)/2WD (Two Wheel Drive)
This ATV features an excellent braking system, the system is gentle, responsive, and gives you confidence at high speeds. The front brakes feature hydraulic single discs, and the rear brakes feature hydraulic single discs.
The front suspension is designed to tackle extreme terrain and features a MacPherson Strut and coil-over design, and offers 8.2 inches of suspension travel. The rear suspension features a Unique Dual A-Arm design and allows for 9.5 inches of suspension travel.
The Polaris Sportsman 570 Trail de Model is fitted with 25×8-12 P373, 6-Ply. The front tires measure 25×8-12, and the rear tires measure 25×10-12.
The overall length of the Polaris Sportsman 570 Trail de Model is 83.0 inches. The overall width is 48.0 inches, the overall height is 48.0 inches, with a seat height of 33.7 inches. The ground clearance is 11.0 inches, and the wheelbase is 50.5 inches. The Polaris Sportsman 570 Trail de Model has an overall weight of 729.7 pounds.
Although the engine may be smaller than others in this category, it is a powerful and reliable engine that will get you to where you need to be. It features a 270lb rack capacity with an impressive 1350 lb towing capacity.
Pros and Cons of the Polaris Sportsman 570 Model de Trail
- 1350 lb Towing Capacity
- Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
- Automatic PVT transmission (H, L, N, R)
- On-Demand True AWD (All Wheel Drive)/2WD (Two Wheel Drive)
- Great value for money
- Nice 567 cc engine, but being on the heavier ATVs around, extra power would be nice
Honda Fourtrax Foreman Rubicon 4×4 EPS
Hondas are notorious for quality, innovation, and being reliable. The Honda Foreman Rubicon 4×4 EPS is well-built, practical, powerful, and made to last. It is a comfortable ATV, with a firm yet comfortable suspension. Every Rubicon ATV comes with an independent rear suspension (IRS) for a luxurious ride and high levels of safety.
EPS (Electronic Power Steering) makes clearing muddy swamps and climbing rocks and boulders effortless. The Honda Fourtrax Foreman Rubicon 4x4x EPS offers a choice between the Honda Automatic DCT transmission and a five-speed plus reverse manual transmission.
- Engine: Longitudinally mounted, OHV (Overhead Cam), liquid-cooled, Single-Cylinder four-stroke
- Displacement: 518 ccs (Cubic Centimeters)
- Maximum Torque: 28 lb/ft at 5000 RPM
- Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
- Bore and Stroke: 92.0mm x 71.5mm
- Ignition: Fully Transistorized
- Transmission: Automatic 5-Speed with reverse
- Fuel System: Carburettor. Keihin 36mm throttle body)
- Final Drive: Honda TraxLok® allows for 2WD (Two-Wheel Drive), 4WD (Four-Wheel Drive), and 4WD with locking differential to be engaged electronically by simply pushing the engage button.
The braking system on the Fourtrax Foreman is up there with the best of them. The front brakes feature heavy-duty 190mm hydraulic discs, the rear brakes feature 170mm hydraulic discs.
The Honda Fourtrax Foreman comes standard with TRX500FM2 Mud Lite XI tires. The front tires measure 25×8-12 and the rear tires measure 25×10-12.
The front suspension features an Independent double-wishbone design with 7.28 inches of suspension travel. The rear suspension features a wonderful Independent dual-arm design with 8.46 inches of travel. The overall ground clearance is 9.4 inches, and the wheelbase is 51 inches. The Honda Fourtrax Foreman 4×4 EPS has an overall weight of 700 pounds.
The overall length of the Honda Fourtrax Foreman 4×4 EPS is 84.5 inches, the overall width is 47.4 inches, the overall height is 48.6 inches, with a seat height of 35.8 inches. The ground clearance is 34.2 inches, with a wheelbase of 50 inches. The overall weight of the Honda Fourtrax Foreman 4×4 EPS is 636 pounds.
The 517 ccs (Cubic Centimeter) engine has loads of grunt for its size and can tow up to 1322 pounds. The front rack capacity is 99 pounds and the rear rack capacity is 187 pounds.
Pros and Cons of the Honda Fourtrax Foreman 4 x4 EPS
- Excellent Hunting ATV from Honda
- Longitudinally mounted, OHV (Overhead Cam), liquid-cooled, Single-Cylinder four-stroke engine
- Automatic transmission with five gears
- Small, light-weight and maneuverable
- Excellent Fuel Consumption
- Extremely reliable
- Great value for money
- Can at times feel underpowered due to the small 518 cc engine
- Aftermarket spares can be tough to find
- No 12v socket
Yamaha Grizzly EPS
Yamaha has been producing quality products for over 130 years, whether it is a marine engine, motocross bike, snowmobile, jet-ski, or a hunting ATV, you can be sure of quality, performance, and reliability.
The Yamaha Grizzly EPS features one of the most advanced 4×4 suspensions allowing you to conquer extreme terrain and go further than you could ever have imagined. Combined with Electronic Power Steering and a powerful 686 cc Yamaha engine, it is an outstanding Hunting ATV that will give you years of service and driving pleasure.
- Engine: Liquid-cooled, SOHC (Single Overhead Cam), single-cylinder, four-stroke
- Displacement: 686 ccs (Cubic Centimeters)
- Maximum Torque: N/A
- Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
- Bore and Stroke: 102.0mm x 84.0mm
- Ignition: TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition)
- Transmission: Yamaha Ultramatic V-Belt with all-wheel engine braking and an automatic clutch (H, L, N, R, P)
- Fuel System: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) with a 44mm throttle body
- Final Drive: Unique On-Command 3-way locking differential with 2WD (Two-Wheel Drive), 4WD (Four-Wheel Drive), and locked 4WD
The Yamaha Grizzly EPS features an excellent hydraulic braking system designed to keep you safe, particularly when loaded. The front brakes are equipped with Dual Hydraulic Discs, and the rear brakes are equipped with Dual Hydraulic Discs.
The Grizzly EPS comes standard with premium tires from Maxxis. The front tires measure AT26x8-12 (Part Number MU05Y). The rear tires measures AT26x10-12 (Part Number MU06Y)
The Grizzly EPS features a remarkable suspension that keeps you safe and comfortable, but it also allows for a unique preload adjustment. The front suspension features an Independent double-wishbone with an anti-sway bar.
5-way adjustable preload adjustment, with suspension travel of 7.6 inches. The rear suspension features an independent double-wishbone with an anti-sway bar. 5-way preload adjustment, with suspension travel of 9.1 inches.
The overall length of the Yamaha Grizzly is 81.5 inches. The overall width is 48.4 inches, the overall height is 49.3 inches, with a seat height of 36.1 inches. The ground clearance is 11.3 inches, and the wheelbase is 49.2 inches. The Yamaha Grizzly EPS has an overall weight of 701 pounds.
The Yamaha Grizzly EPS has been designed to get you to remote areas while comfortably towing up to 1322 pounds. The front rack capacity is 110 lb, and the rear rack capacity is an impressive 198 lb.
Pros and Cons of the Yamaha Grizzly EPS
- Outstanding 686 cc Liquid-cooled, SOHC (Single Overhead Cam), single-cylinder, four-stroke Yamaha engine
- Yamaha Ultramatic V-Belt with all-wheel engine braking and an automatic clutch (H, L, N, R, P)
- Electronic Power Steering
- Excellent suspension system offers comfort and safety
- 44mm throttle body for improved performance
- Great overall Hunting ATV
- Louder than other hunting ATVs
- High Fuel Consumption
- The engine operates at a high temperature
Can-Am Outlander 1000R
The Can-Am is the ultimate Hunting ATV made by Bombardier, and in my opinion, it is the best Hunting ATV out there. Everything on this ATV is bigger and better than any other Hunting ATV on the planet, and it’s the best looking too.
An attractive design with an aggressive stance, combined with all the bells and whistles you can think of, this hunting ATV is superior in every department. It comes standard with a 3500-pound winch to get you out of any tricky situations, and it features the highest towing capacity in its class.
- Engine: Class-leading Rotax V-Twin, liquid-cooled, two cylinders
- Displacement: 976 ccs (Cubic Centimeters)
- Maximum Torque: 124 lb/ft at 6500 RPM
- Compression Ratio: 12.5-1
- Bore and Stroke: 91mm x 75mm
- Ignition: N/A
- Transmission: CVT (Continuously Variable)
- Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
- Final Drive: Selectable 2WD (Two-Wheel Drive) or 4WD (Four-Wheel Drive)
The braking system on the Can-Am Outlander is outstanding and built for the most extreme environments. The front brakes feature Dual 214 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers. The rear brakes feature single 214 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers.
The front suspension features an Arched Double A-Arm with a front sway bar, with Fox 1.5 PODIUM Shock Absorbers. The rear suspension features the unique Torsion Trailing-Arm Independent (TTI) design, with Fox 1.5 PODIUM Shock Absorbers.
The Can-Am comes standard with premium Cryptid tires from ITP. The front and rear tires measure 30x10x14.
The overall length of the Can-Am Outlander 100R is 97 inches. The overall width is 50 inches, the overall height 51.5 inches, with the seat height of 36.75 inches. The ground clearance is 13 inches, and the wheelbase is 59 inches. The overall weight of the Can-Am 1000R is 1014 pounds.
The 91 Horse-power (976 ccs) engine allows for a ridiculous towing capacity of 1650 pounds, with a rear rack capacity of 200 pounds.
Pros and Cons of the Can-Am Outlander 10000R
- Class-leading Rotax V-Twin, liquid-cooled, two-cylinder engine
- 976 cc
- Packed with technology
- 1650 pounds towing capacity
- Rear rack capacity of 200 pounds
- Upgraded tires
- Upgraded suspension
- DPS (Dynamic Power Steering)
- Looks aggressive
- High Fuel Consumption
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: The answer often comes down to how often you use the vehicle, how hard you push it, and how well you maintain the vehicle. If you take care of it with regular maintenance, there is no reason why it should not last at least 10 to 15 years. If you are lucky, it may even last 20 years.
Answer: The best-selling ATV in 2020 was the Yamaha Raptor 700 R, the second best-selling ATV was the Yamaha YFZ450R. Coming in third place was the outstanding Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O.
Answer: The Can-Am Outlander 1000R is equipped with an impressive 976 cc, 91 HP Rotax V-Twin Engine. It is liquid-cooled with two cylinders and can get you up to speeds of 75 miles per hour. Additionally, this engine can tow up to 1650 pounds with a rear rack capacity of 200 pounds.
Answer: The quality of ATVs has improved significantly, with many quality options available for recreation, hunting, or as a work-horse. Yamaha and Polaris are fantastic ATVs, but in my opinion, the most reliable ATV on the market is Honda.
A recent consumer poll on ATV.com https://www.atv.com/blog/2017/04/atv-manufacturer-reliable.html confirms this with Yamaha coming in at second place. Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Can-Am also have a reputation for quality and reliable ATVs.
Answer: There are numerous ATVs available that are specially designed for hunting. They can be beneficial and assist in covering greater distances and hauling more cargo and hunting gear. However, there are hunting grounds that don’t permit motorized vehicles.
These hunting grounds and these laws have to be respected. Additionally, some hunters prefer a more traditional way to hunt and may be offended by your noisy ATV, they too need to be respected, as most of them specifically choose these quieter types of hunting grounds.
Hunting ATVs have dramatically changed Hunting forever. They allow hunters to cover more ground and also allow them to transport significantly more hunting gear and cargo. It is important to identify the environment and conditions that you will be hunting before purchasing a hunting ATV.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reviewing these quality Hunting ATVs. Each ATV is made by a reputable manufacturer, with quality, reliability, and performance in mind.
The Can-Am Outlander 1000R made by Bombardier is the finest Hunting ATV on the planet, it offers upgraded tires, upgraded suspension, DPS (Dynamic Power Steering), and a powerful 976 cc Rotax V-Twin, liquid-cooled, two-cylinder engine. This Hunting ATV has it all, if you are in the market for the ultimate “real deal” Hunting ATV, the Can-Am Outlander 1000R is the only choice for you.