July 21, 2014
Most sportsmen fall into one of two categories: those that have an ATV or those that want one. Let's face it, while you may not want to hunt from an off-road machine, they are handy as hell around deer camp, for hauling wood, planting small food plots, and doing general chores. They also make transporting game simple and getting to those remote spots a breeze.
Luckily, there are literally dozens upon dozens of options for setting up an ATV to tackle these tasks.
With that in mind, I decided to pick my dream gear and equip my favorite ATV of 2014, Yamaha's incredible Grizzly 700, as I prepare to tackle the upcoming hunting season.
Yamaha Grizzly 700
slightly redesigned the piston and compression ratio of its SOHC 686cc liquid-cooled power plant for 2014 to improve performance across the power band. Improvements didn't stop at engine alone, as suspension travel and A-arm length have also been increased for rider comfort, without compromising the legendary handling.
Hunters will appreciate the on-command 4WD system — you can switch from 2WD to limited slip 4WD to fully locked differential 4WD with the push of a button. Convenience continues with the electric power steering and the advanced LCD digital instrument panel. All told, the Grizzly 700
is about as good as it gets for hunters.
9,499 (hunter green, steel blue, red); $
9,949 (RealTree AP HD)
I mainly use my handgun for the numerous forest grouse encountered while on the trail. It's amazing how many of these tasty birds will let you get within handgun range. Add a CrossBreed holster
to your ATV with the adjustable RAM Mount, and you will be ready. Fill it with the appropriate gun, and your camp will eat well.
When it comes to protecting a gun on the trail, nothing does it with the security and toughness of a hard scabbard. I selected the Kolpin Tactical
scabbard for its size and versatility. This is the only hard scabbard that's deep enough to hold an MSR, and it can be easily removed for travel using a single-pull pin. If a bolt action or a shotgun is your preferred tool, Kolpin makes a
traditional, slimmer hard scabbard that works great. Kolpin also offers a variety of mounts that will fit almost any ATV.
Kolpin Heated Grips
Since hunters probably spend more time
than anyone riding ATVs in cold temps, heated handgrips
are a valuable upgrade. The Kolpin
models slip over any 7/8-inch handlebar and do not interfere with the thumb throttle control. It's essentially plug and play. A controller/LED module affixes to the handlebars or tank to show heat level.
I have now used the Garmin VIRB
on several hunts and simply love the quality combined with simplicity. Press the large sliding turn on/
record switch, and you are in business. It takes incredible HD video as well as fantastic still photos. Add the waterproof case, and you can completely submerge the ATV and get
the video to tell the tale.
If I calculated my mileage correctly, the Grizzly should get around 105 miles from a full tank — with the always present Mr.
Murphy riding along, this will undoubtedly be five miles too few to get back to camp. Which is why I always bring extra fuel. A cheap gas can is at best leaky and inconvenient, and at worst it's extremely dangerous.
solves this dilemma. Made from tough roto-molded plastic, these fuel cells are durable, stackable, and color coded to indicate contents. Combined with a superior machined aluminum mounting bracket, they can be secured in nearly any position.
Starting at $
Bubba Rope Lil' Bubba
I love Bubba Rope
. That's because I have been testing the 28,600-pound original Bubba Rope for two years now. Even though it has been on over a dozen trips, and used under rough conditions from coast to coast, it still looks new. That's what urethane polymer coating combined with double-braided nylon gets you€¦durability.
It's this same technology that makes its little brother, the 7,400-pound Lil' Bubba
so desirable for ATVs. Need to free another ATV, pull a tree from across the trail, or yank an elk out of a hole, this 20-foot rope is ideal. It also comes with a mesh stuff sack that easily fits into a cargo pocket.
Cabela's TAC ATV Gear
Let's be clear right up front — I love MOLLE! What MOLLE provides is flexibility. Need to add a small pouch? Stick it anywhere. Want to move a flashlight case? No problem. And Cabela's TAC system
has MOLLE stitched into every conceivable place on the tough Cordura nylon material. The front bag is a unique flat platform with MOLLE attachments across its breadth, with a quick-detachable tactical backpack. On either side of the backpack are small pouches for storage of gloves, extra ammo, and calls.
The rear TAC system utilizes a padded area that is surrounded by large semi-rigid storage compartments on the side and rear. As an added bonus, the padded area has a fold-up front that converts it into more storage for bulky items like 5-gallon buckets. This gear is available in digital camo or black.
119.99 (black); $
129.99 (digital camo)