Hunting has changed a lot over the centuries, and the addition of off-road vehicles is one change that has caused controversy. Are ATVs an important and helpful tool or are they a nuisance? In our first post in this series, we covered the advantages of hunting with an ATV. There are clear benefits, whether you are a disabled hunter looking for better access or you need more cargo capacity for longer hunts. In today’s post, we will be looking at the drawbacks of hunting with an ATV.
Copper Ridge Outdoors has the high-quality equipment to make the most of your ATV, whether you plan to use it on your next hunt or just as a fun way to explore the outdoors. Try a versatile UTV trailer and put your vehicle to use on your next project or install a UTV jump seat to bring friends and family on your next adventure. Shop our collection of ATV gear today and find what you need!
Noise and Exhaust
Compared to covering ground on your own two feet, ATVs have pretty obvious drawbacks. For one, they are not quiet vehicles. The sound may disturb the very animals you’re trying to hunt, not to mention any other people in the area. The smell of exhaust can also warn animals to stay away, and many hunters report that the smell will linger long after you have driven away.
There are a few things you can do to minimize these issues. The easiest solution: turn off your ATV when you near your hunting grounds or a populated area such as a campground. You should also make sure your vehicle is properly muffled and maintained. Look for a future blog post for even more tips on how to properly utilize your ATV when hunting.
We’re not talking about factors like fuel emissions here — we mean the literal, wheels-to-the-ground impact your ATV has on the land. You will disturb whatever area you drive through, and that’s just the nature of using a vehicle. The imprints of your tires will not necessarily fade, especially if you are driving in wet conditions, and forcing small natural paths into new trails for off-road vehicles can destroy animal habitats. Social trails created by irresponsible drivers can cause soil erosion and other damage, particularly if those unofficial trails are near delicate riparian areas like streams. If you are traveling long distances with your ATV, you can also be responsible for spreading invasive species. Remember to respect the land you are utilizing — poor choices made by some ATV drivers can have far-reaching effects on all off-road enthusiasts.
Because of the problems we have mentioned, you may find that off-road vehicles have been banned in some areas. The restrictions may be in place for environmental reasons or it may be that the landowner was simply irritated by reckless drivers in the past. If you are exploring new hunting grounds, be sure to check local regulations to ensure your off-road vehicle will be allowed. ATVs can be incredibly useful, but they won’t do you any good when you’ve overpacked and your options have suddenly narrowed down to hiking.
ATVs can be helpful tools on a hunt, but their use doesn’t come without consequences. Any kind of off-road vehicle will be a disruption, whether it’s because of engine noise, lingering exhaust, or the impact on natural habitats and erosion. If you plan to bring an ATV on your next hunt, plan carefully and remember to be a respectful steward of the outdoors. Copper Ridge Outdoors can help you make the most of your ATV no matter how you plan to use it with a range of high-quality accessories, from UTV trailers to a sturdy and straightforward ATV rear basket. Keep an eye on our blog for advice on how to best utilize your off-road vehicle on your next hunt and shop Copper Ridge Outdoors' collection of ATV gear today!