ATV/UTV Usage

SWOHTR

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This is my third (and probably final, at least for a while) season in Idaho before I move back to San Diego (or wherever the Navy takes me for my DH tours). Last year, I had my ATV shipped out from my parents' farm in WI.

It seems like an almost useless tool out here - most roads I can drive my truck on. From there, it's on foot, to get away from the roads and road hunters. If I use a trail for access, it's a narrow singletrack that wouldn't be any good for a four-wheeled machine. In WI, it is useful for accessing the private properties that we hunt on. My hunting adventures have been into the St. Joe for the last two seasons.

How many of you use ATVs/UTVs? For those that do use them, how do you use them (i.e., rely on them, use them for accessing a few areas, etc.)? How useful are they in other states - i.e., NM, AZ, UT.

I'm on the fence with keeping it or selling it. Beauty is, it's paid off and completely reliable. Downside is, I don't use it that often. Looking long-term, I'm going to be doing western hunts frequently (4+ years down the road) and wondering how useful it might be in other states.

Curious of your thoughts!

Joe
 

Don K

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Jan 10, 2016
Messages
93
Depends on where you hunt.

I use them to keep the wear and tear off the truck. The roads where I have been are real bad, and I just use the wheeler on the road.
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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N Colorado
Useful, bought & paid for...
Id keep it.
About the time you get rid of it, you'd wish you had it.

There is only thing that I had that was useful, bought and paid for that I got rid of...

When her name was changed to 'Plaintiff'
 

Davebuech

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May 16, 2016
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Rocky Mountains (SLV) Colorado
Good luck with your transfer.
I use my UTV quite a bit in Colorado. Many of the roads, while passable in a truck, wreak havoc on suspensions etc. Frankly, I wonder sometimes how those trucks get back there. Occasionally I see tranny fluid or pieces and parts of vehicles and I think, glad I didn't drive mine! So for me it is better to use the UTV to get me back there, then as always, I set off on foot to get away from the "roadies". It is good to haul a base camp but I don't like the noise. I have always been a fan of human powered craft, kayak, mtn bike, canoe, bicycle or just plain ol feet. The UTV, which is new for me last year, has been worth it though, especially where I am at.
Oh and last year we were able to use it to winch up 2 elk on my trailer that were shot on Public land yet crossed the fence to die on private. Thanks to the landowner for allowing us to retrieve them!
 

ben h

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Jun 17, 2012
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SLC, UT
I'll echo what others have said, for the most part they're not essential for hunting on public, but some of those roads can get NASTY and a 4 wheeler can go so much faster on them. There's one road near my cabin that I kept bugging a former co-worker to bring the company truck up and see if it could even do it. I bet it would cost $1k in repairs if you drove a stock 4x4 truck up it. On public we use our wheeler on roads such as this, but to be honest we use it mostly for towing a small trailer and taking pine needles, cones and branches to the burn pit at our cabin. In the 5 or so years we've had it, I'd be surprised if we've put 100 miles on it. Some people really use theirs though, but I'm sort of a "take it if you need it" person and would rather not drag a trailer.
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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If not backpacking in they can really reduce wear and tear on your main vehicle just going from camp to the trail head plus they sip gas. I think they are useful to make life easier but you'll still be doing plenty of hiking or your not going to see anything. I wouldn't sell it if paid off, just find a way to use it and keep wear and tear off your main vehicle.
 
OP
SWOHTR

SWOHTR

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Briney foam
All good points. Thanks for the input! There's a few roads around here that are really rough and it would make more sense to use it.


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TheCougar

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Jun 6, 2016
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Fort Worth, TX
I've got one. I used to hate them, but now I love them. Why ruin a perfectly good truck when I can get there faster and cheaper with a quad? The worst I can ever do is break it in half and lose $2k. I can do a lot worse than that in a truck. They aren't useful everywhere, but in Az they come in really handy.
 

LostArra

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May 9, 2013
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2,380
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Oklahoma
Keep it. Especially if you have a covered place to store it.

I don't have many hours on mine but one ranch where I deer hunt the owner wants no trucks blasting around his pastures. ATV/UTV only. Truck stays parked by the gate.
 

StrutNut

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Jun 11, 2014
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Blaine, MN
I bought a Honda Big Red in 1985. I paid cash for it and there has been times where I thought I should sell it. I never have stored in indoors it seems to be just fine. I have rebuilt the carb and replaced gas tank, brakes and fenders. Batteries and tires of course and now it looks like I need to replace the rear end but that it and its been a great reliable mode of transportation for me. I have taken it to CO and it was perfect to save on the truck. I use it in WI deer hunting to help haul out stands and deer as well. I am glad I never got rid of it as you just never know when you are going to use it again.
 

406

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Nov 28, 2016
Messages
445
Use mine alot for scouting new areas in summer, maybe cause I'd rather beat up my $4000 ATV than my $30,000 truck going into places I'm not sure you can get into.. Probably because it's just fun.

But pretty rarely for actual hunting.

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SWOHTR

SWOHTR

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Briney foam
Good points! I'm going to keep it. It owes me nothing and I owe it nothing. Reliable and simple as hell.

I don't know why the idea of using it on rough, rough roads instead of my truck never occurred to me.


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