Should You Use an ATV or a UTV for Hunting?

should you use an atv or a utv for hunting

Hunters always need the best and latest in off-road vehicles, weapons, tech, and accessories. While some pros use trucks, SUVs, and ATVs for their hunting needs, others reoriented themselves towards Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs). You may know them as side-by-sides (SXS), and you have undoubtedly seen them before while hunting, trailing, or during nature explorations. Powerful and versatile, UTVs became the top choice with occasional or professional hunters. Why did it happen? Is your truck obsolete now? And how do you choose between a slick and fast ATV and a rugged, heavy UTV for your hunting needs? Let’s answer all these questions today!

The UTV Allows More Cargo Hauling and More Passengers to Transport

Some hunters prefer to go about their business alone and unbothered. For this reason, a handy, light, and fast vehicle such as an ATV can allow them to travel across all uneven terrains, slippery forest hills, and over rocky ledges with no problems.

But, as most of us know, professional hunters use partners, hunting dogs, and complex communication systems within the hunting party to make sure they reach their goals. The same goes for hobbyists who want to take along their families or friends for a hunting session.

The most significant advantages of a UTV over an ATV are as follows:

  • UTVs feature more significant cargo carrying and hauling abilities; you can transport gear, people, hunting accessories, camping equipment, survival gear, meat, hides, etc.
  • A UTV allows for group fun; some sportier UTVs allow two people to ride (hence the side-by-side name), but larger and more powerful SXS come with up to six seats.
  • Since a UTV comes with a cargo bed on top of under-seat alcoves and other storage spaces, you can carry more than people, weapons, supplies, and heavy game (think about hefty deer, elk, etc.), racks, etc.

Overall, UTVs are compelling to hunters because they can carry significantly more game, people, accessories, etc. Moreover, a UTV is more practical for transporting logs, tree stands, blinds, etc.

If you need to clear your tracks of logs, dead branches, rocks, etc., while gaining better access to your hunting area, you will most likely enjoy a UTV’s capabilities.

You Can Modify a UTV for Hunting Easier

If you ask professional hunters about UTVs, they will most likely name the Polaris General lineup. Polaris makes some of the best off-road vehicles for hunting, together with other big brands, such as Can-Am, Arctic Cat, Honda, Kawasaki, or Intimidator.

Even in their most bare bone builds, UTVs are perfect hunting tools that allow plenty of hunting-dedicated modifications to reach your maximum hunting potential. You can get a broad range of Polaris General accessories that improve your vehicle’s performance, safety, comfort, and hunting abilities. From front loaders helping you to hoist a carcass to dedicated storage units for bows, shooting rifles, and hunting knives, gun/bow racks, and mounts, etc., you can outfit your UTV with anything.

Remember that you can upgrade your UTV for night hunting with LED bar lights for excellent night vision. Among other aftermarket parts, we also recommend you get intercom systems, GPS trackers, and communication kits to stay in touch with your hunting party at all times.

If winter hunting is your specialty, you should know that you can upgrade your UTV with a snow plow to better access your favorite hunting grounds.

The UTV Allows You to Access Dangerous or Remote Areas

If you seek wilder areas, mountaintops, remote zones, or challenging forest slopes, a UTV will take you there safer and more comfortably than an ATV. The ATV indeed allows you to slither your way on unbeaten paths and narrow trails, but if you choose a 50” wide UTV, you will have no issues reaching your ultimate hunting destination.

UTVs can cross all possible terrains with the right tires – another issue you need to consider when you shop for aftermarket parts and modifications. Moreover, they offer a smoother and most comfortable ride, as you don’t have to put any stress on your back or feet while riding for endless miles. The comfort of a car meeting the power of an all-terrain vehicle is precisely what you want when you go hunting in secluded, faraway areas.

ATVs offer superior maneuverability, but comfort, stability, and safety are things to factor in when choosing an ATV over a UTV for hunting. The suspensions are better, and the 2WD/4WD drivetrain options turn a hunting trip into a fun adventure. These vehicles allow you to cover more ground and transport the prize back home in perfect condition.

Before You Get a UTV for Hunting…

…make sure you understand some facts first:

  • You need to upgrade your UTV to make it street legal, pay taxes, and discuss every legal matter with the competent authorities in your state. Most likely, you cannot drive your gun-loaded UTV from your garage to the hunting grounds of your choice, so a trailer is in order;
  • Always wear protective gear when you use a UTV, whether you hunt with it or explore nature’s wonders. Helmet, goggles, gloves, and armored bike-like apparel will keep you safe, insulated, and comfortable. They might also save your life, as rollovers are the most common UTV accidents.

Now that you know that a UTV is probably the best vehicle for hunting, it is time to hear your thoughts on the matter! Have you ever used an ATV or UTV for hunting, fishing, trailing, camping, etc.? Would you recommend such vehicles to fellow hunting or outdoor enthusiasts? We’d love it if you shared your experiences and opinions on this topic!


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