How Hunting ATVs Work

Electric Hunting ATVs

One potential drawback of using ATVs while hunting is that their gas engine noise and exhaust is likely to spook any nearby game. It may also explain the appeal of batte­ry-powered ATVs, which offer hunters the option to travel in relative quiet.

Several electric ATV models on the market, called E-ATVs, offer an alternative to the gas-powered versions. But they're generally slower and have smaller ranges than gas ATVs. The ATEV28 model from manufacturer EVS, for example, is limited to a top speed of 35 mph (57 kilometers per hour) and a maximum range of 25 miles (41 km) [source: Blanco]. (That maximum range is based upon flat surface use -- expect it to be lower on hilly, off-road terrain.)

Because of their lower speed and range capabilities, smaller E-ATVs have been marketed to younger users. For example, X-Treme's XA-750 Electric ATV runs on three heavy-duty 12 volt, 12 amp batteries. It can go up to 20 mph (33 kmph), weighs 150 pounds (60 kilograms), and carries a maximum load of 300 pounds (120 kg) [source: X-treme Scooters].

Batteries are also powering the side-by-side or off-road utility vehicle (UTV) market. Some ATV models can seat two people, but the riders sit astride the bike, motorcycle-style [source: Tranby]. Side-by-sides/UTVs represent the next size up from ATVs -- riders sit next to each other. For example, Bad Boys Buggies has a four-wheel-drive all-electric utility vehicle that runs on two engines. It has a 1,000-pound (454 kg) load capacity. It can seat four people if they employ the flip-seat feature that eliminates the cargo area. On a single charge, it offers a range between 16 and 28 miles (26 to 46 km) and can travel up to 19 mph (31 kmph) [source: Bad Boy Buggies].

Read on to learn some of the techniques hunters use for handling their ATVs, whether gas-powered or electric.