How Hunting ATVs Work

Handling Hunting ATVs

To pro­perly control and steer an ATV, the driver must learn to shift his or her weight and position on the seat. With an extra load in the front, whether a deer or an elk, the ATV's handling characteristics will change considerably [source: Klancher].

So, hunters need to check the load capacity of their ATVs and consult the owner's manual to determine the best location for the game. The additional load will change the vehicle's center of gravity, decrease stability and increase the risk of a possible rollover [source: Murphy and Harshman].

Hunters should never ride with a loaded firearm. Bows should not be strung, either. All weapons should be safely stowed in a case, separate from the ammunition.

When retrieving game, you should get as close as possible to a road or ATV-approved trail, then hike the rest of the way on foot. Stay on designated roads and trails. As enticing as it may be, don't take the shortest route possible by going cross-country on your ATV. It could anger property owners, lead to more regulation that restricts ATV use or possibly cause physical injury or damage to the ATV [source: Tread Lightly].

Now that you've learned about hunting ATVs, you might have more questions. Check out a dealer near you or on the Internet. Just remember to be safe. If the state in which you are hunting requires hunter orange, wear it. Even if your ATV is decked out in camouflage, it is important for you to be seen by other hunters.

Check out the next page for links to further information.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • ATV Magazine. "How Do You Accessorize Your Hunting Machine?" (Accessed 12/04/08)
  • ­ATV Safety Institute. "Selecting the Right ATV: A Guide for First-Time Purchasers." (Accessed 12/04/08
  • ­Tranby, John. Marketing Manager, Arctic Cat. Conversation 12/05/08.
  • Bad Boy Buggies. (Accessed 12/05/08)
  • Blanco, Sebastian. "EVS23: Meet ATEV, the all-electric ATV from EVS." (Accessed 12/05/08)
  • Klancher, Lee. "The Hunting Rube." ATV Rider Magazine. (Accessed 12/04/08)
  • Murphy, Dennis J. and Harshman, William C. "Safe Use of ATVs in Agriculture." Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension. (Accessed 12/05/08)
  • Tread Lightly. "Tips for Responsible Hunting with an ATV." (Accessed 12/04/08)
  • X-Treme Scooters. (Accessed 12/05/08)