A little extra ATV prep and maintenance go a long way to ensure no problems arise when you need your 4-wheeler.
Hunting season is certainly a time where you can justify owning and using an All-Terrain Vehicle.
There are those who truly use and enjoy ATVs, and there are those who sing their praises only when hauling downed game, or reaching remote hunting areas. If you need to move the lawn equipment just to get to the ATV in the back of the shed, and we bet you do, then keep reading.
Spruce it up
First, remove dust, dirt and dauber nests, then wash the ATV. Crank and ensure your battery is charged so you won’t be forced to make repeated use of booster cables when needing to go afield.
It’s a good idea to spend a few hours actually riding your ATV rather than discovering it won’t idle properly, or runs poorly when you have a deer on the ground a mile or two back in the sticks. If old fuel is the culprit, get some fuel treatment, and burn a full tank of fuel through your machine. Fuel treatment is a good idea anyway to counteract the negative effects of any ethanol infused gas you might have had in the tank.
Check the tires, service the machine, and inspect for any broken parts or dried rubber boots. Sticky throttle cables and defective switches have a way of making themselves apparent on cold, icy mornings, so lubricate everything before the season.
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Aftermarket heavy duty stick stoppers are a necessity in my opinion. The need to protect the front drive components on your ATV is vital to the proper operation of the 4 wheel drive, and we all know all four wheels turning is a must when in the middle of nowhere.
There are many times when you have to make your own trail to recover downed game, and the added protection of stick stoppers protect against mud, saplings and the like.
If you don’t already have one, a winch is very useful tool to get you out of sticky situations. I always unwind the cable completely and spray a light coat of oil over it while inspecting for weak spots. A winch can also come in handy for many other situations, including skinning a deer.
With all the basics checked out, and your machine running in good shape, you can check over some of the hauling and comfort features of ATVs. Depending on the make and model of your machine, the front and rear racks sometimes are not sufficient for all your gear.
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You can never have too many bungee straps or ratchet straps when hunting. If you have ever attempted to wrangle a freshly harvested deer on the back of an ATV, you understand my argument. With the right strapping approach, your machine can haul most anything.
Take care of your machine and it will take care of you for many seasons to come.