Off-Road Review: The Can-Am Defender Lone Star Edition


What better time to get behind the wheel of the new Can-Am Defender Lone Star Edition than during a Texas turkey hunt?

The Wide Open Spaces team was lucky enough to get invited to an exclusive Texas Rio Grande turkey hunt by representatives from Can-Am and Birchwood Casey, and we couldn't waste the opportunity to share what we thought of the new side-by-side we got to try out.

The Can-Am Defender Lone Star Edition was meant for Texas, but it's clear how well-suited it is for just about any kind of terrain. The Lone Star aspects shine through, with a cool-looking badge and seat trim, but the real standouts were the new tires and brand new front bumper. They looked like they were ready to deliver a beating to any trail they encountered.

Both of us (Eric Pickhartz and David Schlake) got behind the wheel and cruised around the day before the hunt, checking out the grounds and seeing where we'd set up early the next morning. The drives weren't short; this was a 24,000-acre ranch, and getting around would have been a whole lot harder (and bumpier) with a truck or SUV. A lesser side-by-side may have handled it, but certainly not as nicely as the Lone Star Edition did.

There were a few finer details that were pointed out to us during the ride, like the removable under-seat storage compartments and the super-comfortable two-toned seats. There was plenty of room, and the ride was especially smooth.

And of course, there was space in the bed for all the Rio Grande turkey hunting gear we needed, and then some. Multiple shotgun cases, two large decoy bags, full turkey vests, two folding chairs, and various other items were tossed in with ease.

We're glad there was space left over, or the four turkeys Eric and his Can-Am hunting partner Andrew Howard ended up needing to haul out after the first morning wouldn't have fit.

It only took one more day for David to see success, albeit in a totally different part of the ranch. That was one of the great things about the Lone Star Edition Defender: It was practically designed for huge, expansive areas, where the terrain can change when you crest a hill. Sound like parts of Texas you know?

Though both transplants, we aren't strangers to what the Texas landscape can be like, and both agreed it'd fit in nicely on that 10,000+ acre hunting property (the one we're still owning strictly in our dreams). Since the Can-Am legitimately helped us get two Rios each, we've got to count that as a success.

The Can-Am Defender Lone Star Edition won't disappoint, because if they pass the test in Texas, they're able to conquer just about anything.