Hunting is a great sport and pastime that allows people to get back to their roots and experience the beauty of nature and wildlife. It is also a great bonding experience, as it is a hobby that will without a doubt be challenging at times, when for example you have to wait for potential hours in the rain in order for a suitable animal to come in view. In order to make your hunting experience much more pleasant and less exhausting, it is good to use a vehicle such as an ATV or UTV. But which is better for hunting: ATV or UTV? We will be answering this very question in this article below.
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What Is an ATV?
The abbreviation ATV stands for ‘All-terrain vehicle’ is quad like bike that is used as a mode of travel by farmers, hunters and also it is used by some people for racing. ATVs are generally used for recreational purposes.
What Is a UTV?
A UTV also known as a utility terrain vehicle or a side by side is a much larger vehicle that has a capacity for between two and four people. Additionally, there is extra capacity and accessories to carry goods, this is usually located at the back of the UTV vehicle.
Speed is very important when hunting as it can help you chase down animals or cover large areas of hunting ground allowing you to search much more efficiently and effectively. UTVs are on average the more powerful vehicles however ATVs are much faster. This is due to the fact that ATVs are much smaller in size, and generally carry just one person as well as having a reduced capacity for cargo. Therefore there is much less weighing down ATVs compared to UTVs, furthermore, thanks to their smaller size ATVs are also more aerodynamic which again is another major factor that allows them to travel much faster.
However, the speed of the ATV comes at a disadvantage as you will have to opt-out of other useful features such as extra cargo which we will discuss further below. So even if the ATV is a faster vehicle on average, if you have a low capacity for transporting cargo and people you may need to make more trips depending on your circumstances thus spending a lot more of your time.
Maneuverability is very important when choosing the right vehicle to use in your hunting hobby, as it allows you to more easily traverse the natural obstacles in the wild. Unlike in cities, there are no paved roads for your vehicle to drive on in forests and other natural ecosystems, . Both ATVs and UTVs are designed to be driven in the wild, with the wheels of both types of vehicles being specially designed to have an extra grip that allows them to traverse muddy and uneven surfaces.
An ATV is much smaller in size so it will be able to squeeze through many tight spaces such as in between trees, bushes, and shrubbery. On the other hand, a UTV is much more powerful, so it will be able to power through pretty much anything in its way, although due to its large size it is much easier to get stuck in mud for example. Additionally, it will be much harder to pull out compare to the much smaller ATV vehicle.
The overall size is a key factor in answering the question of which is better for hunting: ATV or UTV. We have addressed size briefly in the points above but here we will be more specific about the average size differences between ATVs and UTVs. On average ATVs are between 70 (1.78 meters) and 90 inches (2.29 meters) in length on average. UTVs come in a much larger range of sizes, the smallest UTVs are from the youth version which ranges from between 48 inches (1.2 meters) and 85 inches (2.6 meters) long, then you have the 2 seater UTVs that are on average between 110 inches (2.8 meters) and 125 inches (3.75 meters) with the four-seaters ranging from 135 to 160 inches (3.4 to 4 meters) in length.
In hunting, size can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Having a vehicle that is large in size can help you carry more goods and people but a disadvantage associated with that is that larger vehicles are on average much slower on average. Furthermore, a larger vehicle will take up more storage space and it will take a lot more time to clean. Moreover, a large vehicle is also more likely to scare off the game that you are hunting as it will be easier to spot and much louder.
Having adequate transportation is key when looking for the right hunting vehicle for you, at the very minimum you should have a vehicle with enough capacity to transport your equipment as well as the animal that you have successfully managed to hunt. An ATV will be great if you are hunting smaller animals such as rabbits and birds. But if you are hunting large game such as elk then you will have no choice but to buy a UTV which will have a large open trunk where you can place things as well as potentially a spare row of seats if you have bought a UTV with four seats.
Another aspect of storage capacity is the amount of weight that the vehicle can carry, the amount of extra cargo that a vehicle can cargo is calculated excluding the weight of the driver and passengers. An ATV will on average have the power to carry between 125 to 400 lbs of extra cargo while a UTV can carry up to 1400 lbs depending on the model.
There is always a risk of getting hurt when driving a vehicle, this risk, however, is increased when you are hunting as only a quick moment of adrenaline can lead you to make a bad mistake. These mistakes can be exasperated when driving an ATV which is much faster than UTVs on average, many ATVs are also made specifically for racing. ATVs are also at a disadvantage as due to their small size it is not really possible to attach a safety cage on them like you can with pretty much all UTVs, therefore if your vehicle flips then there will be nothing to protect you and bare most of the force.
However, UTVs are much larger so they will not be suitable for driving on tight spaces, when driving a UTV there is a much larger risk due to the vehicle’s increased size of it falling over off the edge
UTVs are much more expensive than ATVs, if you are looking for a brand new four-seater UTV then you will pay $10,000 if not more. While for an ATV you will have to pay for a brand new top of the line model a maximum of $6000. There are cheaper models in both the ATV and UTV lines however they will come with less and worse off features.
In conclusion, we hope that we have managed to increase your overall knowledge about ATVs and UTVs as well as help answer your query of which is better for hunting: ATV or UTV? The right answer to this question is the vehicle that is most suitable for your needs, for example, if you are hunting alone or with just another person and you are only hunting small animals then an ATV will be suitable for you.
However, if you are hunting large animals, using a lot of large equipment and there are going to be more than two of you then you will have little choice than to go for the UTV. A disadvantage to the UTV however is that it is a lot more expensive on average than ATVs to buy, also a UTV is more expensive to maintain as it takes more time to clean, takes up more space in your garage, and consumes more fuel. But with a UTV you do get more features and better features such as extra cargo storage and capacity for transporting people.
It is also important to note that you can buy extra accessories for your vehicle, so for example, if you have an ATV and want a bit extra storage then you could purchase some extra accessories such as an attachable storage box in the rear. But you will still be limited in the options that you have due to space and also the power of the vehicle, a smaller vehicle will be limited to the amount of weight that it can effectively carry. Moreover, it may end up being less cost-effective in terms of money and your time than simply buying a UTV.