July 08, 2015
By Derrek Sigler
It's 3:30 a.m. You'd rather still be sitting in the kitchen finishing another cup of coffee before heading out, but the birds have been hitting that back corner of the field and you've got to plan an extra hour or so of time to haul the decoys and gear back to that hot spot.
Let's face it, you really need a UTV, also referred to as a side-by-side.
There are many reasons why you really do need one. (And yes, I'm married and have practice running these past the wife.)
Cargo capacity — UTVs have a large cargo bed that can haul a pile of decoys, shotguns, blinds, blind bags, ammo, and anything else you can think of that you need in the field. If that isn't enough, they can all pull a trailer too.
Take a look at the Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT. It can haul up to 1,000 pounds of stuff in the bed, as well as tow an additional 2,000 pounds on a trailer.
Passenger capacity — With the ability to haul a buddy or six, you can ferry everyone out into the field, even on the rainiest, muddiest morning.
One of the great things about waterfowl hunting is the ability to share it with someone else, even if that someone else happens to have four legs and a tail. There's plenty of room in a UTV for your hunting dog too.
4WD! — Any of the modern UTVs come standard with four wheel drive. Most of them are going to be far more adept at hauling through the slop than your truck, too. If things really get nasty, most have a locking differential too, that can really help pull you through the soup. Need more grunt? Many, like the Yamaha Wolverine, have a low range in the transmission. If you get stuck in a UTV, you really have to try.
Speed — While a UTV can go pretty fast, that's not exactly what we're talking about. A UTV falls into the category of hunt smarter, not harder. It lets you optimize your time in the field so you can do the fun stuff like tweaking your spread, brushing your blind, or just hanging out with good friends enjoying the sunrise.
They last — While there is always a new model coming out that improves on the previous model, or has some feature you never knew you needed, the reality is a good UTV from a reputable brand is like buying a decent shotgun. Once you have it, you really aren't going to need to replace it for a long, long time. Of course, you can always buy a new one because you want to.
They are useful — A UTV can do a lot of stuff. In addition to making your hunt more enjoyable, you can use them for chores around the house, farm or woods. Need to haul a load of firewood to the cabin? Easy! Haul the lawn clippings away? No sweat.
Then there are the myriad of attachments available. Tree fall down in the yard? No problem, you installed the winch. And let's not forget plowing snow in winter! A UTV makes quick work of your driveway.
They are fun — Well here's the best reason to buy one and when it comes right down to it, this is the only reason you really need one — they are fun. When you don't have anything you have to be doing, just hop on and go for a ride. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.