4x4 or Mule??

wildaggie13

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Jan 15, 2015
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Hey guys,

This is my second year hunting around the western states. Last year I hunted all on foot in Colorado unit 54 and Arizona unit 27. I feel like I need some wheels to get me to different areas faster. Would ya'll recommend a 4x4 or a Mule type vehicle??
thanks for your time!
 

LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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I'd go for a street legal mini-truck.. lots of cargo space, go on the roughest roads, take it to town for a burger or to patch the tire on your big truck. Heat, some even have AC.

Just haven't been able to sell my wife on one yet..
 

wildaggie13

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Jan 15, 2015
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I tried a horse "mule" this past year for my dad and he got bucked off!!
I was actually wondering about a "motorized mule" like a kawasaki and such.
 

wildaggie13

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4 Wheeler vs. Ranger is what I'm debating. I need Ranger for my deer lease, but think 2 Wheeler would be better in high country. Although I can't haul much gear or hunting partner in a 4 wheeler.
 

Maxxis31

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I have had both. IMO both are pretty worthless for hunting. A good purpose build 4x4 vehicle will legally go just about as far a side by side for less money. An atv is ok but cold and you still have to have a vehicle to haul it to the woods anyway. If you want to road hunt either are fine i guess but if parking at a trail head I would prefer my vehicle that I can lock my gear in and even sleep in if i need to.

I bought a couple TW200 street legal motorcycles this year for running trail cameras this summer but I really doubt I will get much use from them come hunting season. I don't have an area to hunt where I could legally take a side by side or atv any further than a vehicle and if I could someone else would already be running around there. I prefer to hike while hunting, it takes 1/2 hour to cover 1 mile hiking which is less time then it usually takes to load a trailer with a side by side and unload it at the bottom of the hill then take it that extra mile or two because the trail is rough.

If you have an open area where you can hunt and has a good ATV trail system I would probably get a atv, the problem with these areas are they are open to ATV's;)

I took my Rhino out this year to haul out a buck I killed and to be honest the time I spent cleaning the dust covered deer I really wish I would have taken my nissan xterra as close as I could get and packed it the rest of the way.

IMG_0493.jpg

I am sure you can imagine what we looked like by the amount of dust on the Rhino, i can't imagine using it while hunting out of state where I couldn't have came home and hosed off in the shower. IMO the pros do not even close to out weight the cons of the things.

I think the TW's will be better all the way around. The side by sides are great family vehicles and we use it a ton mushrooming, berry picking, trail camera checking and just spending a day in the woods with the family. The kids really enjoy riding in it but a motorcycle down a game trail would be much more efficient for one person.
 
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Maxxis31

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NE Oregon
This costs about half what the used Rhino cost ($4000) and will go almost as many places (legally) but is much more comfortable. I can also sleep two grown men in it fairly comfortably and lock all my gear up while I am hunting, along with a cooler as well as extra supplies. I can get a quartered 6x6 bull and my entire elk camp including the wall tent in the thing to drive home which is a plus.

I know you weren't asking about a vehicle but I was just throwing the idea out there. I really don't think I get enough use out of my side by side to warrant owning it, but my wife enjoys driving it the little bit that she does. I use to have atv's but sold them because I never used them either. I think the main reason to use an ATV or side by side hunting, or at least the most common is so people can save fuel money vs road hunting in a rig.

IMG_3943.jpg

IMG_4951.jpg
 
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Bulldog0156

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Kalispell, MT
I'd recommend a pickup truck or SUV. I can't count the number of times I've watched animals take off when they hear an atv or utv coming from a mile or two away. Plus, as was previously mentioned, an atv/utv is going to be a cold ride.
 

idnative1948

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What he said! Cold to the bone and by the time you get to a trail head you are shivering so bad, well you get the idea.....


I'd recommend a pickup truck or SUV. I can't count the number of times I've watched animals take off when they hear an atv or utv coming from a mile or two away. Plus, as was previously mentioned, an atv/utv is going to be a cold ride.
 

Sytes

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I have a Viking 3 seat UTV.
It gets me places where I would not want my Dodge 4wd turning tight tree sided corners, going through mud ugly holes, pinching between rocks and finding myself at a spot too tight to consider chancing... All in the hopes my truck survives each hunting trip and I am able to use it for work when I return home...

That Viking turns ugly LEGAL 4wd trail / roads to sexy fun trips.

Also another nice factor is the ability to drop off one and have the other to make a nice long trek vs doubling back... It has a front full window that can drop down and locks to the hood, 4500 warn winch and a very nice sized dump bed that has a tailgate that can drop. Great design.

picture.php


We have used this with myself and two others all over 200lbs They have a very intelligent seating design... simple enough, the center seat is slightly recessed thus the upper bodies of three grown adults do not meet, shoulder to shoulder... to shoulder.

Oh, I should also mention, I am no longer permitted to ever sit on an ATV... Or my wife will kill me rather than deal with my arse in a hospital bed / in patient rehab center, electric wheelchair for 9 months... again. If I am not pushing up daisies myself...
 
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Epfd217

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Feb 26, 2014
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Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Like so many other gear related questions, it all depends on how and where you want to use it.

I personally hunt on land that has lots of ag fields, one main road, a few ATV trails and numerous game trails. Depending on season and recent weather, some places are far too wet for my truck. Some trails barely fit a, ATV and then the smaller trails don't even accept an ATV. I plan to buy a UTV eventually to use for all around land work and hunting transportation.

Now to the question of hunting, one zone I've been researching has a great spot with about 60sq miles of roadless area that has 5-6 dead-end roads/trails that touch the exterior. The difference between the roads are some are open to all legal vehicles and others are only open to ATV's up to 50" wide. So, either I truck to the end of the road, or I have an ATV. No UTV's. I will have to do more research to decide of ATV's to the end of the trail is better/worse that just driving the truck to the end.

I would say an ATV is likely your best bet unless you use a Polaris RZR or the Arctic Cat Wildcat trail. Those are the only two legit 50" wide UTV's and they are only made to haul a small amount in their rear beds.

As far as horse/mule etc. I'm with you. I've never ridden either and I don't see my self getting stock in the future.
 

hank4elk

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SW NM
I wouldn't mind 4x4 for working around my place at times. They are handy for gathering cattle.
But I can get anywhere I need to go in my Tacoma without drawing attention or scaring the critters off.Easier to load an elk and camp in too...
 
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1_pointer

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Just be aware that on many public lands the maximum width on ATV/dirt bike trails is 50". Lots of metal gates going up to reinforce that restriction. Lots of UTVs won't meet that minimum. If you can ride one well, I think a dirt bike is handier than an ATV.

Some places I think they are VERY handy and others not so much. The unit I deer and elk hunted in last year in Idaho they were very handy. Lots of miles put on them instead of a pickup and in many cases we were able to access country that trucks couldn't either due to snow or road/trail width. Just be super aware of the travel regs for where you're going.
 

Rooster52

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Feb 18, 2014
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Seeing I don't own a horse or mule and don't own an ATV 'I depend on my own two legs .
I do own a Ford Expedition 4 wheel drive that gets me where I legally can go.
 

wildaggie13

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Jan 15, 2015
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I appreciate all the advice!
I never thought about the backtracking idea. That would save some time and see more country.
Being from central Texas, I am always going to be driving 15-20hrs to get into the western states, and I just hate driving my tahoe over those rough public dirt roads.
I normally hunt backcountry and stay in there for 3-5 days. I guess I'm just looking for someone to justify me spending $$ on a toy I don't really need!!
 

Maxxis31

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NE Oregon
I appreciate all the advice!
I never thought about the backtracking idea. That would save some time and see more country.
Being from central Texas, I am always going to be driving 15-20hrs to get into the western states, and I just hate driving my tahoe over those rough public dirt roads.
I normally hunt backcountry and stay in there for 3-5 days. I guess I'm just looking for someone to justify me spending $$ on a toy I don't really need!!

Not sure about where you will be hunting but it is against the law in Oregon to drive an ATV or Side by Side on any public maintained road.

If you want to buy one then buy one, I don't think you need justification from a bunch of strangers on the web. I would personally buy a decent hunting rig that you don't mind driving on dirt roads.
 

Gr8bawana

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Nevada
I you take an ATV somewhere they are leagal there will already be many others there. One thing ATV's are very good at is scaring game away.
There is nothing wrong with good old fashioned walking.
 

ric

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Jun 29, 2013
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Central Idaho
Please keep the 50 inch rule in mind, there is only 1 legal side by side, the rzr 800. All others are not legal in most states and on all public lands. And ATV will take you where no other vehicle will, motorcycles are useless in the snow and mud. Where I hunt, we ride back in behind gates as much as 5 or 6 miles from the full size open roads. And, they do not chase the deer and elk out of the country, but they will chase them off the trail. Ride out, park your machine and enjoy the hunt.
 

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