By Steve Bauer
A quick glance through a Cabela’s catalog and it’s easy to understand why a consumer can be easily overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out which hunting accessories are the right fit for their ATV. From winches to handlebar mitts and hunting blinds, there’s no shortage of goodies that can help add convenience and comfort to a hunting ATV.
When a consumer walks into your dealership, however, it’s important to be able to educate him or her on the most important and beneficial accessories they can add to their ATV, ensuring they’re entering the woods as prepared as possible. In turn, you’re likely to have a repeat customer the next time they’re looking to add to their setup. Following are five choices for the most vital ATV hunting accessories, which should be at the top of every hunter’s — and dealer’s — checklist.
Top Five ATV Hunting Accessories:
Winch — One of the best options to ensure you don’t get stuck in the wilderness is a front-mounted winch. This is primarily for dragging the ATV out of deep mud or sand in case it gets stuck. The winch cable can be fastened around a nearby tree, and it will pull the vehicle toward the tree.
“In my opinion, this is a must-have for hunters, because the last thing you want is to be stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere, with no cell phone service and your only means of travel by foot,” said Wade Krinke, ATV product manager for Mad Dog Gear. “A winch is a great investment and provides you with insurance against a worst-case scenario.”
Gun Clips/Scabbard — It can be argued that gun clips are the most important accessory any hunter can add to their ATV setup. Not only do the clips keep a gun safe and secure while riding, but they allow a hunter to quickly access their gun if needed. Scabbards are hard cases that typically attach to the side of an ATV and are ideal if hunters would like their gun enclosed for safety, weather or local regulations.
“Gun clips are one of our top sellers, and every hunter should equip their ATV with either clips or a scabbard,” Krinke said. “They’re safe, convenient and give hunters a means to use their guns without having to remove them from a case.”
Although gun clips are more convenient than scabbards, in most states they can not be used on public land, as a gun must be cased while traveling. Therefore, it’s suggested that dealers check with consumers to find out where they’ll be riding before they recommend purchasing a scabbard over gun clips, and vice versa.
Cargo/Utility Rack — Cargo or utility racks can be attached to either the front or back of an ATV and provide extra space for hauling game out of the woods, holding luggage or other additional cargo.
“Unless you’ll be pulling a trailer or have another means of hauling game out of the woods, having a cargo rack will save a hunter a lot of time and effort,” Krinke said. “And when you’re using the ATV for purposes other than hunting, they allow you to carry additional luggage, gear, etc., that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.”
Front/Rear Fender Organizers — Organizers for an ATV come in all shapes and sizes, and models are available to fit just about any part of a vehicle, from the fenders to the gas tank and beyond. They easily attach onto an ATV and provide valuable storage room for extra gear, clothing, food, etc.
“You certainly don’t need to deck out your ATV front-to-back with organizers, but I recommend that every hunter at least own one, regardless of where you’d like it to be on your vehicle,” Krinke said. “You’ll be glad to have one when you’re looking to store your car keys, gloves, wallet, extra clothing and food and beverages, just to name a few.”
Receiver Hitch — Receiver hitches give hunters the ability to use either a ball or clevis pin mount, and allow you to tow, pull or use a pin hitch without changing hitches. Typically, these hitches can be permanently mounted to any ATV’s factory hitch.
“Whether you’re pulling a trailer or want to use your ATV later for utility purposes, such as attaching lawn and garden equipment, a receiver hitch allows you to easily connect any attachment without the hassle of switching hitches,” Krinke said. “These are very convenient for a hunter who will be using an ATV for a variety of tasks.”