The Mudslinger

The Top 3 Best UTV and ATV Hunting Machines

Nov 2, 2019 12:00:00 PM / by Rusty G.

Hunting season is upon us. Take a look at a few of the best hunting four-wheelers that are guaranteed to help you up your game. 

There’s nothing like the smell of wet grass, burning leaves, and a cool 17-degree wind chill to remind you that winter is coming and hunting season has officially begun. And what better way to ring in the chilliest of seasons than with a four-wheeler equipped to haul some serious game.


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The results are in, folks, and I’ve determined that there are at least three utility ATVs and UTVs that you should set your sights on this hunting season. But, don’t be fooled: these machines have just as much recreational appeal as they do workhorse grit. All have praiseworthy handling, commendable storage space, and are equipped to handle tough terrain with differential lock capabilities and selectable 4X4 and 4X2 drivetrains.  

Starting with the smallest engine displacement to the largest, first up is the...


2017 Polaris Sportsman® 570 SP

Video Source: GoRollick YouTube

One thing’s for sure: if your ATV is sporting the name ‘Polaris,’ then you know you’ve got one heck of a ride in tow. Sure, the Sportsman® 570 doesn’t look like much in terms of its chassis or 567cc engine displacement, but looks can be deceiving. Boasting suspension calibration that’s comparable to its big bore brothers, the Sportsman® can tow up to 1,500 pounds (that’s two fully grown elk, or five mule deer if you’re looking for the best ATV for deer hunting) and has a total rack capacity of 280 pounds—only 80 pounds shy of the much larger Sportsman® XP 1000. I’m already convinced this could be the best ATV for hunting. 

Video Source: Dirt Trax TV YouTube

Additionally, it’s one-of-a-kind ProStar engine (developed specifically for Polaris machines) delivers smooth and quiet power at higher RPMs, while the automatic PVT shaft drive transmission is located conveniently near the driver’s right arm for easy shifting during abrupt terrain changes. All in all, I’d say you’d be pretty satisfied with this ride when push comes to shove on the trails. 


2013 Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX

Many people are partial to Arctic Cat’s line of off-roading vehicles, and the 2013 Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX utility UTV is no exception. Equipped to handle just about any terrain, the Prowler 700 HDX is an honest answer to the hunter’s call for a reliable four-wheeler that can tow some hefty game in extreme conditions. To start, its single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine sits at 695cc, which is plenty respectable if you’re searching for the best side-by-side UTV for hunting; anything less than that, and towing capacity starts to suffer. Speaking of which, have I mentioned that the Prowler has a payload capacity of 1,500 pounds and can tow up to 2,000 pounds? And if you’re one of my taller guys or gals, there’s plenty of legroom to tow you around, too!   

Video Source: Dirt Trax TV YouTube

Furthermore, the Pioneer’s load requirement can easily be adjusted by adding air pressure to the Fox FLOAT® Air chamber (this is where the ‘HDX’ designation comes from). Bottom line: the 2013 Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX has earned its keep as the best UTV for hunting.


2017 Honda Pioneer 1000 LE

Video Source: At Your Leisure YouTube

Boasting a powerful albeit quiet 999cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine, the 2017 Honda Pioneer 1000 LE is anything but unassuming. A beauty to behold, the Pioneer’s competitive engine performance and handling put it up there with class leaders like the Polaris Ranger, and rightfully so. Over 9 feet in length, this robust machine can carry up to three passengers once the cargo box has been transformed into a pair of high-mounted seats complete with seat belts, doors, and a roll cage. It also boasts an 80.3-inch wheelbase and 10.6 inches of adjustable preload in the front, as well as 2,000 pounds of towing capacity—hills or high water, the Pioneer 1000 is one tough S.O.B. 

Video Source: Dirt Trax TV YouTube

Most utility vehicles aren’t cut out for back-to-back trail differentials or tight spaces, but if you don’t mind a little challenge, the 2017 Honda Pioneer 1000 LE is an excellent hunter’s companion. 


There you have it, folks! The Top 3 Best Hunting ATVs and UTVs. Of course, this is only a small sampling, so feel free to leave a comment with your top picks! 


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Rusty G.

Written by Rusty G.

I live to go off the beaten path. Whether it's about ATVs, UTVs, or dirt bikes, I write fun and interesting off-road articles that teach and hopefully inspire you to hit the trail or the track.