Is an ATV better for shooting that a 4×4
Running a shoot in the UK is no easy task. The landscape can be steep and often sodden. This makes using a conventional 4×4 potentially prohibitive. Lighter and more function ATV’s are now a common sight across farms and for good reason. An ATV like the ones from Can Am provides light functional workhorses designed for work. Whether you need load space out of season or a game cart in the season an ATV will have you covered.
What is an ATV?
An ATV or All Terrain Vehicle is exactly that. The vehicle is designed purely to get Over, through or across whatever is in front of it. They usually have uprated suspension, minimal body panels and use hardwearing materials. Designed to work all day and be cleaned inside and out with the hose. You won’t find premium leather or clever electronics in here.
ATV’s are designed around utility and little else. If it needs moving on poor terrain then they do it. While they might not feel ultra premium to be in they will make sure you get home every time. For Shooting they’re ideal, windshields fold down, the beds are adaptable to any load and they’re rugged. We often think they look far better with some mud and scratches on them.
Why ATV’s are fieldsports essentials?
It’s not very often that you open a brochure and can spec gun racks and cargo from the factory. The factory options are almost never ending especially for fieldsports enthusiasts. Roof racks, Winches, spotlights and gun mounts all play into the ATV’s hands when comparing them to a traditional 4×4’s. For the true adventurers, Can Am’s accessory list also boasts tracks should you need to cross seriously boggy patches.
Can Am’s US website has written a great blog on what you might need from an ATV whether that be a quad or a side by side. There’s naturally a price disparity but also a functional difference. The quads are cheaper and lighter but not designed for the heaviest of work. Those who need to fill up a series of feeders will naturally opt for the side by side. It’s impossible to pick just one vehicle to suit all jobs so it’s certainly worth a look.
For fieldsports, the reliability of these vehicles is absolutely crucial. Traversing across fields loaded to the brim is an ATV’s bread and butter. They make daily jobs simple sneaking up narrow lanes and accessing tricky spots becomes simple. They’ll make even the small Defender 90 feel comparatively humongous. Once you start on ATV ownership you’ll feel hard pushed to go back to cars.
Why pick an ATV over a 4×4
With the prices often comparable between the two, why would you choose an ATV over a 4×4? How much is there to be gained from a vehicle without as many amenities as a second hand car? In reality, these two vehicles serve two different purposes. A 4×4 has to serve a multitude of purposes while the ATV is purely designed for off road pursuits.
Shooting from a purpose built road car can often be slightly difficult. Whether it’s the large pillars, noisy engines or an interior you dare not cover with mud, they have their flaws. Shooting from an ATV minimises these issues while still being functional. They weren’t ever designed to do the school run and are a utility tool rather than transport.
This is where an ATV comes into its own. Being smaller and lighter they’re far easier to maneuver across muddy countryside. With a bed on the back it’s simple to load with feeder bags to get to your game birds with. Going up tracks is simple as their narrow wheel base keeps them stable and out of deep ruts. However, an ATV should only be seen as an addition to a vehicle fleet. We wouldn’t recommend using one to do your weekly shop or school run in. If you need a versatile vehicle for more than just shooting then have a look at our article on second hand 4×4’s.
An ATV is purpose built for off road pursuits and in the Can Am spec revolves around the needs of Fieldsports enthusiasts. Along with the compact size whether you’re hunting birds or deer you shouldn’t have an issue. For work, the ATV is utilitarian at its route and designed for hard work. Everything’s modular and can be adapted to suit your needs. You can tow trailers, transport feeds and access spaces you cant in a 4×4 all in one package. What you lose compared to a 4×4 is the road characteristics and mod cons but you gain a lot of functionality and improved off road driving.