The impact of a powerful UTV is best felt during a “chase,” which makes it perfect for hunting. Seasoned hunters require reliable UTVs.
If you’re looking to buy a UTV, this piece will tell you about the best options out there. The list has been put together after a careful assessment of various feature-laden UTV models. I will weigh the pros and cons of the best hunting UTV’s on the market right now. Storage capacity, noise levels, and performance were considered to help you make the right choice.
The utility vehicle industry is much bigger than it was two decades ago. Most hunters love going into the wild on their trusted UTVs. They are highly adaptable and you can easily add a few features of your own to ensure an even more comfortable and safe ride.
Also, hunters require rugged vehicles and a UTV is arguably the sturdiest off-road vehicle around. It is the perfect fit in every way. You can easily get through tough terrain with your prize firmly tucked away in the cargo box and the full weight of a hunting party riding with you. Other types of off-roaders might struggle to match this convenience for seasoned hunters.
Top UTV Models for Hunting
Below are some of your best bets if you’re going to scour the Internet or walk into a UTV dealership anytime soon.
Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE
The pick of many veteran hunters, UTV riders, and major publications within the utility vehicle industry, the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE is as good a machine as any you’ll ever find. It has been known to offer a “butter-smooth” riding experience with virtually no vibration or engine noise. This is pleasantly surprising when considering the 6-speed transmission, which is more akin to truck-style vehicles.
Furthermore, the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE includes an incredibly spacious storage/cargo dumping box. However, that’s not all. You can turn the box into a second row of seats. Just pull the lever that opens the rear access door and flip the two panels up. Within seconds, you have a two-seater UTV that can handle as many as five passengers at a time.
An incredible machine in every way, the 1000-5 LE has a ground clearance of 13 inches. Moreover, a 999cc liquid-cooled & twin-cam engine comes with a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. This won’t seem believable while riding, mainly because the vehicle sounds as if the engine isn’t there at all. Since engine noise maxes out at 76 decibels while the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE moves at 20 mph, the rider (or hunter) is more likely to hear the wheels on a trail than any engine buzz.
Can-Am Commander DPS
The Can-Am Commander DPS is another UTV for which a seasoned hunter is likely to be excited. It packs quite a punch with regard to cargo-hauling capacity and all-terrain performance. However, this machine also stands out because of its ability to cover terrains that many UTVs cannot.
In that regard, you can think of the Can-Am Commander DPS as a dedicated hunter’s vehicle with some pretty irresistible features. The ground clearance or suspension travel capability is 13 inches, while the maximum towing capacity stands 2,000 pounds. There’s also a LinQ system that can care for all your needs irrespective of the situation. Most importantly, the Can-Am Commander DPS will help you stay in control of the hunt from the very beginning!
It usually comes in a dark green color which easily meshes with a jungle’s surroundings. So, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better UTV for your hunting adventures. It will certainly add more fizz and excitement to your journeys into the wilderness. What’s more? Any and all upgrades are possible. Hence, you can customize those tailgate extensions and winches or add a whole new overhead gun rack. It’s all possible with the Can-Am Commander DPS.
Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX EPS LE
The Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX EPS LE is one of the biggest machines on this list. In fact, at nearly 7 feet tall and about 12 feet in length, it’s a massive UTV. The Mule Pro-FX EPS LE is a “workhorse for open terrain.” However, navigating tighter spaces becomes a challenge because of the size of this vehicle.
The ride is generally smooth and comfortable, while safety is fairly high too. It comes with an 812cc 3-cylinder engine which creates 48 ft.-lb of torque at 3,500 rpm. However, all of this is done “in a whisper.” Like the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE, there’s surprisingly little engine noise with this one.
In fact, at 89.5 decibels while traveling at 20 mph and only 74.2 decibels in the cab, the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX EPS LE is one of the quieter machines on this list. All in all, the ride is smooth with plenty of comfort and high-tech features that make hunting fun and exciting. However, its sheer size can sometimes become a challenge when passing through narrower trails and tight spots deep within a forest.
2021 Can-Am Defender
There’s no better UTV for hunters who want high durability than the 2021 Can-Am Defender. It provides 15 inches of ground clearance and suspension travel, 6x6 traction, 2,500 pounds of towing capacity, and an 82 horsepower engine. Regardless of how rough an off-road terrain or snowbank is, you can rely on this powerful UTV to get you through it. The machine also has a 69 lb-ft torque rating, which means that there are hardly any obstacles in the outdoors that it cannot cross.
Versatility is one of the biggest reasons why the 2021 Can-Am Defender has made it onto this list. You can take it into the wild during any season and still have a ball. Not many other UTVs can match it in that respect.
Furthermore, the machine is equipped with automatic climate control which ensures that you and your hunter pals have a good time throughout the expedition, regardless of weather conditions. Its rugged exterior and highly robust dumping bed can easily cover all your needs. Also, with a color that is super-easy to camouflage, there’s no situation where this beast can’t blend in.
Cub Cadet Challenger 750
The Cub Cadet Challenger 750 has one of the most comprehensive accessory sets of all the UTVs on this list. Be it blinkers and side-view mirrors or full/rigid doors and a proper roof, this machine has every component imaginable. And all of this comes as standard, meaning you won’t have to make additional customizations for any of these parts.
However, the noise and vibration levels are somewhat on the high side. The in-cab readings exceed 98 decibels at 10 mph, making it a fairly loud UTV. As a result, having normal conversations while riding the Cub Cadet Challenger 750 is impossible.
Other than that, it’s a pretty good hunting option. The vehicle has a rack and pinion steering system, which is usually a hit with old-school hunters and automotive enthusiasts. Moreover, the standard winch is perfect for going deep into a forest, while the cargo box has plenty of space. The control layout is uncomplicated and easy to master, making it a solid and highly reliable Utility Terrain Vehicle. Retailing for around $11,300, the Cub Cadet Challenger 750 is also huge on “value for money.”
If you find yourself needing extra storage space check out the Best UTV Cargo Racks.
Yamaha Wolverine R-SPEC EPS
The Yamaha Wolverine R-SPEC EPS can be best described as “a cross between a utility vehicle and a sports machine.” In other words, it contains many features of a UTV, but some are more common in sport utility vehicles.
With a 708cc dual-overhead-cam engine, the machine has solid handling and delivers a comfortable ride on the whole. Other features include an adjustable KYB suspension system (9.7 inches up front and 10 inches on the rear) along with multiple compression preload, damping, and rebound options. However, the cargo dumping box is not as big as some of the other UTVs on this list.
Like the Cub Cadet Challenger 750, the Yamaha Wolverine R-SPEC EPS offers great value for money. It retails in the $13,000 - $14,000 range. This is a fairly attractive price category considering that it comes with rigid doors, roof, power steering, simple-to-use dial, and unique under-seat storage. The power steering setup is quite efficient and highly responsive, with the ability to easily handle the roughest terrain.
Polaris Ranger 500
The Polaris Ranger 500 ranks quite high in terms of overall quality. It’s certainly a great option for both novice and seasoned hunters. A well-built and sturdy machine, it comes with a 500cc 32 horsepower engine. However, it’s the possible add-ons that make the Polaris Ranger 500 stand out.
Everything from cruise control to traction control is available in this one. Also, the AWD setup enables switching between 2WD and 4WD and back again without turning off the engine at any point. You can operate in either mode with just a push of a button. There isn’t a better UTV out there for those who want more power during a ride. Furthermore, there’s no shortage of room in the cargo box, making it easy to dump heavy loads and carry them around.
John Deere Gator XUV 590i
The XUV series is an attempt by John Deere to add greater in-field functionality and more oomph to its long-running Gator line of UTVs. Given the popularity of the John Deere Gator XUV5901, the approach certainly seems to be working.
The engine is full of power while the overall ride and handling, aided by an efficient power steering system, are among the best in class. Moreover, the 4WD system is highly effective, quick, and easy to deploy. Adjustable suspension is excellent too!
Also, compared to past Gator models, the XUV 590i is a very quiet UTV. It doesn’t match some of the other machines on this list, but it is a huge improvement from the noisy Gators that we have used for so long.
The overall build quality is really good with a few subtle but smart touches. These include sealed storage under the hood, upgraded wheels, 20 tie-down points, an optional winch, and various easy-access service points. There’s also significantly more legroom in the cab than competing models.
For those who love speed while hunting in the outdoors, the Kawasaki Teryx is a really good option. Speed-lovers need a UTV that can go as fast as possible through the jungle, and the Teryx certainly fits the bill in that regard.
Despite being a speed demon, this machine isn’t low on control. In fact, the super-responsive steering system and vented disc brakes provide lots of control when going at breakneck speeds. And with a towing capacity of 1,300 pounds, you’ve got a monstrous UTV that can make your hunting adventures exhilarating.
Textron Stampede EPS
Seasoned hunters and UTV enthusiasts might know Textron off-roaders by another name: Bad Boy Buggies. Textron Off-Road is the rebranded version of this old brand. Following the name change, the company’s first offering is the Textron Stampede EPS. And, judging by customer feedback, it seems a pretty good one!
The machine includes a beefy 846cc (80 hp) engine with an innovative dry sump oil mechanism. This keeps the oil temperature lower than what you might see in conventional systems. Apart from a spacious cargo dumping box, extra storage is available behind the seats, thanks to a unique cab configuration. This place is perfect for carrying bows and arrows, guns, rifles, and any other hunting gear that you wouldn’t want bouncing around.
And while there is a fair bit of engine noise (again, not the quietest UTV on this list!), the Textron Stampede EPS delivers lots of value at $14,799.
Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX
The extremely powerful Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX utility terrain vehicle is made for hunters who like to head to the roughest parts of the outdoors. If you’re looking for a UTV that can effortlessly go through any terrain, look no further because you’ve found what you’re looking for!
The Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX comes with a 695cc single-cylinder engine which includes electronic fuel injection for enhanced power. The installation process is also quite simple. You just need one external component, which will ultimately come down to your choice of mufflers. The storage capacity is remarkable as well.
Why Should You Prefer a UTV for Your Hunting Trips?
A UTV has plenty of advantages over other off-road vehicles when it comes to hunting. For one thing, there’s more cargo dumping space and greater hauling capacity. Moreover, you can easily bring a few hunter friends or family members along in one vehicle. With more people joining your trip, you can have a few sets of eyes watching the country as you navigate the trail with your eyes on the off-road track. Besides, hunting in a pack is way more fun than hunting alone!
The Bottom Line
Personal preferences aside, UTVs are an excellent choice for those who want to go looking for some game in the wild outdoors. However, keep in mind you should evaluate a vehicle and look at every feature carefully before making a purchase decision. Look for top-notch engine performance and ample space for carrying your accessories (and hunted prizes) without compromising on riding safety and comfort in any way.
About THE AUTHOR
41 years old. I'm a freelance writer that specializes in informational blog posts. All my articles are detail oriented and well researched. I'm a huge Arizona Cardinals fan!Read More About Michael