What About Using All-Terrain Vehicles While Hunting?
More and more hunters are using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). When used properly and responsibly, ATVs can be very useful. For example, with an ATV you can travel quickly to remote areas that might otherwise not be accessible, or you can quickly and easily pack out a kill. These vehicles can also be dangerous. If you decide to use an ATV, take the time before your hunt to learn how to use the vehicle safely and responsibly. Also be sure to check with your local or regional land management agency to find out what restrictions apply to ATV use and where.
Follow these rules to operate an ATV safely:
- Always wear a helmet. A helmet protects your head from serious injury in the event of a crash. Also, wear protective glasses or goggles, gloves, and appropriate footwear.
- Know how to properly operate an ATV. Read and follow all manufacturer’s guidelines. Take an ATV operator’s course from Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
- Never overload your ATV. An ATV should be limited to one person. Additional gear should be limited and loads balanced.
- Watch your speed. Too many accidents occur because of high speed or recklessness. Maintain a slow to moderate speed, and exercise caution while turning.
- Use the buddy system. Travel in groups and make sure nobody is left behind. Look over your shoulder to check on your partners frequently.
- Think safety and be prepared. Be sure that riding conditions are safe before traveling. Always carry a first aid kit and basic repair tools.
People who misuse ATVs disturb wildlife and damage roads, trails, and the environment. The noise or presence of an ATV may also annoy or aggravate other people. In response, private landowners and public land managers may restrict motorized travel to particular areas.
Follow these rules to operate an ATV responsibly:
- Use good judgment.
- Know and follow all regulations and laws regarding ATVs.
- Carry firearms unloaded and cased, or on a gun rack.
- Travel only on trails designated for motorized use. NOTE: ATVs cannot be used in roadless areas.
- Avoid damage to the land. Stay out of streams, wet meadows, and steep terrain.
- Never chase or otherwise harass wildlife.
- Respect other hunters. Do not ride your ATV during prime hunting hours or in areas where other people are hunting.
- Yield the right of way if you encounter other hunters on foot or with pack animals. Pull to the side of the trail, turn off your engine, and allow them to pass.
- Keep your speed down to minimize dust and noise.
The only safe way to carry a firearm on an ATV
is unloaded and cased, or on a gun rack