You might not think you need to strap on your helmet for every outing, but you’d be wrong. Safety should always come first. Proper riding gear always includes:
- Helmet (with a Department of Transportation approved sticker)
- Eye protection
- Gloves (consider weather conditions, comfort and protection)
- Long pants and long sleeves
- Over-the-ankle boots (for support and protection)
Choosing Your Vehicle
he proper gear is a good start, and picking the right ATV or SxS vehicle is another important step. Today’s ATVs range in size, from entry level ATVs with 50-125cc engines up to “big bore” machines with 700cc motors. Be sure to try different levels (within your age range) and consider where and how you plan to ride. While you might think you need the biggest ATV on the market, there’s a good chance you can cover most terrain on a range of vehicles. Check with a local dealership or find a Yamaha demo ride to see which fits you best.
Another question to ask yourself these days: Need more than one seat?
This has become an increasingly important consideration the past few years as Yamaha’s lineup of SxS vehicles has opened up another option for exploring the outdoors.
Traditional ATVs are specifically designed for a single rider only. You should never allow a passenger on a traditional ATV. SxS vehicles are designed specifically for two or more with an automotive-type cab and operation functions (bucket seats, safety belts, steering wheel and foot peddles for throttle and braking).
ATVs are “rider active vehicles” which means you participate in the proper operation of the machine by moving around and shifting your weight, depending on the circumstances and terrain. These movements are best learned under the supervision of an SVIA instructor.
SxS vehicles are very off-road capable, and the automotive-like cab can be confidence-inspriring, but drivers should always drive within their experience level and take particular care in off-road situations.
Responsible Riding While Hunting
Once you are up to speed on proper riding techniques and safety gear, you are ready to insert this experience into your hunting trip. Responsible riding and ethical hunting will help guarantee you get the most out of your outdoor experience while taking care of the outdoors and promoting a positive image also we can all continue to enjoy these sports in the future. Always learn and follow the hunting laws and restrictions in your area, and consider some of these tips for responsible riding while hunting:
Always unload and properly store your firearm before operating your ATV or SxS vehicle. And NEVER hunt from your vehicle.
Learn and follow riding regulations including sound levels, safety gear requirements, age limits and safety course recommendations and requirements. Refer to on-product labels and your owner’s manual for detailed instructions and warnings on proper and safe operation of the vehicles.
Watch for and be considerate of others in the area including private property owners and other hunters.
When on public land, use up-to-date trail maps to assure you only ride in permitted areas and on designated open trails.
Inspect and clean your vehicle to remove seeds, weeds and other vegetation and prevent the transfer of non-native invasive species to other areas.
Follow your vehicle manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule and regularly check for any fluid leaks or problems that might negatively impact the environment or your vehicles performance.
Set a positive example, especially when riding with younger or less experienced riders.
Taking an ATV or SXS hunting can be both extremely helpful and a lot of fun. Even if you never take a shot, your ride out and back can be a blast. To learn more, check out Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week online.