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Do UTVs Scare Away Deer?

Using a UTV can dramatically improve a hunting experience, as long as best practices (and the law!) are followed. However, the hunting world is divided into UTV hunters versus non-UTV hunters. Is the tool that’s supposed to make hunting better actually scaring away deer and other game? UTVs and hunting have become intrinsically connected, especially for those who hunt big game that they couldn’t possibly collect without a UTV. A UTV is the ultimate tool for some hunters, but not all machines are created equally. First, consider the electrics, those rare UTVs that you can plug in and charge. If you’re hunting near your home or an outlet, there’s only a few hundred acres to roam and it’s guaranteed you can plug in daily, electrics give you the quietest ride. However, that’s the rare hunting experience. Most involve prowling across hundreds of acres on public land that’s rough and sometimes treacherous. As great as the equivalent of a Prius may be for quiet, it’s just not realistic for UTVs.

Adjusting Your Goals

Wish you could use an electric UTV? It actually isn’t that much quieter — after all, wild game are savvy and have incredible hearing. You’d notice if someone drove an electric car through your home, and deer will notice if you drive one through their turf. Keep in mind that electrics still have drivetrain noise, gas-based lube (which means a smell), and while they’re a little stealthier, they won’t give you a huge advantage. What hunters really need to consider is that the sound of a vehicle, whether a UTV or truck, is often well-known to deer, depending on the region. If they’re used to hearing cars on roads, they may not be fearful of them and may not see your UTV as an immediate threat. This can work to your advantage. Plus, you leave a less obvious scent by using a machine versus walking.

Tips and Tricks

Adding an extra exhaust to a manufactured stock pipe to try to make your ride quieter is not recommended. Not only does it make your UTV run rougher, it can destroy spark plugs and change the fuel-air cocktail. Game will still know a vehicle is around. Instead, stick with factory products as much as possible with the engine. You can upgrade and add on with accessories instead. Consider adding an extra cargo area for your tools and hauling away game. For really rough terrain, a roll cage or roll bar is a must. Avoid riding a UTV on opening day of the season — game haven’t readjusted to such sounds yet. For all your UTV add-on needs and to get ready for hunting season, visit UTV Windshield and Accessories today.

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