All-Terrain Vehicles allow access to more remote areas. Sadly, these vehicles do leave a mark and change wild game patterns and hunting experiences. Hunting from these vehicles, rather than on foot, brings to question Fair Chase. This reflects poorly on hunting. ￼
Hunter conflict also becomes a concern. Horseback hunters or remote camps serviced by traditional packtrains can become aggravated by a group of ATV’s plowing into their areas. It is important to be respectful and courteous.
Noise and erosion are of major concern for ATV’s. The sound of motorized vehicles scares critters away. Elk and Deer populations decline where more ATV access is allowed. In areas with roads/ trails of 6 linear miles per square mile virtually reduces elk use to zero. Trails become rutted and scarred by ATV tires. Many thoughtless riders are quick to venture off trails despite signage and rules.
All sportsmen need to be conscious of the reality that our behavior impacts all sportsmen. When a carcass gets dumped, a fence gets cut, a gate is left open, trash is left, or other violations occur, they become a scar on all sportsmen. It’s not fair but that is the way it is.
ATV use has increased over 300% in the last decade. Certainly, Baby Boomers are part of this. They can afford the expenses and ATV’s allow them to continue afield.
ATVs are useful for game retrieval. This is a great tool for handicapped or aging hunters. This means hunt an area, then beeline to the kill site and leave, if access is legally allowed.
Hunter Check Station data reveals that hunters using ATVs are less successful in filling tags.
Here are some tips on using ATV’s ethically and as Sportsmen
Know and follow regulations
Use the ATV to get to your hunting area, then hunt on foot
Navigate legal roads and trails
Retrieve game from the closest road or trail
Avoid marshy and wet areas
Respect other sportsmen and recreationists
Reduce emissions and sounds
Limit ATV use to camps and trailheads
Police our sport by reporting violators to 1-800-847-6669. Pictures are helpful.
Enjoy our sport ethically, legally, and safely!