By Montana Grant

Posted: November 13, 2022

4 Wheelers are a modern hunter’s horse. Not only can they get you to a location, but they can also help with game retrieval.

Sadly, some wheeler hunters are idiots. They damage fences, trespass, and destroy areas that they travel. With some education, wheeler hunting can do virtually no damage to the environment. If wheeler hunters stay on the trails and roads, no problems arise. Retrieving game is also a huge advantage.

Older hunters along with wounded vets, and handicapped hunters can benefit from wheeler hunting. Hunters must always check the local regulations and rules as to using these wheeled horses. If you are on private land, get permission first. Landowners use wheelers to perform their chores and jobs around their land.

Some landowners will allow wheelers for game retrieval. They may also request that you stay along the field edges. Shooting off a wheeler is not legal. You must get away from the wheeler to shoot. Make sure that you have ropes or straps to load and secure your critter.

On one evening deer hunt, I was still hunting a wheat field edge. The area out of the field quickly dropped off into heavy cover. My plan was to catch a big buck entering the field to feed, at dusk. I parked my wheeler and was off. A mile in, I had a great mulie buck jump over the fence and enter the field 100 yards in front of me. One shot later and I was stuck with a 300-pound mulie buck.

I dressed the buck, left my gear, and walked back to my wheeler. A quick drive back and I was ready to load my trophy. This is no easy task for an Old Fart, but with some leverage and winching, I was able to load the buck and drive home.

Without a wheeler, I would have needed to quarter and carry the buck, then reload into my truck, miles away. Whew! Thank goodness for the wheeler. Native peoples would have used their horse to drag or pack out their harvest.

There are places in Montana where a wheeler just makes sense. Getting to a remote area often requires special equipment and vehicles. Horses are great but not everyone has the skill or time to care for them. These vehicles are also expensive. Accidents can also be fatal or crippling. Speed and alcohol are often the cause of a crash. On rough terrain, a helmet is a smart piece of gear to use.

Wheelers require training and practice. Education is vital to a user’s safety.

Ride Safe and smart!

Montana Grant

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