With hunting season just around the corner, it’s time to get your tags, check your gear, and load up your Polaris Ranger with all the hunting essentials. Whether you’re bow hunting antelope, rifle hunting elk, or even using a blowgun to hunt small game, when you’re out in the field, having a reliable machine underneath you sure comes in handy -- especially for hauling out those big male ungulates. So if you’re looking for the perfect hunting UTV, continue reading. And for those that already have a Ranger that you use to hunt with, you already know!
Getting The Right Hunting Rig
If you’re using your Polaris Ranger for hunting, be aware that the Ranger 900 is a much, much quieter machine than the 570. That being said, in terms of power and ability, the 570 or even the 500 will go the same places that all the big boys go. So if you’re looking for a hunting vehicle, engine size won’t be a limiting factor.
There’s a reason Polaris stopped making the 570 full-size. It’s because it was a cheaper rig that did everything the 900 could do and it was hurting sales on the 900. Now the 570 has the strut front end which kind of sucks if you plan on lifting it or running big tires. However, the 570 will go most anywhere a Ranger 1000 will go. If you crave acceleration and enjoy it, it is sorely missing in comparison to a 900, or 1000. It isn't the speed that is missing or what it will climb. What is missing is its ability to pin you against the back of your seat and paint a smile on your face. If you can not relate to what I just described then odds are good that you will be happy with a 570 -- especially if your primary use for the machine is hunting. A friend of the site has a 2018 Polaris Ranger 570, and boy howdy it has plenty of power if you ask me. It is an outright overachiever, able to pull a 150 gallon sprayer or even a large deer stand.
Using Your Ranger To Haul Deer Stands
All you hunters up in the mountains and highlands know what it’s like to stalk a deer or elk for two-three days through the woods. But for the hunters in the south -- where there are boat loads of deer in the fields and thin woodlands -- using a deer stand is almost a requisite.
Sure it may be more gratifying to nab an elk in the rockies, and it’s definitely a lot harder than sitting in a deer blind sipping a cold one waiting on a deer to come out. But who's to judge. After all, nobody gets a UTV to make their life harder. And its the same with hunting. If you can use a deer stand to make life easier, why not?
You can buy pre-constructed deer stands, but many hunters like to make their own. You don’t need anything fancy, just an angle iron frame with plywood will work. And if you’re tired of having to move it with your tractor or by hand, you can throw some tires underneath and haul it with your Ranger -- just make sure to get a proper UTV towing hitch.
Hunting In The Cold With A Ranger
Of course, hunting in the cold is almost unavoidable in many places, as hunting season is in the fall. While this is great to preserve your meat, it can get a bit chilly. And depending on how far north you are, potentially life-threatening -- frostbite and hypothermia are no joke. A lot of Polaris Ranger hunters install a Duraclutch traction control to help the rear when trying to push out in the snow. You can run the AWD with the rear still in turf mode or switch it into rear lock as needed on those slippery snow-packed trails.
Many Ranger owners who live in the north also do a little ice fishing or even seal hunting. And if there was ever a group of ranger owners who needs a cab kit, heater, and tracks, these are them. If you’re caribou hunting in Eureka Alaska, trying to fulfill your Moose tag along the Denali Highway, or going after squirrels with your dogs in the Lewis and Clark National Forest, you’ll be having a blast and staying warm in your Polari Ranger.