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#599050 07/03/21 10:16 AM
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Owenjj3 Offline OP
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I am primarily a walking hunter and generally have no need for an OHV. However, we have logged a more remote section of the farm where we intended to hunt and the road is quite steep. Also I have an aging FIL who is starting to need some assistance getting into remote areas. All this is to say, I am in the market for an OHV or Mule-type vehicle. Having never owned one, I am interested in reliability and durability. My inclination is toward the Honda product as I’ve use their other power equipment very effectively in my yard and other places, But I am interested to hear others’ thoughts.

Last edited by Owenjj3; 07/03/21 10:28 AM.

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Owen, I have a Bad Boy Buggy rigged for quail hunting. It is electric with front and rear motors. It is a comfortable ride and will go anywhere quietly...Geo

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No clue on the vehicle itself. But, before you go shopping, double check the laws on passengers, firearms transportation, and use on non owned lands for same. I’ve heard of game wardens making passengers get off and walk if the vehicle didn’t have proper racks for guns, and proper seating for passengers. Here in Minnesota, I’m pretty sure it is a big no-no if you actually fire a gun from the vehicle, as well.
Good luck.

Best,
Ted

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The Polaris Ranger is the 800 lb. gorilla in sales, but this machine is better:

https://www.kawasaki.com/en-us/side...e=GLOBALNAV-_-PRODUCTGROUPLIST-_-VEHICLE

I've owned one for 3 years and it has been superb. By far, the best riding sxs out there, and dealers who handle all brands will tell you it's the most reliable, trouble-free machine out there.

JR

Last edited by John Roberts; 07/03/21 10:52 AM.

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3 almost 4 years ago when I was in a similar situation I started by looking at Honda also. Honda is one of the few that actually has a transmission instead of a CVT and belt drive. Yamaha and Kawasaki were backup options along with John Deere, my FIL loved his Gator. I highly recommend that you actually drive them all. Most sales places have obstacle courses so that you can test them out. When it was all said and done I went with Polaris XP 1000 Northstar after driving each of the above and it wasn't even on my radar when I started. I have a full cab with heat and AC. The thing puts a smile on my face to this day every time I drive it. Especially in the summer shooting on Sporting Clay courses in heat and humidity. But also the cushy ride over rough terrain on the North Shore of Lake Superior and it will and has gone everywhere I have asked it to.

50 inch width restrictions exist on many NFS roads and I did consider a Honda Pioneer 500 but a friend of mine had just purchased one and it beat the snot of you with the short wheel travel. Lifting it and modifying the suspension helps but makes such a small vehicle even more unstable on rough terrain. He ended up selling it after a year. I left WNC where I had retired from the Navy in 99 so not sure what the restrictions on roads and NFS roads are now. Used to be able to drive the truck on most of the NFS roads but when the UTV and ATV's started to take off the Forest Service solved the additional vehicle traffic by gating and closing many of the roads to all vehicle traffic. In Mn. you can ride a UTV on pretty much all roads and most NFS roads too, hopefully the same applies to WNC by now.

There are a LOT of aftermarket accessories for Polaris more so than any makes due to the sheer volume that are made and sold. Wasn't going to pay $3-4K for a topper and dog box for the bed so built my own out of 1/2" exterior grade baltic birch and customized it to fit my needs.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

I leave the box on in the winter for shooting and also to keep snow out of the bed LOL.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

During the summer I use it for Sporting Clays and can carry a couple extra people in the bed. The AyA N°2 16 ga. on the rack in the bed belongs to a friend, it is not mine.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

More times than not it is carrying SxS guns however

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

When you get over 50" width class you often have people saying why not just a Jeep? The ones that say that have never owned a UTV. Ride is hugely better in a UTV and doesn't beat you up off road. Lighter and can go places Jeeps can not

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

When meeting a vehicle coming the other way on a 2 track it is easy for me to pull over between 2 trees and do. The driver coming the other way invariable stops and rolls the window down to thank me saying they had no place to pull over. My friends FJ compared to the buggy and I almost went with a FJ.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

I'm thankful that I didn't and extremely pleased with my choice. So are the dogs. I ripped the back seat out of the Taco and made a dog bench

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

But got real tired of getting beat up and also beating the truck up. it is now just a tow vehicle for the buggy. I should have gotten a UTV sooner not wait until I was 60.

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I’ve got a Ranger Crew. Mostly used for hauling around my shooting buds on sporting clays courses. Although the wife also uses it in her gardening activities it’s has long wheel base and reminds one of the old trucker song”give me forty acres and I’ll turn this rig around.” It’s been reliable and has a super ride.

If I was leaning more towards reliability, utility and durability I’d go with a Kubota diesel. They aren’t a hot rod by any means but are tough to wear out.

Last edited by Ken Nelson; 07/03/21 02:42 PM.

Dodging lions and wasting time.....
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I have the Kawasaki mule for the past 4 years, it’s maintenance free and does what we ask of it. However, if your of off the beaten path in rough conditions, it will beat you to death and you’ll need to lock the differential in 99% of the time if it’s muddy and a little steep. Or your not going anywhere. The mules top speed is around 25mph if that matters. It is a workhorse in terms of towing and hauling.

This past Turkey season while hunting in KY, the lodge I stayed had a Polaris 1000 North Star that I used to get in and out of during that rain / snow storm that put about 2 inches or so of snow on the ground. I was impressed with the machine, ride 100 times better than the mule, the heater, defroster was great. It got us back in the back 40 where my Avalanche would of failed us. I drove in opened the gate, and drove about a mile on a gravel red clay road sideways in the Avalanche before I turned around and picked up the Polaris just past the gate.

My hunting buddy in NY had a Polaris but traded it in on a Honda sxs. With all the bells on it plus the triangle tank like treads for it. Help in deep snow. While up there this Turkey season he was talking about giving it to his son for his business and getting a new Polaris 1000.

Try them all, as none of them are cheap. And a couple grand one way or the is not a hill to on. Each machine has its pros an cons.

Rich

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Kawasaki Mule Pro-MX here.
Heated, cabbed, POWER STEERING, mid sized, and just plain fun.
Two covered dog boxes in the back.
Top speed 45mph.
Bench seat

You trade the width of the Pro-fx model for a lighter, more maneuverable package.

The Rhino we had was very hot in the cab, and too noisy.
Older Polaris Ranger’s have the exhaust manifold under the passenger seat. They will burn your ass.

Polaris has 50x the accessories of any other brand. Every one is $300.00 lol. And everything is an option on a Polaris.

Cab noise is a problem with most brands.

It makes late season hunts incredibly enjoyable.

Take some for a ride if you can find a dealer with any inventory.

Last edited by ClapperZapper; 07/03/21 03:35 PM.
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About a year ago we went with a Honda Pioneer 1000-5. We have been very happy with it. I have been a Honda guy since 1971. Have not needed anything but a oil change. Like the versatility of the dump box and fold down back seats.

Have used it for clays, trail rides, utility work around the property and recently our township and city has opened up the roads to ATVs and UTZs so we run errands and go to dinner with it.

No regrets.

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Originally Posted by 28 gauge shooter
I have the Kawasaki mule for the past 4 years, it’s maintenance free and does what we ask of it. However, if your of off the beaten path in rough conditions, it will beat you to death and you’ll need to lock the differential in 99% of the time if it’s muddy and a little steep. Or your not going anywhere. The mules top speed is around 25mph if that matters. It is a workhorse in terms of towing and hauling.
Rich

You've got the old version that has long been superseded, and everything you wrote is true. No comparison between it and the new Pro FXT.
JR

Last edited by John Roberts; 07/03/21 03:34 PM.

Be strong, be of good courage.
God bless America, long live the Republic.
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