Let’s face it, sooner or later whether you mean to or not, you are going to get your ATV/UTV stuck. It doesn’t matter if you use it for hunting, fishing, working on the farm, or just trail riding, you will get it stuck.
The real question is what’s the best way to free it and be on your way?
The answer to that is easy. Winch it out. Well, that is as long as you have a winch on the front of your ATV/UTV!
What? You don’t have one? Shame on you!
If you are like me and lots of others who ride ATVs when hunting and fishing, you are going to get off the beaten path and when you do you are going to find yourself (as I have) wishing you had stayed on the beaten path. And, while a winch isn’t 100 percent certain to get you out of every bad situation you find yourself in on an ATV, it certainly is good insurance.
Winches easily attach to the front or rear of your vehicle (mine’s on the front, like most of them), and can pull you and your cargo out of some very serious mud, water or just places where you’d rather not count on your ability to navigate successfully through.
Check Pull Rating
I looked around in several ATV shops, and asked questions of a lot of ATV owners before I made my purchase. I kept thinking I needed the biggest, meanest, highest torque winch made, but soon found that’s not necessarily the case. Instead of a 4,500-lb. pull rating or higher, I bought a winch with a 3,500-lb. pull rating and saved myself a few bucks and still got a winch powerful enough to handle any job I’ve ever needed it to handle.
I bought a Superwinch Terra 35 and made sure it had a remote control unit. I learned from watching friends who only had toggle switches on their handlebars that the remote sure comes in handy — a lot of the time! The only thing my Superwinch Terra didn’t come with was the mounting plate, but that’s understandable. I bought a plate to match my Yamaha ATV and mounted the winch in less than 30 minutes … and, I had it operating in less than an hour. For me, that’s saying something.
My winch came in handy within a week, pulling me out of the mud in Hickman County, Tenn., during the spring turkey season – twice! While I didn’t bag a turkey either of those times, the winch certainly helped me get back to our hunting shack before dark.
During the next fall’s deer season, the buck I bagged opening morning ran down a steep hill before dropping. My ATV and my winch made short work of getting him to the top of the hill and into the back of my pickup truck. That hill was so steep I might have had to quarter that big buck at the bottom and haul him up in pieces were it not for my ATV and the Superwinch.
You might not use a winch every time you go out, but having one available to use not only provides insurance against having to walk away from your stuck ATV, it also provides you with some pretty good peace of mind.
Shop Sportsman’s Guide for a great selection of Winches and Mounts!