Have you ever been inside an ATV dealership and saw the hot-rod looking sporty machines and thought, “Yeah, that looks fun, but I need something for hunting?” Don’t be so quick to dismiss a machine like the new 2016 Polaris RzR S 1000 for hunting. There are quite a few scenarios where it would be just as good as a more utility-type machine and some where it far outshines them.
Don’t overlook the idea of comfort when picking out a side-by-side. And I’m not trying to say that other machines aren’t comfortable – most all of them are. There are a few comfort features that you just can’t overlook though. The RzR has 12.25 inches of suspension travel up front, and 13.2 inches in the back. The FOX performance shocks are riding in dual A-arms and soak up just about any obstacle you’ll find. On a recent ride, we drove these machines over fallen trees, through massive ruts and across crater-sized holes. The suspension handled it all. Add to the mix some highly bolstered seating and you’ve got a very comfortable ride.
All the comfort means that at the end of the day, you’re not going to be as fatigued as you would otherwise. Imagine riding back into the hill country to reach your secret deer hunting spot. When you get to that point that you’re ready to hop off the machine and start hiking off the last distance, you don’t want to be feeling wiped out already. It’s the same reason people pay extra for first class when flying – the extra room and comfort pays in the end when you still have a long day ahead of you.
A lot of us buy a bigger caliber rifle than we really need. Quite often it’s not what we know we need, but what we haven’t thought of yet that gets us to buy it. Not to mention the good idea that it’s better to have more gun than you need, rather than not have enough when you need it. The same can be said about side-by-side engines. The RzR S 1000’ powerplant is one of the biggest, and most powerful you can get. It pumps out 100 horsepower and can get you from Point A to Point B so fast your watch will have to catch up. Here’s the kicker – it’s also one of the most controllable big-bore engines we’ve tested.
Regardless of the terrain, the RzR really shined when it came time to go. By that, we mean that it always had power on tap. There was not lull when you gave it gas, and the GBC Dirt Commander tires found traction anywhere, and we moved. This included some gnarly, washed out steep hills of sand and rock. Imagine riding into your area, only to have a massive hill separating you from the valley you wanted to pitch base camp in? You could hike up the hill, hauling all your gear, go around it on a lesser machine, of just gas it and go on the RzR. We’d rather go hunting.
An interesting side not to having all this power – The RzR’s fuel tank holds 9.5 gallons of gas. After riding for 4 hours of pretty non-stop action, we barely used one tenth of a tank of gas. That kind of fuel economy is impressive.
It can go anywhere
When Polaris first released a RzR 1000, it was a beast. Huge shocks, and a wide stance made it most at home in open terrain. The new S model is narrower at only 60-inches wide, making it far more trail friendly. The suspension, geometry, tires and overall design make the RzR comfortable in everything from wide-open western country, to tight wooded hills and mountains of the east. Deep mud is not a problem either, as we got into some seriously thick bogs that would otherwise have a person wishing they had a winch and 6 buddies along to help get him or her out.
The go-anywhere appeal of the 1000 doesn’t just refer to the handling either. If you’re wondering if you would ever need to travel at speed over terrain, imagine going on a pronghorn hunt in places like Wyoming. Need to get ahead of a herd that was blown out of a valley by another hunter? No sweat. How about cruising down logging roads heading back to a Upper Peninsula deer camp during a beautiful Michigan autumn? Let her rip, tater chip. It can go anywhere, fast or slow, in open terrain, or tight woods, and get you there without draining any extra energy out of you.
But what about your gear?
The cargo area is generously sized with multiple tie-down points. It will haul up to 740 pounds of cargo in the 20.7-inches long by 37-inches wide by 7.9-inched deep cargo bed. This size bed gives you enough room and capacity to haul enough gear for a decent camp, or a nice day trip. Need more cargo capacity? The RzR 1000S has a 1.25-inch receiver hitch and it can tow 1,500lbs. If you need more stuff than that, maybe try a helicopter. That’s about the only other ride that can get you into the places a RzR can go.
Overall, if you’re hunting or fishing trips are a little on the adventurous side, and you want an extremely capable machine that can get you just about anywhere, take a look at a Polaris RzR. They can get you comfortably into places you’d be hard pressed to get into otherwise, and are fun for scouting, and other outdoor expeditions. And as an added bonus, during the off season, you can have a lot of fun to boot. That might help you swallow the $17,999 price tag, or at least keep you from sleeping on the couch. Quite a few hunters are seeing the advantage of going with a sport-based machine over a strictly utility one. Find out more info at www.polaris.com and decide for yourself. Better yet, go to a local dealership and drive one.