Outdoor Steward: Outfitting your ATV for field work
Reaping the greatest benefit from your wooded land or other rural property requires employing good stewardship practices. That could include a host of activities, such as habitat work that includes cutting and planting trees, wetland restoration, hauling firewood, developing woodland trails, building fences, creating and maintaining food plots, and much more.
The all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or side-by-side utility trail vehicle (UTV) that hauled your deer out of the woods last fall also can help improve and maintain your property this spring and summer when it’s properly outfitted with accessories and implements.
Vehicles of 500cc and up are powerful enough for work. However, the more work you plan to do, the better off you’ll likely be with a more powerful machine.
A sturdy trailer is a valuable accessory for ATVs, and even with UTVs you’ll be able to haul bigger, bulkier loads than the rear box can handle. A trailer will haul firewood, seed, fertilizer, hay, fence posts, stones and more.
Otter Outdoors offers its X-Series of molded polyethylene trailers designed for consistent heavy-duty use whether hunting, doing farm work, landscaping, hauling heavy items, and more. They’re available in several models and tire/hub options, with hauling capacities up to 2,000 pounds.
DR Power Equipment Co. offers its unique single-axle and double-axle Versa-Trailers. The double-axle hauls up to 2,000 pounds, has a 35-degree dump angle, and uses a boom lift to take the struggle out of loading and unloading objects weighing up to 460 pounds.
Moose Utilities, a leader in ATV accessories and equipment, offers a poly swivel dump trailer with 48-inch box, a 1,250-pound load capacity, and a 60-degree dump angle.
A foot pedal activates the dump mechanism. The pass-through undercarriage provides 12 inches of clearance. A pivoting hitch allows the cart to adjust to uneven terrain. The cart body swivels to easily dump its load anywhere within a 100-degree radius.
The new LG7 lightweight utility cart from Polar by Clam boasts fine features at a great price point. It has quality Polar components like the tilt-and-pivot frame and the quick-release tipper latch, which makes dumping your yard load exactly where you want easy. The heavy-duty high-impact polyethylene extruded tub holds seven cubic feet of lawn and garden material.
Decked out in quality wheels made with durable shielded ball bearings, only eight bolts make for quick and easy assembly.
The tubular frame axle holds up strong under a full-tube frame with powder coat finish. With 12 inches of ground clearance chores will be easy to maneuver from manicured yard to rough terrain and back again. For use with ATV or lawn trailer.
Developing wildlife food plots or planting a garden are productive spring projects that start with proper soil preparation, and that requires the correct tillage tools.
When choosing tillage equipment, it’s important to consider the type of soil you have and its consistency, along with the what crops you’ll be planting. Working up heavy, rocky soil is best accomplished with a tiller or a combination of moldboard plow or chisel plow and spring-tooth harrow. On rich, less-compacted soils you can probably do the job with lighter, less invasive equipment. Clover and similar crops require a seedbed depth of only 2 or 3 inches, but when planting corn or sorghum, you’ll need tools capable of digging down 4 to 6 inches.
The Roto-Hog Power Tillers – from DR Power Equipment – can help speed up tillage. A Briggs & Stratton OVH engine delivers full power to the 24-inch bolo tines to till a 3-foot-wide strip. Push-button controls allow the tines to be raised or lowered for optimal tilling depth. Optional attachments include an electric-powered seeder/spreader that enables spreading seed, lime, and fertilizer in a path up to 12 feet wide, and a rear-attaching culti-packer has a roller of 16-inch polyethylene packer wheels.
Whether you’re preparing a wildlife food plot or seeding a lawn, the Till-Ease line of pull-behind tillage equipment from Kunz Engineering (www.kunzeng.com) features quality tools that work well with an ATV or UTV. The line includes the Model 543 chisel plow/field cultivator, and TP2148 and TP3272 culti-packer that provide the proper seed-to-soil contact, which translates to faster, more dependable seed germination.
Land Pride's FPS Food Plot Seeder is a versatile full-component package designed to open and break up soil surfaces by discing the soil for seed bed or planting preparation.
It will then spread the seeds while simultaneously pressing the seeds into full soil contact with a trailing fluted roller/packer. It also can be used to spread fertilizer, lime, gypsum, and other soil-conditioning amendments at distances ranging from 4 to 20 feet. The spin spreader also can be used in the off-season to spread sand or salt for winter icing or slick snow conditions.
The Rhino Limer is designed to pull behind an ATV and drop-spread pulverized lime, especially in small or hard-to-reach areas. It has a capacity of nearly 2,000 pounds and a spreading width of 5 feet. Manufactured with heavy-gauge steel, the Rhino Limer is built for years of use. The Rhino Limer also is equipped with high-speed hubs and a 2-inch receiver for convenient transporting behind your vehicle. Find more information at (715) 284-0934 or on their website.
The Moose spreader, which attaches to ATV/UTV receiver hitches, spreads seed, dry granular fertilizers, pesticides, and ice-melting materials from its 2.2 cubic foot poly hopper. A 12-volt motor, with an on/off switch, provides variable speed control that allows spreading widths from 5 to 45 feet. The Moose spreader also features a material agitator and stainless steel radial 6-blade fan. It holds up to 145 pounds and includes mounting hardware.
The Moose Nozzle Boom sprayer, designed specifically for 25-gallon sprayer systems, allows for 30 inches of spray coverage. Nozzles each have individual shut-offs and check valves, and include fittings to connect to most sprayers. Nozzles can be adjusted to spray right, left, center, or all three. They also can be adjusted up or down.
Mowers and graders
Once food plots and trails featuring clover or other types of cover become established, mowing two to four times per summer is usually required to kill weeds and keep areas producing efficiently.
When plants get up to about 12 inches, it’s time to mow, but don’t cut too low. Just clip off the top 3 to 6 inches.
Good choices for ATV owners include the Kunz and DR tow-behind series of mowers. The DR 44-inch mowers have 15- and 20-hp Kohler engines. With an articulating hitch, the mowers can be completely offset from the towing vehicle, left or right, which makes it easy to drive the towing vehicle in the clear while the mower takes down the heavy stuff.
Kunz rough-cut mowers have 44- and 57-inch 10-gauge steel decks powered by electric-start engines up to 23 hp. Four tires are standard for added stability on rough ground, and height adjustments range from 2 to 8 inches. These mowers also will make short work of small saplings and brushy weeds.
The unique DR Power Grader is ideal for smoothing unpaved driveways and woodland trails. It fills in ruts and shaves off washboards. Precise adjustments on the 48- and 60-inch models can be made easily with a wireless remote control.
A chain saw is useful for many spring and summer projects, and one of the best ways to secure and protect your chain saw is with a Saw Boot from Kolpin Power Sports, which features a wide variety of accessories and implements for ATVs/UTVs. The Saw Boot fits in standard Kolpin Gun Boot brackets and accommodates saw bars up to 20 inches. A saw can be quickly secured and removed with a bungee tie-down. An included heat shield allows for carrying a hot saw.