Hunting with a John Deere Gator

Howdy from The Pig. The CPHC team just continues to have good success early in the season. We’ve got a nice long season to go though since the Georgia season for firearms which started October 21 runs through January 14.

In this post I’m going to start letting you know how we are using a John Deere Gator XUV825i to test drive and evaluate its value to some serious deer hunting. John Deere has provided us with the use of this vehicle for most of the season and I have now had the opportunity to get some hours in and out of the woods and on the trails.

As you can see in the photo I have already harvested some deer and brought them out of the woods and back to our camp. My harvest so far consists of a 6pt buck, 2 does and a wild hog. They have all been bagged right near our trails fortunately for me. Speaking of trails, most of ours are freshly plowed by the U.S. Forest Service. They do a great job btw. But we’ve got some serious and deep sugar sand to run through and there are rough spots. You’ll be able to see that in the video below.

Some first impressions on using the Gator include:

  • All the power I need to climb steep hills on deep sand and with a load in the bed
  • Very simple controls and layout. Easy to switch between 2-wheel and 4-wheel
  • Suspension makes the bumps and pot holes almost painless compared to past vehicles I’ve driven
  • Plenty of light from headlights for night time on the trail
  • John Deere has some accessories I already know I’d like to add!

So, I’ll have more to say in upcoming episodes. I’m very satisfied with this unit and am not coming up with anything to complain about.

You can see photos of the Gator in the wild here: 2017 Deer Hunt – John Deere Gator Photo Album

Taking a Can-Am Out in the Woods

I’m a little behind updating here. The CPHC team has had a great start to the season.

Here’s my next episode in a series coming to you from the Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC) in Georgia. In this episode the focus is going to be on a Can-Am Defender XT which has been provided to us to use and evaluate how well it is suited to some serious deer hunting.

CPHC member, Paul Zimmerman, my brother, has been doing most of the driving in this vehicle, although I have done some also. In the video below we chat about our first impressions while riding out of camp for a load of firewood. You might see in the bed of the Defender a short swivel seat stand that we strapped into it, making the Defender a mobile deer stand!

Some first impressions on using the Can-Am include:

  • It has lots of power but runs quiet
  • The suspension is amazing
  • The turning radius has made is easier to turn around on narrow trails than we expected
  • Some accessories like winch and side/back panels around bed have come in very handy

So, that’s a start. Paul has harvested two deer so far, one of them being the 8pt buck you see in the photo. So, in the points race (we don’t really have one) he’s in the lead. We’re liking the Can-Am but will have more to come.

You can see photos of the Can-Am Defender in the wild here: 2017 Deer Hunt – Can-Am Defender Photo Album

The Pig Meets a Bad Boy

Bad Boy Off Road Recoil IS CrewWell, say hello to a brand new Bad Boy Off Road Recoil IS Crew. This four passenger side by side features a 72V AC drivetrain for what I like to call “silent running.” It let’s you get a lot closer to your deer stand than a gas engine.

This vehicle also has 4 wheel independent suspension so we’ve got a very smooth ride on these rough roads and trails here at the Pig. That means a lot, especially after a long day in a stand and cleaning deer.

Speaking of deer, my first morning in the Recoil I went to my stand and shot two does. I saw the buck I want and hope to find him in my sights next time. I put the does in the cargo space and hauled them to our cleaning stand.

So, why a Bad Boy and why now? To start with, I have an old model Bad Boy from before they were acquired by Textron Specialized Vehicles. It is also out here at the Pig doing yeoman’s work moving us around. I’ve been very impressed with it and when the opportunity presented itself to test drive a new model I jumped. During this Georgia deer season I’ll be letting you know a lot more about using the Recoil in a very practical situation. I’m making notes for now and there will be much more to come.

Thank you Textron and Bad Boy Off Road! Official hunt vehicle of the Crystal Pig Hunt Club this season.

Stampede by Bad Boy Off Road

Bad Boy Off Road StampedeI want one of these Bad Boys although I love my old Buggy! Some of us are already getting excited about fall hunting and one of these would really get us to and from our stands quicker. Paul, myself and some other guys spent the day on Saturday checking out our camp and getting our feeders filled and working. It’s getting near that time to plant our food plots too.

So here’s what’s new from Bad Boy Off Road:

Bad Boy® Off Road, a Textron Specialized Vehicles brand, is proud to announce the Stampede™ 900 4×4, a side-by-side with unmatched power, nimble suspension and handling, unrivaled hauling and storage capacity, an extraordinary driver experience and exceptional reliability.

“We designed Stampede to be industry-leading on the features that drivers told us matter most – power, a comfortable ride, and the ability to haul and store everything they need,” said John Collins, vice president, consumer for Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc..

Read all about it on the Bad Boy Off Road website.

2015 Summer Work Days

Bad Boy BuggiesIt’s food plot planting time on The Pig. Next weekend the Pig Team will be on location to till, fertilize and plant our plots! Yep, I’m going to have trouble concentrating on work this week.

Just thought I’d share my most recent purchase to use out on the property – a used Bad Boy Buggie. It may look kind of like a golf cart but it is not a golf cart. I’ve got two floor mounted gun racks in it along with the back facing seat that folds down into a solid table and more. It’s electric (code for quiet).

So, I’ll be putting it to good use on The Pig as Paul, Gary and I get together plant our fall crop. ‘Bout Time.

Summer Work Days

Rustler at SunsetHere’s the CPHC New Holland Rustler in the setting sun. It’s getting a final workout as we finish work on our food plots, prepping them for lime and fertilizer. Then late summer we’ll plant seed.

It’s hot and muggy here this week with highs in the 90’s and late afternoon rain showers. Just the way I like it btw.

Yesterday we had a New Holland Super Boom C238 on site doing the food plot clean up work, about 5 acres worth. What a fantastic machine that is.

I’ve got lots of photos and stories to share from the CPHC but will be waiting until I get home with better internet access.

Accessorize your Utility Vehicle

New Holland RustlerHow would you customize a New Holland Rustler if you are going deer hunting? Or just hunting for anything (dove, turkey, rabbit)?

What accessories would be good to add to our camp machine? As you can see this is a pretty basic model and we’re thinking about adding to it. Gun mounts seem like a logical choice. We’ve got magnetic blocks for the outside which are great for standing your gun and having it lean against the vehicle when stopped.

Let us know what you would add or what you’ve found to be most useful for the woods. We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks.