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Thread: How do you guys carry your rifle on your ATV?

  1. #1
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    Default How do you guys carry your rifle on your ATV?

    Just wondering how those that hunt off of an ATV carry their rifle? I have only seen 2 different ways to carry them on wheelers. Slinging them starts to wear on a guy after a long ride. Kolpin makes the famous "boot", and then the fork that mounts to the handlebars. I know this is an ATV subject, but I want the hunters point of view. I use my wheeler 95% of the time to hunt and I'm looking for a better way to carry a rifle.

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    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Good Luck

    I've hunted several time from ATVs and I'm still looking for a good way to carry a rifle. I've used both the front forks and the boot and I don't like either.

    I usually try to carry my rifle with the sling - on my back but it does get tiring. If the weather is just right (not too wet or too dry) the forks work all right but most of the time - things just aren't "just right".

    I'll be watching this thread to see if any great ideas come up.

  3. #3
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Koplin boot - if I have to jump off b/o a rollover (it has happened before...and it will happen again). I don't want anything slung over my shoulder or across my back.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by shphtr View Post
    Koplin boot - if I have to jump off b/o a rollover (it has happened before...and it will happen again). I don't want anything slung over my shoulder or across my back.
    True, but try to jump off with the kolpin boot (mounted as intended). Basically, you can't get off that side of the wheeler in a hurry, and it does hurt. Tried it, it sucked to say the least, mostly scratches and scared the chit outta me! I've been thinking of trying to mount the boot across the back somehow, so it does'nt stick out either side, but allows me to be able to get off either side quickly if needed.

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    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Cracked my synthetic stock last year. Not sure of the exact moment but I can safely say it was due to the fork mount style.

    The rifle was less than an inch wider than my honda. The fork mount was on the front rack. It took a few years but what I had always suspected did happen. My bad, I know that. Not happening again.

    At this point I am considering a weatherproof travel case and strap the **** thing down. Not quick access but better than losing your mobility on the wheeler.

    Honestly.. how often have you whipped your rifle from the atv mount and shot a moose?

  6. #6
    Member letshunt's Avatar
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    Here is how I mounted mine, as you can see i still have room to get off quick, and I had no problem when I rolled. I can get the gun out quick also.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    I tried many ways but the best way I've found that I like is:
    On top of a front mounted bag cross ways held down by bungee cord, in a soft case inside a soft waterproof/dust proof case this allows some movement and doesn't screw up your scope like the boot and fork method.
    Also while hunting in good weather no dust or mud I leave the butt end open.... it works great and never had an issue yet and you have quick and easy access.
    "Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I bungee mine down in a soft case at about a 60 deg angle behind the driver seat. The rifle butt tucks into the passenger seat area /box and the muzzle is behind my foot and well inboard. Its out of the way and secure in case of a roll over.

    Tried the fork mount thing and wasn't impressed at all. I spent all day cleaning a friends new 270 that had rode around that way on a wheeler in the dust. It was packed full of silt from front to back.

    The gunboot method looks a bit Rube Goldberg for my taste and pretty spendy for what it really does.

  9. #9

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    The Gun boot is the only way to transport my rifle to the hunting grounds. I have done the slung method and it sucks, your constantly adjusting how it rides, the butt of the stock is constantly contacting my seat and its just plain uncomfortable. The forks suck cuz when you go through mud it gets slung all over your gun and the rifle and scope also gets wet and extremely dusty going down a dry trail behind a pard. The Gun boot keeps your gun dry, clean and out of the way for transport. I only use the wheeler to get to the hunting grounds and dont hunt off it for the most part so I dont neccessarily need it at the ready per say and if I need it quickly or think I will and the weather is nice out (dry), I leave the top of the gun boot off so I can access the rifle with some kind of quickness. For ATV hunting theres just no need to trash your gun running all over the countryside, I'd rather have it stored securely than getting beat up and filthy.

  10. #10
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    To the hunting grounds, or the campsite: in a gun box. Once moose season begins, I carry my rifle on the sling, but across my chest (the rifle in from of my chest/stomach, sling over my left shoulder and down under my right arm).

  11. #11
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default Koplin Boot

    I don't hunt off the 4-wheeler - it's just transportation to and from a hunting area so rapid access to my rifle is not a consideration while clean, dry, and secure is. Example image attached - same as others.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I agree with Ray on sling and in front. The only time I have damaged a rifle on a ATV was when I was using a Koplin case that was bolted on. Tipped over and there was no give in the mount and ended up with a broken stock.

  13. #13

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    [quote=shphtr;310977]I don't hunt off the 4-wheeler - it's just transportation to and from a hunting area so rapid access to my rifle is not a consideration while clean, dry, and secure is. Example image attached - same as others.[/quot

    shphtr, nice set-up you have. Mine is exactly the same.

  14. #14
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    Default hard case..

    I've got the kolpin as well. I bungee the case onto the front rack at an angle with the tip of the case sticking out six to seven inches on the center of the rack. The butt end is to the right of my knee but higher. The butt does not protrude wider than the wheelbase. I put the hard cover on for fast travel and remove it when in hunt mode. When I have the cover off I have the rifle tied into the forward half with a piece of ganyon and multiple chain stitch knot around the stock. Pulling that ribbed cover off quietly is impossible. Just pull the tag end on ganyon and slide it out quietly.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shphtr View Post
    I don't hunt off the 4-wheeler - it's just transportation to and from a hunting area so rapid access to my rifle is not a consideration while clean, dry, and secure is. Example image attached - same as others.
    I believe it's not legal to shoot from an ATV. However, like most Alaskans, if I am riding from my campsite to the hunting spot and I happen to see a bull moose nearby, I just dismount from my ATV and move to a vantage point from which I can kill it. I unsling my rifle by the time I am dismounting my ATV, as my eyes are focused on the moose or the spot where I saw it. My rifle is only in a case or box when I take it to the campsite the day before moose season begins, and after the season is over. Then I clean the rifle at my campsite after a day of rain and mud.

    Your set-up is very nice. Mine is much more simple, but has worked for me so far:

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by akdd View Post
    I agree with Ray on sling and in front. The only time I have damaged a rifle on a ATV was when I was using a Koplin case that was bolted on. Tipped over and there was no give in the mount and ended up with a broken stock.
    You will also find a lot of those cases wet at the bottom where the rifle's muzzle rests, specially on rainy moose seasons (maybe this year?). I also place a mini-balloon over the muzzle to avoid getting snow, mud, and rain inside.

  17. #17

    Default Sling and Backpack

    Like a few others have mentioned above I have used the sling over shoulder and gun in front method. Best reasons for this is damage control. Think of your body as a great big shock absorber. If you use a soft case or front forks you are jarring your gun at the same rate as your ATV.

    The method I just started last year that works best for me is attaching it to my day pack. This allows me to keep it safe and weatherproof.
    Only down side to this method is the time it takes to get it out and get a shot off. I practiced until I got it down to under a minute.
    "Give someone a fish and you will feed them for a day. Show someone how to fish and they will just steal your fishing hole and catch more fish then you. Screw them, let them eat chicken!!"

  18. #18
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    If the weather is good, bad or otherwise I carry mine slung over me in the front or on the handle bars with the fork setup.

    I figure if my hunting weapon system can't handle what mother nature or Murphy throws at us, then it stays in the safe or I sell it.

    Don't know how many wolfs, coyottes, foxes, lynx have gotten away from me during hunting season. I can tell you it would be a lot more if my rifle was tucked away in a boot or out of the weather.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up Interesting

    The responses have been good, but surprising! I thought it was just me with the limited means of carrying a rifle on the wheeler. It really bugs me after the kill and you have all of your gear, ie; raingear, spotting scope, has at least 1 rack tied up leaving you only on to haul meat with. This only means more trips and it could be worse, but just strapping all of this down can be a bungee cord and ratchet strap nightmare! I have (like said above) seen too many stocks broken out of a Kolpin boot to never use one of those again. Not too mention that they NEVER dry out!!! Nothing would p*** me off more than carrying my gun with forks through the mud, dust and vibration to find out that my zero moved, and miss when it counted!! Even with the best equipment money can buy, it is still a possibilty!! I guess strapping a hard case to the front rack is what I am stuck with for now.

  20. #20
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    Smile Kolpin is my favorite

    I have used a Kolpin forever. I know that if and when you get water in them they are VERY hard to get dry. I have used my boot dryer with a long pipe on it and keep the muzzle well oiled. My gun boot save my rifle a few years ago. I found a steel post hiding in the alder patch. It ripped the cover off and put a real nice divet in my new Marlin 444 but I was able to steam most of it out. I can't imagine what it would have been like with out it. I build my own brackets and mount them like almost eveyone else, on the back rack, right side. I see allot of guys with the fork mounts on the front rack every year, guns all wet and muddy and full of leaves and crap and if it is dry they are covered in dust here. I have made vinyl boot covers that are much better to used than the hard cover that come with the boot but I have one for all my wheelers and use them all the time. I haven't ever had scope problems, even when we had 3 wheelers with the boot mounted to the front forks. Gotta love em!!

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