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  1. #1

    Default What are the BEST hunting modifications you've made to your hunting rig?

    Hi Everyone,
    I began hunting for the first time last year and I'm hooked. Last year I used my 2016 Prius V--saved a ton on gas, but got a flat and banged up the under carriage a bit on rutted out roads!

    This year I picked up a new jeep that will be my hunting rig. I'm wondering what mods you all have made to your rigs for hunting. Figure I can learn a lot from all of you who have been hunting for a while.

    My vehicle is a 2018 Wrangler JKU Rubicon with 35" BFG KO2's. So I'm good in the tire/4wheel drive department. Let me have it. What have you added to your rig for hunting? And PLEASE ADD PICS if you have them!


    Thanks!!!!

  2. #2

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    A winch. Hangs on the front most of the time, but worth its weight in gold when you need it.
    What doesn't kill you, hunts like hell.

  3. #3

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    On board air. The ability to air down those 35” tires is really useful if you will use it off road, and you can’t air them down unless you can air them back up again. I went with a CO2 bottle because it is more reliable than a 12v compressor and you can move it to other vehicles or use it in the shop or whever else you need compressed air.
    "Civilation is a harsh fact. Gene Hill

  4. #4

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    My wife and I started converting my pick-up into our "camper" a couple years ago. I no longer need it for work (company truck) but still needed something for personal use. Goal is to get the truck to a point where it serves the function as our camper as well... roof top tent, kitchen on drawer slides etc.

    Of all the upgrades, including a winch bumper/winch, rock sliders, on board air compressor, rear air locker, lift/tires, lights, the one that has been the "best" was 2 sets of MaxTrax. I'm absolutely amazed at how well they work to get out of those little annoying "stucks," without having to take the time to pull cables, set up pick points, etc with the winch.

    They were originally developed in Australia, and they just work. The plastic is tough as nails. I've used them in spots where they ended up taco-ed pretty harshly, and they just bounce back. I have heard of people breaking them by forcing them to twist, but can't imagine how you would do that. Just make sure you keep them clean, and do your best to not spin your tires on them as the studs can work a number on your tires when it's wet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In the Sagebrush of Montana
    Posts
    2,778

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    good tires which are TBD as my truck has 20" wheels and in factory size tire only a couple E load are available...probably just buy a 17" wheel and go with some Coopers. Got a topper installed last month to sleep in and to keep people honest

  6. #6

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    In reality you're pretty much set. Grab a shovel and some tow straps or better yet those MaxTrax things look bad a$$. Maybe a set of chains depending on where you're going.
    I personally like having some sirius XM radio too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Pa.
    Posts
    1,163

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    I have a 2013 tundra i put wheel spacers on for more clearance to run chains.
    John

  8. #8

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    I always get a kick out of the guys with brand new jacked up rigs out hunting as I roll by in my junker.

    Best thing I ever did was buy a old junker for hunting, it's so much more fun than having a nice rig. Running wash boarded dirt roads tears the heck out of lifted suspensions and new vehicles in general. Not to mention the vandalism and theft that nice vehicles attract. I saw one last week that was a 50k pickup totaled at the trail head. They took an axe to the entire truck and even ripped out wiring from under the hood.

    Those guys with fancy rigs must spend hundreds at the car wash getting every last but of gumbo mud out from under their fancy rigs after they go hunting. I just wait for a big rain and go drive through puddles. Haven't washed that truck in years.

    I do not care about scratching the paint on limbs or if something happens to it even if I roll it it's not a big deal. My favorite hunting rig is a 99 GMC Denali on it's second engine with paint falling off. Would be right at home on the rez. 16" load E mud tires are cheap to replace if something happens and much more durable than non load E rated oversize tires on 18-20" fancy rims like these city slickers run.

    And I can fold the seats down and sleep comfortably in the back. If I get cold start the engine and it's warm in a few minutes. It's truly a fantastic hunting rig and I rarely take my 3/4 ton any more.

  9. #9

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    SiriusXM
    Oh give me a home with a low interest loan,
    a cowgirl and two pickup trucks.

    A color TV,
    all the beer should be free,
    and that, man, is Rancho Deluxe.

  10. #10

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    Driving experience and good tires are tied. Really, you can get way farther in and, much more importantly, know when to stop and you'll get stuck much less/hunt more when you know what you're doing and know your vehicle.

    My vehicle has all sorts of handy mods on it, but the only particularly important ones for me are the driver and good tires. Long travel rear suspension is handy to keep both wheels touching. I'd like, but don't need, re-geared/e-locker diffs, a winch, etc. See dirtbag mobiles thread for photos.
    Signatures confuse me.

  11. #11

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    Yep. Tires and driving ability. A radio? Last on the list. mtmuley

  12. #12

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    Thank you all for your suggestions!

    PrairieHunter, I hear you. I've never had a nice rig. This is a gift to myself that I waited a long time to get. So, I'm gonna have fun with it. If idiots get their kicks destroying other people's property then I'll call my insurance agent and deal with it. Not really going to focus on the bad that can happen. I'd rather focus on the fun I'm about to have enjoying our public lands. I'm a 'city slicker' now, but I was raised in small town Oregon and graduated with a class of 28 people. Because I've lived in both environments I find I can easily get along with all types and I like it that way. If I find a gnarly road that only a tub on wheels can get to, I'll look you up ;-)

    So far...

    1) Improve driving skills
    2) Max Trax
    3) Winch
    4) RTT
    5) Compressor

    I'm installing lift/tires Tuesday, so set there. Keep the ideas coming everyone. Appreciate it!

  13. #13

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    Any small stuff--little things that you can't live without. Happy to hear about those things too. Thanks!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Lake Almanor, Ca.
    Posts
    262

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    Yeah, a winch is one heck of a tool. Back when in the woods 8 months of the year keeping lodgepole firewood customers happy plus the hunting seasons and fishing jaunts, mine saved me from a lot more work or walking out more times than i can remember. I might of missed it said above but along with all the other thoughts mentioned, a dedicated sawzall with some good blades and extra battery can be handy to always be there. I always wanted a custom rear bumper setup that, along with other potential uses, held compressed air. I'd like new tires but the less aggressive all season Coopers are still just too good a shape to replace with better. The best thing on my hunting rig by far is it's cab-over pop-up camper packed and gassed, ready to roll. I tell ya, it's freedom.
    Last edited by uncle sage; 09-01-2018 at 07:47 PM.

  15. #15

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    Cordless angle grinder with a stack of skinny wheels. Never know when you might need to cut a lock..
    Oh give me a home with a low interest loan,
    a cowgirl and two pickup trucks.

    A color TV,
    all the beer should be free,
    and that, man, is Rancho Deluxe.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Lake Almanor, Ca.
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rancho Loco View Post
    Cordless angle grinder with a stack of skinny wheels. Never know when you might need to cut a lock..
    lol, wonder where you got that idea? Though i've not cut a chain or lock for a very long time, i have. With the right blades, steel or a lock would be a piece of cake.

    I like the sawzall along because they work great on smaller trees and branches, long wood blades, that overhang or have fell on the smaller roads i travel. Beats the heck out of messing around with gassing and starting a small chainsaw and unless one is super sharp or a big one, the bigger logs down on the road are going to be a problem with either. One also is handy around camp and can be used well to break down animals.

    note: Don't use a chainsaw to save time cutting your buck in half!! I learned that one the hard way, what a mess! lol

  17. #17

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    I had the lumber rack for my Tacoma just sitting there as I have a topper with rack now & thought I could maybe make it work for the F-150 & add winch options....some metal & help from friend who has welding set-up I came up with this.Name:  late OctNov 137.JPG
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    Cut the rack in half & widened 6" with sleeve in pipe.Re-enforced cab area I add receiver for small winch which adds to options. Snatch block off back of rack also adds use. Spray bomb & presto chango,new useful rack for the newer truck.
    So far I have pulled 2 truckloads of firewood & 1 elk up my old loading ramps....EZ-PZ

  18. #18

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    I do have to say, cruising up a snowy FS road in the dark of night, SiriusXM Classic Vinyl playing "Can you hear me knocking" by the Rolling Stones.. it's a sublime experience for me.
    Oh give me a home with a low interest loan,
    a cowgirl and two pickup trucks.

    A color TV,
    all the beer should be free,
    and that, man, is Rancho Deluxe.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Coloado Springs
    Posts
    2,284

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    I built myself a custom front bumper ( i couldn't drop 1k on a bumper for a 2k truck ) with a front receiver. That way I can put the 10k Warn on it with the cradle and quick connect when needed and secure the winch in the garage when not needed. Also, with the Warn quick connects and a receiver cradle you can run a long cable to the back as well and have the ability to winch from either side. It is great piece of mind.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "Never apologize for being a Patriot!"

  20. #20

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    Nice bumper!
    I used a 16' lead & quick connects too,so I can use back receiver or the front which I will install. I can upgrade to a larger Warne later if I want.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Coloado Springs
    Posts
    2,284

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    Quote Originally Posted by hank4elk View Post
    Nice bumper!
    I used a 16' lead & quick connects too,so I can use back receiver or the front which I will install. I can upgrade to a larger Warne later if I want.
    That was my final project in welding class last year.
    "Never apologize for being a Patriot!"

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Bitterroot Valley, MT
    Posts
    1,808
    Blog Entries
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    I built a drawer system in back of my truck for less than $100. Gear stays stowed and nice and i can sleep in back.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  23. Default

    Hi-Lift jack is a big plus.I've jacked up the truck pushed it to the side off the jack and rear tires are now on solid ground or at least a better starting point.

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