Hello and welcome to episode one of a series of videos and posts I’ll be doing, along with other members of our Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC), throughout the Georgia deer hunting season. Georgia has a rather long season for firearms which started October 21 and runs through January 14. Some of our group made it out for opening weekend and we’ve had some great early season success.
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. The CPHC has been together for over 25 years and until this year has been comprised of my brother Paul, Gary Cooper and myself. We’ve hunted with 4-wheelers, trucks and more recently utility vehicles. 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