By Chris Ohlin
A few years ago my son and I had an amazing experience hunting the varmints in Northern Minnesota. We were walking an old logging trail from years gone by looking for big gray squirrels and grouse. As we were walking, my son Isaac started following the sounds of a couple of grays squawking at each other at the top of a large oak tree. He was probably 30 yards off the trail looking up the tree for a good shot, and I was maybe 20 feet behind him. Suddenly from behind me, a whitetail doe came running up the ridge directly towards us. It was on a full out collision course with me in its cross hairs! I threw my arms up in the air and yelled. Without missing a step (no more than 10 yards from me) it turned to my right, ran 5 yards more then turned back in the direction it was headed to begin with.
Isaac and looked at each other with big smiles thinking how cool it was to be out in woods and have that experience. Maybe 30-60 seconds later a sound came from behind me so I turned. Were my eyes tricking me? Was I seeing things? Have you ever seen something that’s not in a setting you are used to seeing it in, so it takes you a bit to process it? TIMBER WOLF! And it was on the exact path the doe was on. It was loping directly toward me, but I was a bit stunned at what I was seeing so I didn’t move. With his nose on the scent he was focused and did not seem to have a clue that I was there. He was so close I could see the color in his eyes.
That’s when Isaac (standing behind me) yelled “Dad – shoot!”
He was seeing a timber wolf running directly at his dad. Yikes! When the timber wolf reached the locations where the doe turned, he turned. Exactly on point! It was uncanny and amazing. What an experience!
That leads us to this stealthy game hunter project sled built for the trails, prairies and flat lands of North America. We are calling it the Coyote Hunter.
The Arctic Cat Bearcat 3000 LT chassis is designed perfectly for this purpose with its 4-stroke 700, 15”x 146” track, 10.7 gallon tank and the 10/8 Proute ski. That is an amazing set of tools to help you achieve your goals and the foundation of our build. The long track and hybrid wide ski can go just about anywhere.
We started by setting our target on a few features we wanted to add or enhance.
• Fuel range
• Foot traction
The Bearcat 3000 runs so quiet it is truly amazing. One my favorite things about this motor and clutching combination is that it truly tricks your brain. When you are used to hearing the scream of a two-stroke and the pull of the motor as it engages the clutching around 2300-2800 rpm this is a trip. The Coyote Hunter starts engaging at the slightest pull of the throttle and you can literally creep along at 2 MPH. Now that’s sweet for sneaking through the woods, trail or prairie! Rumor has it that 10.7 gallons of gas will get you around 170-190 miles of average driving with this buggy. Though that is pretty good, we wanted to add more so we went about fabricating in an Arctic Cat auxiliary tank that holds 4.3 gallons of additional fuel. That gets us an extra 70 miles of range to chase the critters!
Let there be light! The lighting question started with being able see your behind so to speak. So, the first lighting modification was to integrate a set of Arctic Cat’s UTV LED Rock Lights to work as backup lights when the sled is placed in reverse. When you are hooking up the sled this is a blessing and they will also help you see any hidden objects that you would prefer not to bump into.
The second goal was to light up the ground around the sled at night without having the headlight on. We placed a set of LED Rock Lights on each side of the tunnel and into each side of the A-arm wells that are directed at the ground. They can be used while driving or stopped and will flood the area around the sled with light. The third is an Arctic Cat Firebar LED that we are using as a spot light. We designed a custom billet adjustable light mount that attaches to the handle bar and can be rotated up when in use or down when not. Having it attached to the handle bar has several benefits.
Obviously, the legal way to carry a gun is in its scabbard. We went into Arctic Cat’s ATV catalog and found the necessary items to make this happen. The Scabbard mount was attached to the tunnel rack and auxiliary gas bracket using some Rox craftsmanship. Giant Loop contributed one of their 16” bullet proof Pronghorn Straps that secures the barrel end of the scabbard from bouncing around. The Pantera Touring gear bag fit perfectly behind the auxiliary fuel tank and inside the OEM tunnel rack. It has multiple pockets and is a great option for your supplies. Last is the Arctic Cat large windshield bag. This can carry your essentials like goggles, safety supplies or spare socks!
When you are riding in the backcountry it is common to encounter rocks, stumps and logs. You may also choose to bend a few sapling’s over if you are cutting a trail or following some animal tracks. That’s why we installed the Arctic Cat Pro front bumper. The extended bottom plate and upper brush guard tubes take away the concern for cracking things up in front.
Another item we changed was the windshield, as the stock windshield is quite large and clear. We actually downsized to a white mid-height shield to blend in to our coloration theme, and it’s less likely to attract the attention of the friendly tree branch cracker jack.
A successful Coyote hunt (or any hunt) is in part based on the ability to blend in to your surroundings so we chose the TrueTimber Snow Camo pattern for this project build. Robb at Blown Concepts made a Digital wrap using TrueTimber’s pattern and finished off this project. We incorporated the pattern into the seat and to our Rox Flex-Tec handguard that are mounted using our new Hayes/Pro mounts.
Some may think we are crazy for taking a cut-off wheel to a brand new sled, but you gotta do what you gotta do! We wanted to eliminate any snow build up on the foot boards so they had to go. We replaced them with Arctic Cat’s Proclimb Extruded Mountain boards. These are made from extruded aluminum tubing and required some modifications by the Rox gang and they turned into an amazing option for the Coyote hunter.
Ergos & GPS
Finally, we finished the build with the Rox BPR 8” fixed height riser that gave us the ergo’s we wanted to stand and ride the Coyote Hunter. A Ram X-grip Phone/GPS holder was added so we can get to and from our favorite hunting grounds.
The goal was to build a rig that is purpose built for hunting, is stealthy, can go the distance and stay on point just like the Timberwolf that we encountered earlier in this story! I think we got there. I hope you enjoy.
God bless and good riding!
Day shots ACG photography
Night shots – Rox Defined Images
FABRICATION AND CUSTOMIZING CREDIT
Rox Speed FX Inc.