Picking the right Can-Am UTV for your needs can be tricky. And while many of the side-by-sides offered by Can-Am are multifunctional and can work for things such as hunting, working, and playing, some of BPR’s machine’s are more suited for hunting than others. Be it things like exhaust noise, ground clearance, or bed space, a good hunting rig can be either bought stock, or modified to fit your needs. So without further ado, let’s dig into the nitty gritty and see which Can-Am vehicles are best for all ya’ll hunters out there.
Hunting With The Can-Am Commander
The Can-Am Commander is a popular choice among riders looking to hunt and play. The problem with the commander, however, is bed space. The Commander is also not optimal for hunting because the seats are like those of a sports car, making it difficult getting in and out, especially when you're wearing big and bulky gear — never mind if you're overweight. The commander is great for ripping up the trails, but isn’t the best for hunting.
That being said, we know guys who have brought out an entire moose plus camp and one other person on a Commander over 20 miles of mud and glacier fed rivers. They even take their Commanders Dall sheep hunting over some of the roughest country on earth — and they claim it’s an excellent hunting rig.
Another caveat to the Commander as a hunting UTV is its aftermarket exhaust options. Some came with a muzzy exhaust, which are a little loud to take hunting. This exhaust definitely gives it a little more get and go, but if you’re hunting, you might want to consider swapping back to stock.
If you hunt deer with dogs in places such as southeast Georgia and need a dog box for the bed, the Commander may not be your preferred choice. And when compared to vehicles like the Defender, the Ranger, or the Viking, it has significantly less bed space.
We’ve seen Defender max owners that have retrofitted back seats with kennels for their dogs and more than enough bed space to haul out their kill. A lot of places seem to make boxes specific for Rangers, but there are a few decent looking custom boxes for the Commander and Defender.
Hunting With The Can-An Defender
Yes the Can-Am Defender has a bigger bed and is definitely the ultimate workhorse of the BPR lineup, but some like to joke that Can-Am is trying to beat out Honda's Big Red for the ugliest UTV of all time. But despite the aesthetics, the Defender is a beast, and Honda can't even compete with the power and upgraded transmission and differentials. Sure it may not be pretty, but It’s ready to work and is reliable as heck.
With regards to modifications to your hunting rig, it doesn’t matter if you have the Commander, the Defender, or any other Can-Am, you can always throw on a few accessories to make your time on the hunt much easier. Of course gun mounts are a must, and full aluminum skid plates underneath will give you protection while you’re stalking your prey or heading to camp. Also make sure you get the kit that brings your vent into the cab if your riding in powder or your belt will slip or get destroyed.
The Can-Am soft bag for the back of machine works great, but it wont work with rear windows, which is why many riders go with the headache rack. You can also instal a pre filter for the engine air intake and a module for the speedometer.
In terms of hunting, both the Commander and Defender will do the trick, but most riders will agree that the reliability, added bed space, and nimbleness of the Can-Am Defender makes it the ultimate hunting machine!