Iowa Adult Hunter Education Course


All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) can be extremely useful to hunters as they are designed for use on rough unpaved trails, and allow hunters to go places that are inaccessible with many other vehicles. However, ATVs can be extremely dangerous and require proper training. Always consult local regulations before using an ATV for hunting. These are some other considerations when riding an ATV:

Use proper safety equipment

A person is not protected when riding an ATV. It is particularly important to always wear an adequate helmet designed for ATV use, and to have appropriate footwear, as well as hand and eye protection.

Only use designated trails

ATVs can cause environmental damage. As such, many public trails are closed to ATVs or will limit their access. Before heading out, check local regulations to ensure that you are only using legal trails. If you are traveling through private property, always get the landowner's permission, and follow their instructions. Do not veer off marked trails, or cut through crops or fields. Keep off paved roads and roads with heavy traffic.

Maintain a safe speed

Riding on rough uneven terrain can be challenging. Be sure to always travel at a speed that will allow you to react in time to avoid obstacles such as rocks, trees, ditches, sharp turns, etc.

Safely Transport Firearms

Just like transporting firearms in any other vehicle, firearms should be unloaded, with the action open, in a protective case and with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Do not hunt from an ATV. It is an unethical and in most cases an illegal practice. Hunters should only use the ATV to reach and return from the hunting site.

Check Local Regulations

Before heading out on your ATV, check with local authorities on specific ATV regulations, equipment requirements, and to ensure you have the proper permits if required.