Hunters all over the country have known for a long time that a dedicated vehicle for hunting is a necessity for getting the most bang for your buck (pun intended). Hunting ATVs and UTVs are great—but expensive. If you can drop $20K on a hunting vehicle, go for it. For those that want the same convenience with a smaller price tag, a golf cart can take on trails and big game just the same.
Today, we’re highlighting the best carts for hunting, and the upgrades you need to turn your cart into a fully functional hunter’s dream. Together, we’ll see why carts have the advantage of UTVs and ATVs, and give you the roadmap to making the most out of this hunting season.
Why should you use an electric golf cart for hunting?
ATVs and UTVs decked out in camo and gun racks look the part—but they might not be the best pick for game that spooks easily. An ATV or UTV with a gas engine can give you away from farther than you’d think.
If your engine rumbles and growls as you tackle the trail, there’s no way to approach quietly. Plus, when you’re upwind of your target, the gasoline smell alone can trigger a deer to flee.
Electric carts make great hunting vehicles because they are significantly quieter, and they don’t put off the same gas odors that an ATV or UTV does. With an electric cart, you can haul large game and gear all the same, but with the added benefit of stealth.
What is the best golf cart for hunting?
There’s a thousand forums and a thousand opinions out there about the best carts for hunting. But—one thing’s for sure. From the in-house experience and customer reviews, the best carts for hunting are made by E-Z-GO, Yamaha, and Club Car. They all have different advantages; read more to find out which fits your needs best.
Hunting with an E-Z-GO
The steel frame and practical design of E-Z-GOs make them incredibly sturdy. Replacement and aftermarket E-Z-GO parts are reasonably priced, simple to locate, and simple to buy. Each of their latest models has a comfortable ride and offers a lot of options and improvements to transform a straightforward cart into the hunting vehicle you need.
Yamaha is a veteran of the powersports industry—across almost every category. It’s the precision and attention to detail in tech that sets them apart for many Buggies Unlimited fans. By choosing an A/C-power motor, you get more range, a decent amount of additional power and more longevity out of its engine. Some models are making it up to 19.5 mph right out of the gate! Newer models are equipped with halogen headlights, which make it easier to make it back after a day in the blinds.
Yamahas are notoriously fun to drive, and easy to maintain. Even though any of these makes offer options that can work for hunting right off of the lot, the best golf cart for hunting is built by taking upgrades and customizations into your own hands.
The Club Car Precedent is a standby for so many drivers because of its commanding performance on and off the course. Their latest model offers greater power in tougher areas where terrain might start to get tough. The ability to maneuver into areas where others might not make it a great choice for hunting. The top-of-the-line steering columns make it easy to handle, and the longevity of the vehicle makes it a favorite of many.
How do you make a golf cart into a hunting cart?
To turn any golf cart into a serious hunting vehicle, there are some standard upgrades you can make.
Upgrade the suspension
Bringing your cart out hunting means you’re prepared to come back with a trophy or two. Running a stock suspension when the weight of passengers and cargo is going to increase on the way back means you’re not as prepared as you could be.
The added weight of passengers, gear, and game is not what a golf cart suspension was designed for. Upgrading from standard leaf springs to heavy-duty leaf springs helps compensate for the weight.
Add a lift kit
The best hunting spots are out of the way and challenging enough to get to so that they’re not stacked with other hunters.
Getting there on foot can be a chore, but if your cart isn’t equipped to handle tough terrain, hoofing it is your only option. Adding a lift kit means you can run larger tires with better grip and get you the clearance you need to ride over debris, logs, and stones, and closer to your favorite blind or tree stand.
See all golf cart lift kits here
Install new wheels and tires.
The standard “roadies” you use for the neighborhood or on the course aren’t going to cut it on a hunting trip. Aftermarket wheels and tires give hunters the chance to upgrade their grip and ride stability.
The most common pick for hunting is an all-terrain tire, as they have a deeper tread than street tires but still offer the smoothest ride across a variety of terrain. Brands like GTW offer some of the best tires available and have options that fit wheels 8” – 14”.
You can save time and money by getting a pre-mounted set of wheels and tires. There are discounts available when you bundle, and you can skip taking your cart to the shop because the tires arrive mounted to the wheels and ready to install. See all available golf cart tire and wheel combos for hunting here.
Improve the speed of your cart.
With a top speed around 10 MPH for most electric carts, most hunters think: “Is there any way to get some more juice out of this?”. Good news—there’s a variety of upgrades like aftermarket battery controllers, that can add some “oomph” to your cart.
Many offer the ability to change the power output to make the top speed faster or slower. It’s important to note that turning the speed up all the way means that the battery itself will run out sooner. So, finding a balance of power and endurance is key for a great hunting golf cart. See all upgrades for speed here.
Preparing your cart for the hunt
When you go out hunting with a vehicle, you don’t just have to be responsible for prepping your rifle, staying warm, hydrated, and well-fueled. You have to make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip too. Here’s a checklist for taking your golf cart hunting:
- Check your local laws. It’s important to know what you can—and can’t—do while hunting. For example, in Iowa, it is legal to fire from a fully parked vehicle IF YOU’RE DISABLED AND CAN NOT WALK. Only then. Laws for hunting with a golf cart differ from state to state, so be sure to know before you go.
- Charge or fuel up your cart. Making sure you have a full tank or full charge is crucial—you don’t want to get stuck halfway.
- Check the battery. Just because it’s charged fully doesn’t mean it’s running at its best. Look for rust, calcium and alkali buildup before you head out.
- Inspect gun racks/storage. You want to make sure everything you pack in gets packed out. Make sure that straps are tight and intact and that any storage solution isn’t moving more than it normally does.
- Check tire pressure. This one’s a given for taking out your cart any time, but it’s still just as important as always!
With all of these checked off, you’re ready to ride. Now, let’s prepare for the best-case scenario: if you’ve bagged your buck, you want to make sure hauling it home isn’t the hard part.
How do you load a deer on a golf cart?
There’s a million ways to do it, but we’re going to highlight the most common techniques.
The obvious way: Using brute strength alone can do the trick oftentimes, but if you’re out hunting alone or bag some really big game (over 125 lb or so), you’re risking injury.
The easy way: If you’ve already equipped a winch to your cart, you’re miles ahead. When you’ve filled your tags and need to get big game home, you can use your winch to lift anything you need into your cart as long as there’s a solid, sturdy tree branch nearby. If you need a winch, find one here.
The lazy way: If you’re not particularly inclined to mount the deer in your den, then the easiest way to load a deer is to not load it at all, just drag it out with a rope tied securely to the cart. Again, this is assuming your path is clear enough not to get stuck or caught up on roots or rocks.
The thinking hunter’s way: Using two ropes, a hardware store pulley, and a homemade ramp, you can load a deer all on your own:
- One rope is tied in the storage area of your cart, with the pulley attached in the middle.
- The second rope will be used to tie up your buck and run through the pulley.
- Line your cart and ramp up right up to your buck.
- With your ramp leaned up against your cart in a stable position, lead the second rope through the pulley, and secure the buck with one end.
- The other end of the rope is where you start to pull from, sliding the buck up the ramp.
- With your feet in a firm, set stance, pull the rope, slide the buck, and secure it to your rack once it’s in a position you’re confident that it won’t budge.
If your cart is limited on storage space, check out our cargo boxes and storage solutions so you can bring all the supplies you need to bag a trophy—and haul it home.
All of these ways can be effective, but it’s a matter of personal preference and also related to where on the cart you plan to store the animal. As long as you are patient, take your time, and ask for help if you need it, you won’t have any trouble loading a deer into your hunting golf cart.
Decking out your hunting golf cart
Your hunting experience is always going to be better when you bring a golf cart with—but it could still be better. Let’s go over the golf cart hunting accessories and upgrades that make a difference for hunting.
GTW Dual Gun Rack
Secure your firearms safely while you ride, and get easy access to them when you leave the cart and plan to fire. Sturdy, reliable, and quick to set up, GTW’s dual gun rack is perfect for storing firearms and fishing rods alike.
- Includes 2 Mounting Brackets & Hardware
- Mounts to any square tubing diameter of 3/4 inch – 1 1/4 inch
- Injected Molded Polyethylene
- 360 Degree Mounting Capability
Portable Heater with Cup Holder Adaptor
Universal fit for Yamaha, EZGO, or Club Cars alike, hunters who use golf carts in the winter need a good source of heat in the winter months. With a cup holder adaptor, it’s never been easier to quickly heat your cab while you’re on your way to the blinds. Get one today.
GTW Aluminum Cargo Box
If you plan on hauling out trophies, it doesn’t make sense to carry it in your lap. A cargo box gives you loads of extra space, and are easy to install. When you’re done for the day and headed home, you’ll thank yourself for investing in decking out your golf cart for hunting. Order yours now!
With a winch, you make sure your hunting golf cart doesn’t get stuck. By adding a winch, you don’t have to worry about where you’re going, or how you get out. Additionally, a winch can be used to help load big game into your vehicle as well. Check out this 2500lb winch from Warn.
Set your hunting golf cart apart
With the right cart, and the right upgrades, you’re set for your best trip yet. No matter how you customize your ride, partnering with the best in the business means you can build the best rigs for hunting around. Find everything you need for a hunting golf cart setup at Buggies Unlimited.