A pickup truck is an ideal vehicle for virtually any type of hunting trip. Whether you are heading out in a duck boat, going to your traditional deer camp, or going on a guided elk hunt, a pickup that can handle some light off-roading is an ideal form of hunting transportation.
You could have anything from a light pickup with a four-cylinder motor to a three-quarter ton or heavy-duty model with a beefy V8 and make it into the perfect hunting-ready pickup. But it all starts with what your hunting requires from your pickup.
Small Pickups Can Go Many Places
If you seldom go out with just one hunting buddy, a light pickup truck likely could suit your needs. A trip out with three or more likely would require a crew cab or an extended cabin with additional seating in the rear. A light pickup might be overmatched when you factor in your gear, supplies, and room for any game that you might bag along with an extended cabin.
You can find quality light-duty pickups in current production from Ford, Chevy, GMC, and many foreign truck makers. They can deliver good power and are not too big to negotiate tight mountain or desert turns. Small pickups also generally get better fuel economy than full-size pickups, and many have 4X4 drivetrains.
A good small pickup with four-wheel drive and a decent towing capacity and load rating could cover all of your hunting needs.
Full-Size Pickups Offer Lots of Options for Hunters
A three-quarter-ton pickup is the most popular type of truck ever built, and there are lots of options. A good F-150, a Chevy Silverado, or a Ram 1500 are good examples of three-quarter-ton pickups that you can turn into the ideal hunting vehicle.
A bigger pickup, like the Chevy 2500 heavy-duty pickup with a crew cab and Duramax diesel V8 engine is a great platform for a hunting truck. It has a roomy cabin, large payload capacity, and can get through deep snow with plenty of ground clearance and a 4X4 drivetrain.
The result is a go-anywhere pickup that could carry four hunters and their gear into the deep woods on two-tracks and desert trails.
Many New Pickups are “Trail-Rated” and Good for Hunting
You could purchase a purpose-built full-size pickup for hunting, too. Virtually all of the major domestic truck builders and some of the foreign brands sell very capable 4X4 pickups that could handle your hunting transportation duties.
The recent Chevy Realtree Silverado is a perfect example. Chevy collaborated with engineers and designers with the Realtree outdoor adventure brand to create a perfect pickup for hunting. Realtree adds additional outdoor gear and camouflage paint.
Realtree and Chevy have collaborated on specialty trucks for many years to help anglers and hunters enjoy the benefits of a purpose-built pickup truck. They have designed a Realtree Silverado 1500 that is lighter than the Chevy 2500 edition but just as roomy and comfortable.
Converting Used Pickups Can Save Lots of Money
Instead of spending big bucks on a new pickup to go hunting for big bucks, you could save a lot of money with a used model that you modify for hunting. The Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500 are examples of domestic models that have been in production for many years.
You could buy a used pickup in good condition and either modify the motor and pickup or rebuild it to become the perfect hunting truck. You could save enough money to pay for several hunting trips compared to the cost of buying a new pickup and converting it for hunting use or getting a purpose-built model for even more money.
For example, you could buy 1999 Chevy Silverado parts and a crate motor and transmission to get exactly the kind of power and weight that you need in your hunting truck. You could opt for rebuilt or remanufactured engines that have warranty protection.
Additions That Enhance Hunting Capability
You can turn a great used pickup into a hunting truck with some basic additions that make it ideal for your outdoor pursuits. You might put a camper on the back that has an elevated platform on top from which you could spot game and shoot at your prey when appropriate.
A winch in front and another in the rear will help to get unstuck. It also could help to haul big game out of the woods. A portable air compressor that uses an adapter to draw power from the cigarette lighter will help you to adjust your tires as needed to handle the terrain.
A hitch and trailer lighting system also helps to tow a boat, a small camper, or a trailer containing your hunting gear. With planning, your hunting truck will be perfect.