Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Respecful Riding

Haul it in. Ride it out. Any questions? Steve Hickoff photo

Haul it in. Ride it out. Any questions? Steve Hickoff photo

By Steve Hickoff

This recent spring turkey season, I made my way down a timbered trail, finishing out my morning’s hunt. 

A distant rumble told me some recreational users, other gobbler chasers it turns out, approached—both sat atop Yamaha Grizzlies (fact not fiction). They killed their engines, and we had a good long talk, swapping stories about what we’d seen and heard. Some of it had to be true, at least in my case. We bid each other good luck and goodbye after a bit, and they made their way down the trail.

I’ve enjoyed using Yamaha ATVs and Side-by-Side vehicles around the country while chasing spring gobblers, and could have easily been sitting on a four wheeler, enjoying the day outdoors. Here are some ways to get the most out of your time hunting, fishing or just plain riding, while also maintaining good relationships with other recreational users:


Pack all of the debris and waste you create, stash it in a plastic trash bag, and haul it out when you return home. This includes trail markers, empty shotgun hulls, foam nightcrawler containers, plus eating and drinking cast-offs like sandwich bags, tinfoil, plastic bottles and the like. Even better, pick up trash left by others (no typo).


When you camp in the backwoods, do so away from both hiking trails and waterways. Some states actually establish exact distances. If in doubt, several hundred feet is a good measure. Impact the area minimally. Maintain the site the way you would your own home and backyard. 


Know the land well enough so that you aren’t disturbing a farmer’s livestock, disrupting sensitive habitats, or inadvertently moving into a designated wilderness area illegally. Erect temporary treestands and blinds come hunting season. Know the laws for doing that.


Avoid being unintentional trouble for your family and friends. Check weather forecasts, pack emergency items, dress in layers (including all of your recommended riding gear), and ride with a buddy or two in the event you need help. Always tell someone back home where you’ll be hunting, fishing or camping. 


If other trail users are afoot, respect the fact that they enjoy the outdoors as well, just as the guys I met turkey hunting did. Drive slowly around gatherings of people to keep noise and road dust down. If you open a gate with permission, close it. If you have to navigate past private land, contact the landowner first. Ride with pride for all of us.