Amphibious ATV’s – Blog 9 – Tundra Series

Game retrieval was usually by ATV which had to be ferried across the river in the diminutive hand made plywood boats.

We had meat to fetch the afternoon we arrived so I had asked Kerry, “How the hell do you get that ATV in the boat”?

Kerry flashed me a huge smile which displayed a need for dental work, “Easily”, he responded.

About an hour later, eyes wide, I learned the secret tundra method of ATV loading and water transport. The trick was to get the boat against the beach. Planks were run from the top of the gunwale to the sand and a piece of old weathered plywood was thrown over the two center thwarts. Kerry gunned the ATV and flew up the ramp, achieved launch velocity and landed with a screech of the brakes on the plywood, the boat rocking precariously. Then the chug chug across the river.

Off loading was even less complicated. Kerry merely revved up the ATV like a funny car at a drag race, popped the clutch, and flew over the gunwale airborne for six to eight feet. The ATV cleared most of the expanse of water between the boat and the shoreline generally with its front wheels on solid (kind of) ground and rear tires spinning wildly on slippery rocks a foot under water. Gears hummed, steam billowed from the exhaust and the Honda screamed in protest but some how it always wound up dry on the shore ready to retrieve caribou quarters and cape.

To be continued……..

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