Yamaha Kodiak 700 EHS: The Ultimate Deer-Lease ATV

A year-round ride, friendly for family and field

Yamaha Kodiak 700 EHS: The Ultimate Deer-Lease ATV

As a small-farm land manager and country homeowner with more chores and pet projects than weekends available to accomplish them, I think an ATV is primarily a utility tool that needs to be available to work whenever it’s called on, whatever the conditions. Unflinching reliability and versatility are key, as is user-friendliness for the wide variety of riders I may need to enlist to help perform work and get tasks accomplished safely and efficiently. In my world, a strong, dependable ATV is a true force multiplier, while a misguided choice in quads can leave you frustrated and exasperated—and I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum.

This past winter I set out to build the ideal four-wheel work companion to handle five primary home and ranch jobs: snow plowing, field fertilizing and spraying, hauling, and towing. Given the tasks of plowing heavy, wet snow; pushing dirt, rock, and animal refuse; hauling heavy loads on the racks; and towing gear across hill and dale, I decided my base platform should have four-wheel-drive capability and a 600cc engine at the minimum.

Since my wife, family, and friends also would be using the unit to help manage the chores, some type of steering assist would be helpful. For the spraying and fertilizing duties, I needed high rack capacity and an adjustable suspension that could accommodate a decent-sized sprayer and spreader, with ground clearance high enough to navigate cleanly over early-growth soybeans and corn. An automatic/CVT transmission was also a given.

After a comprehensive review of brands, models, features, and value, the logical path led me to the Yamaha Kodiak 700 EPS as the best blend of technologies and capabilities—at the best price. I had experience with the Yamaha brand, owning a somewhat spartan, by today’s standards, 2002 Kodiak 400 that has proven insanely reliable, requiring just two batteries in its lifetime. It starts as easily today as the day I picked it up at the dealer. My first Kodiak’s unfailingly consistent reliability is in stark contrast to the three other barn mates it has outworked and outlasted, so I felt confident in the choice of platforms.


The primary features of the Kodiak 700 EPS that won me over are its power-to-weight ratio with a 708cc 4-valve fuel-injected powerplant, proven Ultramatic transmission, four-wheel engine braking, Electric Power Steering, 1,300-pound towing capacity with a factory two-inch receiver built in, 198-pound rear-rack capacity, fully independent suspension, and nearly 11 inches of ground clearance.


To add increased versatility and capability, I went to Moose Utility for a 60-inch County Plow with multi-angle mount and push tube and a powerful Warn 2,000-pound winch with synthetic rope to manage the snow blade and general winching needs. The heavy-duty plow blade can be angled for optimal material management, and a curved face and rubber plow flap keep snow from blowing up in your face. I have a 300-yard driveway with a 30-degree incline, so this implement might be the most labor-saving ATV accessory I’ve ever owned. This build project would be worth it if for nothing else than to have the Kodiak 700 EPS and plow dedicated for this specific job.

The Warn winch has run flawlessly as a plow blade lift mechanism. And while I’ve never managed to get the Kodiak in a muddy scenario where the locking differential couldn’t get me out, I have managed to foolishly bury the unit to the frame in deep snow on multiple occasions, and the Warn saved me from some back-wrenching shovel recoveries.

For the spraying of acres of corn, soybeans, clover, and native warm season deer bedding grasses, I found what I believe to be the best ATV boom sprayer I’ve ever used—and I’ve been through a bunch of them. The well-kept secret of the CropCare ATV Sprayer belies its capabilities and durability. This 25-gallon workhorse is built to last, with a thick-wall tank and a robust, powder-coated metal frame adaptable to a multitude of ATV racks. A three-gallons-per-minute Shurflo pump is controlled by a large, easy-to-adjust pressure regulator with a large, liquid-filled gauge for precise adjustment. An in-tank filter helps prevent sediment clogs in the system, and a unique, 160-inch X-Fold Boom provides excellent row coverage, with precise chemical application and control via its TeeJet air-inducted flat fan spray nozzles.

To achieve maximum efficiency with the sprayer when applying chemicals in non-row crop scenarios like fallow fields, clover plots, and pastures, I paired it with CropCare’s excellent 2.5-gallon Turf Marker System, which helps prevent expensive overlaps and those maddening missed spots you discover a week later. It works wonderfully and saves time, effort, and expense, and going forward, I’ll never run a sprayer system without one.


With these farm and ranch accessories, the Kodiak 700 EPS performs its role wonderfully as an ultra-dependable utility machine that has more than enough power for ag jobs and heavy snow removal. Its 1,300-pound towing capacity allows me to haul large loads and ATV ag implements without worry of stressing the frame or engine. I regularly over-max the rear cargo capacity when carrying 25 gallons in the sprayer, and the machine barely acknowledges the load. The Electric Power Steering is particularly useful in this scenario, and in general, the EPS provides a great balance between trail feel and ease of use for all types of riders.

What I’ve come to value most in an ATV is reliability. I have precious few weekends each month to accomplish my farm work, and the machine absolutely has to run when the snow starts flying. In this regard, the Kodiak has been just as dependable at -20 degrees as it has at 95 degrees, and its feature set and value distinguish it in an extremely competitive category.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

B&C Typical Mule Deer

B&C Typical Mule Deer

Doug Burris Jr's typical mule deer taken in 1969, could just be one record that will never be broken.

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you. Conservation

Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd?

Jeff Johnston

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.

Check out the new fleet of off-road options for hunters. Wheels Afield

2020 ATV Buyer's Guide

Rick Sosebee - June 23, 2020

Check out the new fleet of off-road options for hunters.

Mossberg's accurate Patriot Predator is the most affordable way to harness the power of the 6.5 PRC. Guns

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC: Rifle Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 26, 2020

Mossberg's accurate Patriot Predator is the most affordable way to harness the power of the...

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns. Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

See More Trending Articles

More Hunting

Silent, Clean, and Fast
Seeing a need for a quality electric vehicle for outdoorsmen, TORQ Hunting

Electric Hunter: TORQ VLE Vehicle

WA Staff - May 18, 2015

Silent, Clean, and Fast Seeing a need for a quality electric vehicle for outdoorsmen, TORQ

Mountain Bikes are an incredible (but underutilized) tool for hunters, and when you add some Hunting

The Ultimate Hunting E-Bike

Mike Schoby - April 28, 2014

Mountain Bikes are an incredible (but underutilized) tool for hunters, and when you add some

A hard-scrabble hunt for immigrant rams of the Chinati Mountains in Texas Hunting

Adventures in Aoudad Hunting

David Draper - September 25, 2018

A hard-scrabble hunt for immigrant rams of the Chinati Mountains in Texas

I fondly remember the summer of '86. A buddy and I spent the entire summer exploring the mountains Hunting

Honda Ruckus Motorcycle Build

Mike Schoby - May 11, 2015

I fondly remember the summer of '86. A buddy and I spent the entire summer exploring the...

See More Hunting

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now