Getting Back To Work

Specialized hunting vehicles for 2021

January 2021 Feature Web Exclusive

By Steve Janes

            They say all work and now play makes for a very long day. However, when there’s a degree of work involved with play, there’s no better way to blend the two than with the Polaris Ranger, the best selling UTV ever made.

            The latest addition to the Ranger lineup is two very specialized models—The Ranger Big Game Edition and the Ranger Waterfowl Edition. These are UTVs built with a very specific task in mind, so even though there are a lot of similarities within these two models, and within the rest of the Ranger line, there are also some features that will make each of these respective models shine within their elements.

            According to Chris Hendricks, Ranger Product Planning, Polaris has been listening to its customers, employees and industry partners to design activity-specific models.

            “Over half of Ranger owners use there vehicle for hunting,” Hendricks said. “We don’t make a Ranger that isn’t a good hunting vehicle. But it has to be capable of extreme terrain and gear-carrying capabilities.”

            The latest release of models—The Ranger XP 1000 Big Game Edition and the Ranger XP 1000 Waterfowl Edition—are purpose-built vehicles to meet the demands of the most fanatic hunters. Both models come in three-seat and six-seat (crew) trims.

Ranger XP 1000 Big Game Edition

Besides all the other handling and comfort features required in a utility vehicle, if you’re going into the backcountry looking for big game, you need excellent ground clearance and substantial load-carrying capacity.

Usually, you begin your hunt fully loaded. If all goes well, you end with fully loaded plus a big game animal. Between the start and finish, you travel miles on mountain roads and usually traverse rocky terrain. With 14 inches of ground clearance, the Big Game Edition will make it much easier to get you where you need to go. This model comes with 29-inch Maxxis MU511 tires designed to grip even the rockiest terrain.

It also has an engine-braking system so you have control going down steep trails. And for the sagebrush encountered along the way, it has a strong front bumper and skid plate to protect your vehicle. Its Polaris Pursuit camo skin allows the Big Game Edition to blend into the landscape.

Ranger XP 1000 Waterfowl Edition

Perfect for getting to the buck blind, the Waterfowl Edition features 29-inch Pro Armor Mud XC tires, along with arched A-arms for 14 inches of ground (and swamp) clearance. The tires have an aggressive tread for wet terrain yet still do great at aggressive speeds on the trail.

Its On Demand all-wheel drive system takes the worry out of switching back and forth to four-wheel drive. With the high-mount air intake, the vehicle can navigate through water up to the base of the seat. It also has a sealed electrical system and winch to keep water out. Its heavy-duty bumper and skid plate protects the chassis as you drive through the brush, and a higher winch location makes for easy access and keeps it above the swampy mud.

Once you get to your blind, the new Polaris Marsh/Waterfowl Environment camo keeps you invisible from the air. Since your day usually starts early and ends late, LED lighting provides the necessary visibility to get you in and out of your hunt.

Making A Difference

            Although the Big Game Edition and the Waterfowl Edition share some of the great innovations designed by Polaris, they also vary a bit according to the respective needs of both big game and waterfowl hunters.

            First the basic features of both—when it comes to power and performance, the four-stroke twin cylinder DOHC 999cc engine from Polaris puts out 82 horsepower with 62-foot-pounds of torque. Both have the Automatic PVT H/L/N/R/P shaft transmission drive.

            Both have the independent arched Lower A-arms to deliver 10-inches of travel and 14 inches of ground clearance. Both have an 81-inch wheel base (113 inches in the crew). Both pack 11.5 gallons of fuel. Both are rated to pull 2,500 pounds and comes with a standard two-inch receiver. Both have electric power steering. And both can be accessorized with the Lock & Ride cargo system.

            Now the subtle differences—the Big Game Edition comes with VersaTrac Turf Mode, Nivomat Load-Adaptive and EBS/Active Descent Control, necessary for steep terrain. The Waterfowl Edition features a higher mounted airbox to allow you to go through water up to the base of your seat.

            Both the Big Game Edition and Waterfowl Edition pricing start at $20,199.

Ranger Line

On the heels of the strongest quarter of consumer demand in its 66-year history, Polaris Off Road continues to demonstrate why it’s the world leader in powersports and off-road innovation with its 2021 Ranger model year lineup. The latest lineup boasts best-in-class products that resonate across the spectrum of riders, from the novice to the expert and everyone in between, who are looking to do more in the outdoors.

With design philosophy that starts and ends with the rider, enhanced quality and improved rider-inspired features are on display throughout the 2021 lineup from Ranger taking strength, comfort and capability to the next level.

“When it comes to driving product innovation, we are always listening to our riders and our dealers, and that has never been more evident than with this year’s lineup, featuring rider-inspired upgrades across all brands,” said Steven Menneto, president of Polaris Off Road. “We are relentlessly committed to elevating the off-road lifestyle for riders of all backgrounds and experience levels by delivering the best and most advanced off-road vehicles, whether for work, adventure or play.”

For decades, Polaris Off Road has redefined the industry, refusing to settle for status quo. The 2021 lineup is packed with premium features, including enhanced audio and expanded Ride Command integration on more models than ever before. All four brands (Ranger, General, RZR and Sportsman) were evaluated from top to bottom with innovations made to increase durability and provide premium customization options with expanded accessory offerings.

            The Polaris Ranger has always been the workhorse—the top choice of farmers, ranchers, hunters, homesteaders and recreational enthusiasts for more than a decade. It’s known and valued for its unmatched strength, comfort and capability. The more the Ranger delivers, the more “next level” the riders ask for. 

In late 2020, the 2021 model line was introduced with the No.1-selling utility side-by-side expanding its product line to include the first-ever Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss and Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Trail Boss. To further elevate its already industry-leading lineup, Ranger also introduced significant quality and feature upgrades across Ranger 1000, XP 1000 and XP 1000 Northstar models.

Available in three-seat and crew models, the Trail Boss limited edition delivered more premium features and big work and play capability for riders operating in demanding terrains.

“With more than 1 million Ranger owners and counting, it’s our responsibility to continue innovating and expanding on our commitment to deliver the industry’s hardest working, smoothest riding UTVs,” said Chris Judson, vice president of Ranger, General and ATV, Polaris. “We’re bringing improvements across this year’s lineup that are a direct reflection of our owners and further raise the bar for utility side-by-sides.”

The 2021 Ranger lineup is packed with rider-inspired quality upgrades, new premium features and purpose-built limited editions that make it the strongest, most capable and most comfortable Ranger lineup ever.

Highlights include:

  • Upgraded Clutching—All 2021 Ranger XP 1000 models feature upgraded clutch componentry for 50 percent more durability. Spend more time riding and less time on maintenance with an industry-leading 6,000-mile clutch service interval (three-times longer than the 2020 model year).
  • Stronger Front Drive—Polaris has increased front-drive strength by 30 percent on all 2021 Ranger 1000 and XP 1000 models for improved durability. The chassis itself has also been redesigned around the new isolated front drive, making it 15 percent stronger, and suspension durability has been increased by 50 percent so that riders can work and play harder knowing Ranger is up to the task.
  • Striking LED Headlights—Standard on Trail Boss and Northstar Ultimate models, LED headlights are also now included in the Ride Command package on Ranger XP 1000. Extend the day of work or recreation with 90 percent more output than halogens–the most in the industry–for better visibility in low-light conditions.
  • 29-inch Maxxis Tires—Trail Boss and Northstar Ultimate models also feature new 29-inch tires, providing more ground clearance, traction and cornering stability to tackle tough tasks and trails.
  • 14-inch aluminum wheels—Look good while on the job or on the go with new 14-inch aluminum wheels featuring a machined face for eye-catching style, now standard on all Ranger XP 1000 models for 2021.
  • Battery Charging Port—All 2021 Ranger 1000 and XP 1000 models now include a battery charging port easily accessible in the dash to keep the machine ready for work or play regardless of how long it sits in between rides.
  • New Accessories—The bold new LED headlights are also available as an accessory upgrade kit for Ranger XP 1000 models, and the kit is compatible with prior model years. Polaris is also offering a geo-fencing kit for Ranger 1000, enhancing vehicle controllability with speed control down to 4 mph and the ability to set operating boundaries.
  • Premium Colors and Graphics—Polaris Ranger introduced new, premium colors and graphics throughout the 2021 lineup, offering new options for riders looking to upgrade their style.

The Ranger XP 1000 High Lifter Edition, Ranger XP 1000 Texas Edition and highly-popular Ranger XP 1000 Northstar also receive notable upgrades for 2021. The High Lifter Edition gets 30-inch Outlaw 2 tires for more mud-churning capability and style. The new, larger tires bring ground clearance to a towering 15 inches for increased capability to ride in deeper mud. Polaris also improved draining on the standard, premium half doors and added bold color accents to the interior.

Pricing: RZR XP Turbo starting at $19,999; RZR XP 4 Turbo starting at $22,699; Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss starting at $18,999;  Ranger Crew XP 1000 Trail Boss starting at $20,499; Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Ultimate starting at $26,999; Ranger  Crew XP 1000 Northstar Ultimate starting at $29,699; Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Trail Boss starting at $28,499; Ranger Crew XP 1000 Northstar Trail Boss starting at $31,199.

To learn more about the 2021 Ranger models, visit

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