May 12, 2015
The Jeep Wrangler makes a nearly ideal platform for the Western hunter. Nimble, extremely off-road capable, and with the addition of a hitch hauler or small utility trailer, it's more than adequate for carrying lots of gear and game. Well-equipped in its stock form, the Jeep only gets better with some hunter-inspired modifications. While there are dozens (maybe hundreds) of manufacturers producing aftermarket Jeep accessories, few do it with the quality and aplomb of American Expedition Vehicles (AEV).
AEV is recognized in the Jeep aftermarket world as the gold standard. And while each of these AEV components can be ordered individually and installed yourself, the ultimate build involves heading to the AEV facility in Wixom, Michigan, to have their expert technicians modify your Jeep to your exact specifications, which is what we did for this build.
No plastic here — steel bodies with extra-hard glass make these 100W halogen lights nearly indestructible as well as submersible (12 inches for a couple of minutes).
FLIR Thermal Camera
Driving to your hunting spot during the rut may be one of the most dangerous times for hitting a cruising buck. Lights only go so far, but a thermal camera tied to an LCD screen extends vision beyond even the best lights.
Tuffy Security Drawers
Tuffy Security makes locking steel boxes that bolt under both the passenger and driver seats — ideal for keeping gear locked up and out of sight.
Hood and snorkel
Going slow with high RPMs can sometimes create excess engine heat. AEV rectifies the problem with its heat-reduction hood, which is more aggressively styled than stock with engineered vents to reduce heat. The stamped-steel hood features OEM-style crumple zones and comes E-coated — ready to be painted to match your vehicle.
Engel 12V Fridge
While ice-filled coolers are the mainstay of the hunter, after you fish out a packet of cheese that has been bobbing around in rank water, you'll agree there has to be a better way. With the Engel MT45 12-volt fridge, you can keep a week's worth of grub cold (or frozen).
Vector Folding Table
Vector Offroad's stamped-steel and powder-coated Multi Purpose (MP) table folds up and out of the way as well as serves as a storage area when not in use.
SporTube rod case
The Master Series Double Haul fly rod case holds two fully assembled, with reels attached, fly rods up to 10 feet in length for easy streamside access.
Hunters need lots of gear, and nothing keeps it as secure and organized as a TruckVault. These units are extremely well made with full slide-out drawers and push-button combination locks. Custom-built to the customer's specifications, they can be configured to hold all types of long guns, handguns, as well as tons of hunting gear. Options include internal LED illumination, 12V power ports, and even 110V inverters.
The rear of the Jeep Wrangler is also designed for the field. A spare, full-size Toyo tire mounted on a matching Savegre wheel resides on the AEV frame-mounted, swing-away tire carrier. The AEV bumper integrally stores five gallons of potable water, accessible by a hand pump. Behind the tire, there is an additional 10 gallons of fuel, a full-size shovel, and room for a Hi-Lift jack and Pull-Pal winch anchor. Atop, the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform rack attaches through the Jeep's roof, directly to the roll bar for unmatched strength and load-carrying ability.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.