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The Ultimate Hunting Jeep

The Ultimate Hunting Jeep

The 2013 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, Mich., to have their expert technicians modify your Jeep to your exact specifications, which is what we did for the Petersen's Hunting Ultimate Hunting Jeep.

IPF Lights & Warn Winch

American Expedition Vehicles relies on two IPF 901 XSD driving lights with 100W halogen bulbs. No plastic here — steel bodies combined with extra-hard glass make these lights nearly indestructible as well as submersible (12 inches for a couple of minutes).

The Warn Zeon 10S winch provides 10,000 pounds of pulling power. The planetary gear train and series wound motor are fast, quiet, and reliable. For easy handling, the Zeon is spooled with 100 feet of 3/8-inch Spydura synthetic rope.

American Expedition Vehicles

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 the Petersen's Hunting Ultimate Jeep.

Spare Carrier/Bumper

The AEV spare tire carrier secures directly to the frame and holds a Hi-Lift jack, Pull Pal, and a full-length shovel. Behind the tire, the fuel caddy holds an extra 10 gallons (with an ingenious siphon system to transfer it to the main tank). The bumper itself is rugged as hell, has integrated tow points, and holds five gallons of potable water inside the corners.

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 mounted in the front bumper and tied to a LCD screen inside extends your vision beyond even the best lights. The industry-leading Pathfinder from FLIR costs far less than a crumpled hood.

Tuffy Security and Husky Floor Liners

Leaving your vehicle at a trailhead while you hike to an elk wallow is a recipe to get your stuff stolen. 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. They also make lockable steel consoles and glove boxes for those wanting even more secure storage.

Molded perfectly to the front, rear and cargo area, the Husky Weatherbeater floor liners protect the interior from muddy boots. We have used them before with great results. Possibly the best, least expensive investment for any vehicle — and made in the USA!

MP Folding Table

As they say, 'Nature abhors a vacuum. ' So do Jeep owners, and the dead space on the tailgate of the Jeep is just screaming to be utilized. 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. Slotted to accept M.O.L.L.E. gear, we added a Blackhawk first-aid kit and storage bag, hatchet (secured with Quick Fist clamps), Leatherman, and a Cabela's flashlight.

Engel 12V Fridge & Truck Vault Storage

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. Well, there is. With the Engel MT45 12-volt fridge, you can keep a week's worth of grub cold (or frozen). The 12V (also 110V) motor has a low amperage draw and can be tilted up to 30 degrees off level.

Hunters need lots of gear, and nothing keeps it as secure and organized as a Truck Vault. 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.

Water, Please

The bumper of the AEV is not only tough as hell, it also holds up to five gallons of potable water inside the corners. It's a pretty handy feature, especially when water is hard to come by.

Fuel on the Go

The AEV spare tire carrier secures directly to the frame and holds a jack and a full-length shovel. Behind the tire, the fuel caddy holds an extra 10 gallons (with an ingenious siphon system to transfer it to the main tank). The bumper itself is rugged as hell, has integrated tow points, and holds five gallons of potable water inside the corners.

Fly Fishing on the Go

One of the must-have items for the roof rack on your Jeep is a fly rod holder. This handy Double Haul fly rod tube makes hitting a trout stream on your way to elk camp a breeze.

Grill and Step

Backstrap never tastes better than over an open fire. The problem is carrying a blackened grill around after it has been used. The Front Runner rear tire grill rear tire grill solves this problem. Crafted from stainless steel, the legs straddle the tire and are secured with a ratchet strap that also secures the Front Runner tire-mounted steps.

Folding Table Down

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. Slotted to accept M.O.L.L.E. gear, we added a Blackhawk first-aid kit and storage bag, hatchet (secured with Quick Fist clamps), Leatherman, and a Cabela's flashlight. With your gear strapped in place, all you have to do is fold the table down and you've got a handy workspace at your fingertips.

Toyo M/T Tires & Savegre Wheels

Incredibly quiet on the road, these 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires also pull double duty as great off-road tires. Known for their long-wearing characteristics and low noise, the M/Ts feature over-the-shoulder tread to keep you moving in mud and snow.

Cast out of A356/T6 aluminum, the 17-inch AEV Savegre wheels feature a hubcentric design that reduces stress on the lugs and places it onto the hub, where it belongs. The recessed valve-stem protects the valves even under the harshest off-road conditions.

Roof Rack

With space commanding a premium inside a Jeep, a roof rack is a necessity. Secure extra hunting and camping gear on top as well as bulky items like a rooftop tent or the über-handy Double Haul fly rod tube that makes hitting a trout stream on your way to elk camp a breeze. The AEV roof rack secures to the roll cage inside the roof, making it one of the highest-load carrying units available.

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. Also, if you want to add a snorkel for deep-water wading, the AEV snorkel integrates seamlessly.

DualSport Suspension

Wanting more than just a lift, AEV spent tons of time with engineers on the test track developing its DualSport XT suspension. Frequency-tuned, triple-rated coils and custom-tuned Bilstein shocks are at its core. The geometrically correct rear shock-arm tower rounds out the performance and optimizes on- and off-road performance.

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