The 2017 Pioneer 1000 Gets a New Trim—and Goes to the Ox Ranch, with Smith and Wesson, Crimson Trace, Banded, and Klim

By Sue Mead

honda_pioneer-ox_ranch-sue_mead-WING5695Ox Ranch, Uvalde, Texas: There’s nothing like an 18,000-acre test bed to evaluate the updated capabilities of a multi-purpose UTV that’s a top choice for hunters-especially when one of your goals is to go hog hunting! Set in the picturesque Texas Hill country south of San Antonio, this exotic game and hunting ranch provided the perfect place to learn about the new smart technologies added to the triumvirate of models that has boosted Honda’s powersports sales, with upgrades to the 2017 Pioneer 500, the industry’s top-selling, entry-level side x side; add-ons for the mid-sized 2017 Pioneer 700; and a new LE trim for the top-of the-line 2017 Pioneer 1000.

honda_pioneer-ox_ranch-sue_mead-WING5730The Fruit of the Hunt

The Ox Ranch was also the perfect place for me to get back into hunting, following a 45-year hiatus. After taking a Hunter Safety Course and obtaining an updated hunting license, I showed up at the ranch ready for my firearm’s training arranged by Honda with Smith and Wesson and Crimson Trace, as well as practice time at the shooting range. The day was filled with motoring over miles of easy-to-challenging backcountry trails, with scenic vistas and enjoying the wild game that are plentiful on the ranch. I was then ready for my night hunt.

honda_pioneer-ox_ranch-sue_mead-KWP_6401[1]Donning my new Banded camo clothing in Mossy Oak’s Obsession pattern, I was outfitted with night vision goggles and climbed into one of the ranch’s Jeep vehicles to be “guided” by one of the hunting guides at the ranch. Any question I had about whether I was ready to shoot quickly dissipated, as we stalked the hogs that are typically plentiful-and are destructive of natural habitat. Not a hog came into view during our two hours of searching, but the panorama of the night sky painted with millions of stars seen through my night vision goggles will be in my memory bank as one of life’s most majestic images. A second go of searching for hogs came in the dark of morning, as it the world around me turned to daybreak, while I sat alone perched in a blind for two and a half hours. It, too, proved fruitless for shooting. However, being alone gave me time to contemplate, smell the dawn as it breathed life into the remote, rolling hills and ranchland within my purview, watch the behavior of a large herd of whitetail deer, and listen to a symphony of birdsong dedicated to the morning in praise. The lessons learned? It was a fruitful hunt and exactly why many enjoy the pursuit!

Click on the photo above to watch a detailed walkaround on Honda’s flagship Pioneer multipurpose side-by-side UTV.

The Honda Pioneer LE

We concentrated our drive review on the flagship Pioneer 1000, testing its prowess over many miles of flat two-track dirt roads to courses of moderately-tough and highly-technical off-road trails with steep hill climbs and descents, as well as through water-crossings and up and across rock outcroppings. After introducing the all-new 2016 Pioneer 1000-5 with a collection of impressive technologies, the powersports manufacturer known for its extensive array of engines for diverse applications, that range from powering jets to snow blowers, has upped its UTV game again. This popular model used by hunters, ranchers and a variety of enthusiasts, now gets a new limited-edition version of the five-passenger 2017 Pioneer 1000-5 LE and the three-person 2017 Pioneer 1000-3 LE; both get a new I-4WD system. A first in the rapidly-growing powersports industry, the “intelligent” system incorporates the industry’s first off-road brake traction control system to manage the amount of slip between left and right front wheels, applying torque to the wheel with greater grip. (Click here to watch a detailed video on the Honda Pioneer multipurpose side-by-side UTV.)


There are three significant updated advantages onboard: brake traction control, hill-start assist and electronic brake force distribution. Meshed with the 1000’s Torque Biasing Limited Slip differential, the new system can provide as much tractive force as a locking diff, plus it’s engineered for reduced steering effort and less kickback. The result is impressive grip on a broad collection of technical surfaces, a more relaxing drive, and no need to stop to engage diff-lock. Also new are FOX QS-3 shock absorbers, for improved comfort and protection. The Pioneer 1000 comes in EPS, Deluxe and LE trim levels and starts at $14,199 up to $21,599. It comes in black and camo.

honda_pioneer-ox_ranch-sue_mead-WING5491[1]Over 80 2017 Honda Pioneer 1000 Accessories are available, including Cargo, Tops, Doors and Protection, designed specifically for the Pioneer.

For further information on the 2017 Honda Pioneer:


Ox Ranch is famed for whitetail deer hunting, turkey hunting, photos safaris and over 60 additional species available for hunt. There are thousands of native and exotic wildlife free ranging on over 18,000 acres of Texas Hill Country, including giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, axis, blackbucks, elk, feral hogs, red stags, and whitetail deer.


It is owned by Brent Oxley, founder of HostGator. The Ranch has been featured on CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, ESPN, and numerous hunting shows, including ABC‘s 20/20 Hunter and Hunted, Ford Outfitters Haley Heath, NBCSN‘s Razor Dobbs Alive, Ted Nugent‘s Spirit of the Wild, and Outdoor Channel‘s L.L.Bean Guide to the Outdoors. Although primarily a hunting ranch, the lodging and accommodations rival many of the world’s finest resorts, with activities for families, such as hand-feeding giraffes, driving and firing a WWII Sherman tank, machine gun shooting, skeet shooting, fishing, jet skiing, and cave exploring, In 2002, the Texas Journal of Science did a study and documented Ox Ranch’s Theropod Dinosaur Tracks located on Ox Ranch on the Kinney County side of the property.

Click the photo above to learn more about The Ox Hunting Ranch.
Contact Details: 

Ox Hunting Ranch
1946 Private Road 2485
Uvalde, TX 78801


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Sue Mead
SUE MEAD began her automotive career as a part-time freelance evaluator for Four Wheeler Magazine in 1988 on the first team that included women as test drivers. Today, she travels the globe test-driving cars and trucks and working as a photojournalist/feature writer for dozens of publications. Mead specializes in 4WD, and has been an auto editor and 4WD editor for CNN/fn. Mead has been inducted into the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and recently won her class as the Driver of Record in the 2011 Dakar Rally. Mead has received a number of awards for her work in the field of automotive journalism. She has written for Four Wheeler, 4Wheel & Off Road, Automobile, AutoWeek, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics. Parade, Women’s Sports & Fitness, Autobytel, AutoTrader and the New York Times, as well as publications around the globe. Mead has written three books: Monster Trucks and Tractors; Off Road Racing, Legends and Adventures; and Rock Crawling.