Claire Gierke and her boyfriend, Dan, with their two Red Golden Retrievers, Kahlua and Gunner, always in tow, love adventuring in the great outdoors. Snowboarding, hunting, hiking, off-roading, snowmobiling—you name it. They always make the best of their natural surroundings together. So where does their Can-Am Defender fit in? It helps make all of their incredible experiences possible.
Claire and Dan are entrepreneurs that love spending time outdoors. Along with their Can-Am Defender MAX Lone Star, there is nowhere they—or their two Red Retrievers, Kahlua and Gunner—wouldn’t go. That’s right, Kahlua and Gunner love the outdoors just as much as their owners do and are never far behind every time they head out the door. “Gunner and Kahlua go with us everywhere. If they can’t go with us somewhere, usually we don’t go either,” she says.
With their active lifestyle, they definitely make good use of their Can-Am Defender. As Claire notes, there’s “plenty of room for the two dogs, and it’s very smooth on the trails so they can enjoy the ride too!” The word “enjoy” is an understatement here, as Claire explained that Kahlua and Gunner share the same passion for the ride as their owners do, especially when they hear the engine roar to life. “Even if we just start it and want to move the SxS to wash it, and the door is open, they jump right in,” she recalls. “The dogs love to stick their heads out the windows, take in the view, smell the fresh mountain air, and lean on the most comfortable seats!”
The Defender plays a huge part in allowing Claire and Dan to experience outdoor activities with their dogs, activities like hunting that animals are naturally born and bred to do. Colorado, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are just a few of the places they’ve experienced together. “Kahlua and Gunner love to hunt,” Claire says. “Some dogs hunt for themselves, but you can tell when a dog loves to hunt for themselves and their owners.” She adds, “Kahlua and Gunner know that they help us put food on our table and fill up our freezer with duck and pheasant, and they enjoy doing it too.”
Claire acknowledges that their Defender brings them to hunting locations they normally wouldn’t be able to get to. She also doesn’t hesitate to mention that it makes carrying equipment around 100% easier. She says, “The Defender has really been a help in so many ways, from taking us up to the continental divide at 14,278 ft in Colorado to hunting in Wisconsin and lugging dozens of decoys and gear.”
With plenty of adventures under their belt, no hunting trip was as memorable as the one they experienced at Claire’s family property. “There’s something special when you’re hunting with family and your dogs on your family’s property that has been around for generations,” Claire recalls. “We hope to one day trailer our Defender up there when the water is all iced over and drive to the property across the ice and maybe do some ice fishing while we’re at it!” Now that’ll be a trip for the books.
After everything that their Defender helped them see and do, this outdoor duo isn’t shy to bring their ride to a whole other level. They’ve already added a series of accessories ranging from a front and rear windshield, half doors and mirrors to a snow plow, a front LED light bar with LED cubes, cargo lights and LED work lights for backup use. According to Claire, the customizations are far from over. “What we would like to do next would be a back rack with gun mounts and maybe bigger tires,” she said. “We love our Can-Am Defender and we wouldn’t get anything else, just maybe a new model in the future with HVAC in the cab,” like the Can-Am Defender MAX Limited with heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
There’s no doubt that plenty more hunting and outdoor activities are in store for Claire, Dan and their two Red Retrievers. Keep up with the fun by following them on their Instagram account, @the.two.red.retrievers.
On worksites, hunting trips, in agribusiness, and anywhere you need: the Defender gets the job done right. And he's the pillar of many incredible stories.
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