Electric bikes are being used for hunting. A sentence that just a few years ago would seem foreign to many outdoorsmen. But in the age of technology, e-bikes designed specifically to assist hunters are all the rage.
Landing somewhere in between an ATV and traditional bike, these off-road-ready two-wheelers are changing the way hunters get around.
What may have seemed like a gimmick initially has quickly developed into a topic of conversations in hunter forums and online chats everywhere. This blog post goes over the basics of e-bikes for hunting, tips on how and where to find the best one, and where the industry and technology are headed!
What IS an Electric Bike?
Before we get into how electric bikes have been adopted into the hunting world, what on earth IS an electric bike
“The Federal definition of an e-bicycle allows a 750-watt motor (about 1 hp) and allows it to power the bicycle up to 20 mph. The machine can be pedaled or use a throttle. … But, again, a Class 3 e-bike is just a bicycle as far as the state is concerned, and no registration, licensing, or insurance is required.”
What Are the Laws Around E-Bikes?
“The US Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) classify all-electric hunting bikes as vehicles. With that designation, e-bikes are restricted to roads open to all vehicles, trails open to all vehicles, trails open to vehicles 50” or less, and trails designated to motorcycles only.
The USFS Travel Management Rule does allow for special designation allowing electric hunting bikes on other trails on a local level if approved by the ranger district and included on their official motor vehicle use map.” Chris Denham
What Are Electric Bikes Used For? (Outside of Hunting)
An e-bike serves a multitude of purposes depending on what the rider would like to do with it. People use it in a wide range of things such as:
- Commuting to work
- Longer rides with partial assistance
- Mountain biking
- Leisure & recreation.
AN electric bike does everything that a bike could do, just amplified. If that 10-mile bike ride to work is just too much on a standard cycle, then adding a 500 w power bank could be your solution. Allowing you to travel much further, with significantly less effort and energy. A game-changing tactic that was applied to the hunting world.
How Are E-Bikes Good for Hunting?
The big question that his blog aims to answer is how you can apply all the goodness of an e-bike to hunting?
Electric Bikes Allow More Gear
Depending on what, where, and why, and how you are hunting, the gear you bring can become a major burden. It is no surprise that hunters often have more than 50 pounds of gear on their back. That they must take with them on hikes that could easily get into the tens of miles.
That is where an e-bike comes in. Whether the weight is on your back or a travel trailer, you will be able to travel farther faster, with more gear, with a considerably smaller amount of effort. Additionally, hunting trips can be extremely demanding and taxing on the body. Using e-bike levels the playing fields for hunters and allows even an “out of shape” hunter to really enjoy his experience.
Buying an e-bike is just the first part of your journey to advanced hunting! There are a multitude of add-ons that make the bike even more versatile.
One of my personal favorite things to pair with your electric hunting bike is a foldable solar charger. It gives you the ability to charge, at least partially, your bike’s battery anywhere you are! This helps open up the world to all your hunting adventures.
The “off-grid” capabilities are enhanced with a solar charger and an almost necessity if you plan on taking this in the back country for extended periods of time.
You heard me right, a trailer for your bike! With eh addition of an electric battery, hauling a hundred pounds of gear behind you on a bike becomes easy.
Forget the days of leaving something behind simply because it weighs too much. Instead, bring all of your gear and then some on your next hunt!
Having a large capacity battery onboard also offers a multitude of lighting options. For example, riding on a rough road in the dark can be a little dangerous, but multiple bright headlights powered by the onboard battery can turn night into day.
Hunters will love the ability to take down a kill; without the thought of how they are going to get it to camp in the back of their mind, an e-bike solves that problem entirely.
You can use either a trailer at an additional cost or simply fashion a tarp to the back that essentially does the same thing.
So make your next big buck trip that much easier with an e-bike!
What Kind of E-Bike Should You Get for Hunting?
Now, this is when things start to get a little subjective. What one NEEDS to pull off hunting varies greatly. Your location and type of hunting greatly determine the type of bike and accessories you will need. The things you need to consider are
-Terrain: if you are going through sand or snow, fat tires will be necessary to pull off your hunts successfully.
Price: The price of an e-bike for hunting can change dramatically. You could outfit a fat-tire bike with an add-on battery for around a thousand bucks.
You could also go up high into the thousands for a bike, which might be necessary if you are planning on hauling hundreds of pounds of gear and game.
Power: Power can also be subjective when it comes to hunting with an e-bike. Bikes range from around 750 W up to an audacious 2500 W. Given your size, the distance of the trip, access to a charger, and weight you’re bringing with you are all things to consider. Of course, the bigger you are, the more power you are going to need to get around!
In combination with being great hunting tools and a ton of fun to ride, an e-bike also makes your hunt safer.
In the outdoors there will always be the risk of injury. If the severity of the injury is not enough to prevent you from riding, taking that e-bike back to safety is far easier than attempting to walk.
With their off-road and mountain biking qualities going over loose or somewhat dangerous terrain can be mitigated with an e-bike.
Overall, using an electric bike for hunting is a unique way to hunt more efficiently. While it may not be a necessary purchase for most hunters, the opportunities that an electric bike opens can’t go unseen.
Solving the long-standing problem in the hunting world of moving heavy gear over miles of wilderness