Technology is continually evolving, and we’ve gone a long way. Today, your phone has more processing power than a super-computer from 30 years ago. The same is true for e-bikes.
The first commercially available electric bikes were very heavy and didn’t have much range. But, thanks to electronics and battery technology advancements, today's e-bikes can carry you for 100-+ miles over just about any terrain.
But what has that to do with hunting? Can you use e-bikes for hunting? Of course, you can! E-bikes are a perfect tool for any hunter. Modern e-bikes come with high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, sturdy frames, and fat tires that can go over even the roughest of terrains.
In this article, I’ll give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know about using e-bikes for hunting. Let’s start with the obvious - why even use them?
There are very few reasons not to use an electric bike for hunting. The only thing that I can say is a strike for e-bikes is that they can get expensive. This is especially true for off-road e-bikes.
So if you have the money, I recommend you give e-bikes a try. If you’re still unsure, here are five reasons why you should use an e-bike for hunting.
#1 E-bikes are stealthy
The biggest benefit to e-bikes when it comes to hunting is that they’re incredibly quiet. An e-bike motor produces very little noise even when under stress/ Even then, the motor noise is not even close to the amount of noise an ATV or UTV produces.
You can use the e-bike to get to and from your hunting area without spooking the game. And since e-bikes don’t use fuel, they have almost no scent. This further reduces the chance of scaring off the game.
#2 E-bikes can handle rough terrain
Modern e-bikes are built to withstand quite a lot of punishment. Some high-end models won’t break even if you throw them off a building.
This sturdiness makes them superb for traversing rough areas such as forests, meadows, agricultural fields, creeks, and more. Moreover, thanks to fat tires, off-road bikes will find traction on just about anything. And thanks to modern advancements in tire technology, they won’t puncture even if you run into a bed of nails and broken glass.
#3 E-bikes make it easier to transport gear and game
E-bikes have really gone a long way in the last ten years. These days you can get all kinds of attachments for them, including trailers. Just like with an ATV or UTV, you can carry all your gear in the trailer.Most high-end e-bikes can pull an enormous amount of weight. Combine that with a trailer, and you get a perfectly sneaky vehicle. Of course, you’re still not able to carry as much as you could on an ATV trailer, but an e-bike can go over rougher terrain.
#4 E-bikes are lightweight and portable
Don’t get me wrong, hunting e-bikes can weigh up to 70 pounds. That’s pretty hefty. But when you compare their weight to an ATV, there’s a significant difference.Most ATVs weigh nearly four times as much as an e-bike, and UTVs start at 1000 pounds. On top of that, both of these vehicles require a truck and a specialized trailer to move.
To transport an e-bike, all you need is a heavy-duty bike rack and a car. And once you get to the hunting grounds, you’ll be able to go through rougher terrain. And when you run into an impassable obstacle, you can just get off the bike and lift it over.
#5 E-bikes are easy to maintain
E-bikes have very few complex components. This makes maintenance work a piece of cake.
Before every hunting trip, all you have to do is a simple visual inspection. If anything seems out of order, replace it or try to repair it - no mechanics or special tools are needed. You can repair most problems on an e-bike with a screwdriver and a bike wrench.
Cleaning an e-bike is just as simple. Just clean all the dirt off with mildly soapy water and a gentle cleaning cloth.
The only part you’ll need help with is the motor. Thankfully, in most cases, an annual visit to an e-bike shop for a tuneup will ensure the motor lasts for years.
Are There Any Hunting Areas Where You Can’t Use Electric Bikes?
Just because you can reach remote areas with an e-bike, that doesn’t mean you can do that legally. There are some places where it’s illegal to ride an e-bike. There are two particular places you need to watch out for:
Central Oregon Trail Alliance Places
The Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA), and most other trail-adopting organizations prohibit the use of motor vehicles and cars on the land they maintain. So if you like any COTA trails for hunting, you can only do so on foot.
United States Forest Service Land
Just like COTA, USFS doesn't allow any motor or electric vehicles on their trails. If your vehicle doesn’t qualify as a wheelchair or a mobility device, you are prohibited from using it.
There is a rule of thumb you can use for most hunting trails - if cars are prohibited on the trail, you probably can’t ride an e-bike there.
What Places Allow E-bikes To Be Used While Hunting
Now that you know where you can’t ride e-bikes, let’s see what places don’t have e-bike prohibitions.
Not so long ago, the current US administration signed a decree that allows e-bikes to be used in national parks and roadless areas. Electric bikes are not in the same category as dirt bikes and other motor vehicles.
The decree has been signed because there’s an increasing number of hunters who are using e-bikes while hunting.
You can use all the classes of e-bikes in roadless areas and national parks. However, if you have a class 2 or 3 e-bike, you are prohibited from using the throttle control. In other words, your e-bike has to function as a class 1 e-bike.
Electric e-bikes are one of the safest vehicles in the world. Unlike motorized vehicles, they weigh very little and can’t go as fast. Moreover, e-bikes are incredibly easy to control even when at full speed. Unless you ride off a cliff, the worst thing that can happen to you on an e-bike is a fractured limb.
As you can see, not only can you use an e-bike for hunting - it’s an excellent idea. Not only are they portable, but they also produce very little noise and leave almost no scent marks.
Couple all that with the ability to reach remote areas safely, and you get a perfect vehicle for hunting. On top of that, maintaining an e-bike is a piece of cake since it doesn’t require special tools or skills.
Sure, you are prohibited from using e-bikes on COTA and USFS-maintained lands, but you are free to use them in national parks and other roadless areas.