The first step in building the ultimate hunting machine is picking out the bike. Personally, I didn’t want to invest a lot of money. A more passionate cyclist might criticize me on that point, arguing that you get what you pay for, and in retrospect, I might be inclined to agree with that view, as the model that I chose has required several repairs and upgrades over the past few years.
At the same bike shop I also found a cargo rack that mounted over the rear tire. Next came a homemade bow rack consisting of a piece of aluminum tubing, purchased at a hardware store and a set of bow/gun holders designed to mount on an ATV rack or handlebars. To make the bow rack I attached the piece of aluminum tubing crossways at the farthest rearward portion of the cargo rack, using nuts and bolts, and then mounted the ATV bow/gun holder to that. It worked like a charm, and I was soon making it silently to my stand in a third of the time that it’d have taken me to walk.
My first idea was to devise a means of carrying the bow across the handlebars somehow, but they were too narrow, and the handbrakes were in the way, so that proved impractical. The handlebars would have to serve another purpose. A visit to a local bike shop produced a large handlebar-mounted basket; perfect for carrying my backpack or other bulky items, it removes easily when not needed. A fanny pack fastened to the handlebars is another good option for carrying smaller items.
State lands are not gated but may not be well marked with signs. But they are open to the latest electric hunting bike so there’s no issue with hunting them. Timber company lands are usually easy to identify because most access points are gated, and these gates are painted different colors according to the company ownership. That fact isn’t too important because public access is usually permitted with limited regulation, such as no overnight camping, building fires, and the use of motorized vehicles behind the gates. A key point to note – during the early bow seasons in Washington and Oregon wildfire potential increases and timber companies are quick to restrict all public access until adequate rains soak the forests. Hefty fines are issued to those who don’t respect these restrictions.
Fully integrated into the frame’s downtube, a single 500 kWh battery—guaranteeing 750 full charge cycles—powers the Shimano drivetrain, all the while boasting a touring range between 80-100 km. To make sure all is working efficiently, an onboard interface the size of an iPod Nano is mounted on the handlebars. The digital readout shows the rider battery levels and consumption rates, current and average speed, distance traveled, duration and time of day.
Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.
The rewards can be great—in our camp that means a fair share of public-lands elk nearly every year. Don’t let the locked gates or trails stop you if you have the will to get in shape, equip a plain-old mountain bike, and get pedaling—your next elk may be just around the corner.
If you’re looking for a low-impact way to hunt, using a mountain bike will serve that purpose very well. It’s quiet, quick, versatile and just plain fun. If you’ve never tried it before, you owe it to yourself to pull that bike off those hooks in the garage, trick it out and hit the woods with it.
Most bike hunters I see don’t wear helmets. Always wear a helmet! Sooner or later, you’re probably going to crash. A head injury behind a locked gate or on a trail can quickly become serious. I painted an old bike helmet with camo paint to eliminate the reflection and carry my cap in the panniers, changing it when I get off the bike.
If you don’t hunt you can use this bike for camping. Load it up, push it up any trail where bicycles are allowed. You can carry your load more easily on the bike, or you can carry much more stuff just as easily, compared to backpacking. And once you set up camp, you have a bicycle to get around on, haul wood and water, ride over to that trout-filled lake, and so on.
The 750 watts of power is supplied to the rear hub by either pedal assist (the bike senses torque applied to the pedals and gives 5 levels of assist), or simply by the throttle integrated into the right hand grip. The throttle will give you full assist on demand at any time. The bike easily gets up to 20mph. It will be a welcome break not having to pedal with all sorts of cold weather hunting gear, a backpack, and a weapon.
On private land, a bike offers the benefit of getting in and out without spooking the deer onto adjacent properties — let the ATV riders push them to you! — while on public land it gives you an advantage over other hunters, getting you well off the main thoroughfares, past gates, and away from the hunters dependent on roads and big trails, and even those willing to do some walking in the woods.
Tom Ryle’s passion for bowhunting has fueled adventures spanning the United States, Canada, and South Africa. He is an official measurer for the Pope and Young Club, NMLRA, NW Big Game Inc., and Oregon Shed Hunters.
Finding the balance between functionality, weight and aesthetics is no easy task—especially when it comes to electric bikes. With Biomega’s latest, the Biomega OKO designed in collaboration with Bkarje Ingels’ industrial design firm KiBiSi, all…
THIS HAS BEEN AN AMAZING MACHINE. IT EXCEEDS ALL MY EXPECTATIONS. THE PEOPLE AT QUIET KAT REALLY STAND BEHIND THERE PRODUCT WHEN I HAD A BATTERY ISSUE WHEN I ADDED A SECOND BATTERY. I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT TO ANYONE INTERESTED. DENNIS WILSON LINCOLN, CALIFORNIA
I bought this go-kart for my daughters about a year and a half ago or maybe it was 2-1/2 years ago who knows. It sits in our garage and has barely been used. Its a constant source of headache and I wish I could go back in time and convince myself to NOT buy this go-kart. I HATE when my kids want to use it because just as the case today, I couldn’t get the thing to start. Ifread more…
I use a Pack Rack bow rack mounted to my handlebars. I carry a couple sets of snubbers in case one breaks. I also invested in a VistaLite halogen lights with three nightstick Ni-MH 2200mAH batteries. I have a 5W and 10W on the bars and one more 5W light for my helmet or hat It attaches with Velcro and works really well. A bit pricey but well worth it. I also have a set of bar ends to change up my posture and leverage while riding long distances.
I started thinking it out. The bike would have to get me around on abandoned roads and pack trails. It didn’t have to be fast but it had to be able to roll over rocks and logs. ALSO it had to be usable as a push-type cargo bike. Let me explain. Hunting is a great activity – it’s not a sport, exactly, it’s serious business – but it involves a lot of hard work. Especially after you kill an animal. An elk, even if you shoot it through the heart, can make one last dash, 25, 50, even 100 yards. It will usually head down hill or into brush. You have to crawl in after it and butcher it on the spot, then you have to get it out of the woods. Not much of a problem with deer, but an elk is the size of a horse. A lot of hunters end up carrying the elk out in pieces, on their backs, a quarter or a half mile. Maybe more.
TIG-welded attachment points on the frame’s rear end allow the addition of a rack. Carrying your gear on the bike results in greater agility and less fatigue in your back and feet for longer hours in the field.
From my perch 18 feet up in a sweetgum tree, I couldn’t even see my hunting vehicle, which was barely 40 yards away. I’d stashed the camouflaged bicycle in a brushpile, and it was hidden so well that I was beginning to worry that I might never find it again.
This bicycle started as an idea …. while I was trudging along a closed Forest Service road in the upper Fish Creek drainage, north of the Lochsa River in Idaho. I was looking for elk. Man, there was a lot of country to cover. And that old Mauser was getting heavier by the minute.