By John Murphy
Bear hunting can be grueling. You have to cover a lot of ground, haul bait and fill the drums in various spots along the outskirts of a strip of forest. 55 gallon drums are ideal for storing the bait but also great for field judging the size of the bear. But you can’t carry all that gear on foot. A truck or ATV is common practice for making those trips round the hunt line as long as you can access those lands by vehicle.
However, the smell of exhaust and the noise of the motor will spook anything remotely close by.
In recent years the popularity of the use of fat tire electric bikes has increased a lot and there are many benefits. Ebikes are classed differently from state to state and depending on the power of the motor can even be considered the same as a traditional bicycle.
Hunters are using these ebikes because they can cover a lot of ground quickly. The motors are whisper quiet, so they don’t spook anything nearby and hunters get to their spots without sweating or leaving their scent.
The Benefits of Bear Hunting on an Ebike
These fat tire ebikes have motors that put out 160Nm of torque so climbing to elevation or pulling heavy weight on a trailer behind the ebike is no issue. Whether you need to pull behind a large drum or sacks of oaths the motor does all the work.
Ebikes are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, and depending on the size of the battery the bike can power the motor for as much as 60 miles range before needing to be charged.
The top speed of ebikes can vary but the slowest is 20mph on throttle power alone. The more powerful motors can reach 35mph. While you won’t outrun a bear most of the time, it can get you out of a dangerous encounter in seconds.
Ebikes also have a nice feature called ‘walk-assist’. Let’s say you have a very heavy load on the trailer and you’re not confident you can tackle a difficult patch of terrain. You can walk behind the bike and engage the motor in walk-assist mode and the motor will run at a walking pace and still put out the full amount of torque. So you don’t have to push the bike or even feel the weight of the load you’re pulling.
You can hook on the trailer and carry up to 200lbs on the trailer and up to 300lbs on the bike. You can drop off the drums and bait and be back to your spot without any nearby game knowing you were even there.
While an ebike won’t replace a truck, it can be an excellent addition. Pull it off the back of the truck and do the ‘last mile’ activities in silence.
Some other general benefits of using an ebike include getting as much or as little exercise as you like. You can ride it like a regular bicycle, you can use pedal assist mode so you pedal and the motor helps so you feel like you have very powerful legs, and lastly, you can just engage the throttle and cruise along without exerting any energy at all.
Ebikes are a huge help for guys with mobility issues like knee or other joint pain. It takes the pressure off and avoids undue stress on the body.
Not to mention you can get out of dodge quicker than on foot!
Scouting For Bears on an Ebike
Ebikes are a great tool for scouting. You get into locations that a larger vehicle either cannot fit or is not allowed access. You can cover a lot of ground and scout large areas of land in under an hour and be back at your camp or truck in a fraction of the time it normally takes on foot.
If you set up trail cameras around a large perimeter you can get it done fast and stealthily.
The applications and use cases for ebikes for hunting, whether it be bear, elk, pig or turkey. It’s an excellent addition to a hunter’s gear. The rules for the correct use of electric bikes on state and federal land is getting more and more relaxed and the types of power allowances vary from state to state so if you plan to take an ebike on your next trip just check with the state before your trip.
Whether you hunt on an ebike or not, stay safe out there.