Hunting has transformed a lot over the years and every once in awhile a leap forward in technology occurs and gives hunters an advantage, they’re quickly adopted and the art of hunting becomes more enjoyable and more accessible to more hunters, regardless of age and stamina.
One such new technology is the electric bike.
With the physically demanding challenge of hiking rough trails for miles, checking trail cameras, and trying to be quiet and scent-free the whole time, an e-bike has become an unlikely tool in the hunter’s arsenal.
ATVs are noisy and smelly and cannot access a lot of the land so when a hunter is not stinking up the trail with gas fumes and motor noises, he/she is on foot for miles leaving scent on the ground and often sweating with a 50lb gear back strapped to their back.
A recent research study by eBike Generation has shown that the number of hunters turning to e-bikes to get an advantage has doubled every year since 2015. While hunters are not the immediate target market for e-bikes, electric bikes for hunting makes a lot of sense.
Why Are Hunters Turning to eBikes for Hunting?
The advantages of using an eBike for hunting are many. Here are just a few:
Plus, access to BLM land and other federal land is getting more accessible.
In August 2019 the Department of the Interior released Secretarial Order # 3376. In it was stated that 30 days from the date of that Order, units of the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, lands managed by BLM, and lands managed by BOR provide appropriate public guidance regarding the use of e-bikes on public lands within and to recognize e-bikes as non-motorized vehicles. At least up to a certain power class. (doi.gov order no. 3376)
This SO # 3376 was the first real change in accessing Federal lands on bikes and accepting them as bicycles and not under the same umbrella as ATVs and other high powered motors.
The National Forest was not part of this secretarial order as it’s managed by the Department of Agriculture but as of early 2020, it is expected that a similar order will roll out within the year. Allowing hunters to choose an e-bike and access more remote areas otherwise out of limits or just too far to walk. So if the growth was double each year up until now, it could be many times more going forward.
What do Hunters Think of Using an eBike for Hunting?
As with all new technology changing the landscape of age-old activity, not all hunters are embracing the concept. Many hunters are opposed to giving one hunter a physical advantage over another. But it’s often the guys that have no physical issues that don’t want others accessing their honey hole and if the hunter can’t reach it on foot then they don’t deserve to be there.
Although hunters are already using the latest technology to get an edge. Whether it be carbon fiber compound bows, GPS trackers, and some even using drones to do the scouting for them. Electric hunting bikes are still new territory and as such are under some scrutiny.
The hunters that have already embraced the concept and pulled the trigger on purchasing an e-bike for hunting and scouting are very outspoken about how it has changed the game for them.
The Trend is Here to Stay
One thing for sure, more and more hunters are turning to e-bikes to up their game and there is no sign of that trend slowing down. With many land management agencies welcoming e-bikes under certain power limits, the trend will only grow.
Bike tires have less impact on the environment than a horse and a lot of safer to the land than an ATV so it’s easy to see why hunters are coming round to the idea. With over 16 million hunters in the US today and only a small fraction of them using e-bikes, there is a huge potential for growth in this unlikely of sport and tool partnership. The trend is here to stay.