You couldn't pay me to ride an ebike to hunt. The work, resolve, time, and ultimately, the reward are traded for customer satisfaction of suspension, how much gear you can tote, and how "quiet" the motor is.
It's brutal to age and watch my dad not be able to go in a few miles -- trails or not. Hips, knees, and backs wear and they hurt and I can't imagine and nor will I minimize how much he misses bugling bulls with me. Even getting him on a horse would be tough, but that's the goal for the next season. We'll either lease a horse with a llama for his gear and go in -- slow and easy. And after that, we'll see. But as for me, I'll spend my entire life striving to be like Paul@thefort or other silverbacks that just refuse to give up. When my feet can't carry me in and I can't get on a horse -- that's it. All things must end.
My compound bow shoots a hell of a lot further than my 58# long bow. But my compound bow doesn't carry me in, carry me and the elk out, and in recent years, has given me some real demons to exorcise by way of target panic. My super light weight tent, my gore-tex rain gear, my light weight stove all decrease the amount of effort I have to expend on the hunt. But I carry them -- I make the decision as to what I need, I tote them through miserable downfall, up scree fields, and hopefully, in the same bag as an elk quarter. It still takes me the same number of footsteps -- whether 1 or 15,000 -- to get to my spot.
It is the transport of your self into and out of the woods that is the hardest, sometimes the loneliest, part of the hunt. The transport is the process by which we leave one place -- one set of values, one set of standards -- and accept another way. I wouldn't trade those long walks back empty handed for fat tires and a motor if my life depended on it.
And, more importantly, the stick bow will be for the second half of my life.
The new ebikes are pretty amazing and pretty expensive. I'm an ol' mtb rider and it's getting harder to climb trails and one day I might go down that road so I can still enjoy riding country single track, but the fact is, if it has a motor in it, you're limited. Trails that I can ride now, are currently banned to ebike riding.
I sympathize with you and your father, ebike would be a nice quiet ride, but you still have to LOOK around and riding and looking for game at the same time... well, good luck with that. I did a lot at one time with my MTB, not anymore. The thing is, even when I walk and stalk to get close, it's more about the motion and walking sound that I have to worry about when bowhunting.
We all get to choose what floats our boat. It really only matters as a group when our choice impacts the ability of others to enjoy their choice or when it effects the resource.
Ebikes are like any other access enhancer. If a guy rides one up the trail instead of walking or riding his horse, it impacts very little. If guys ride up the trail who would have never walked up it or rode a horse up it, then they may have an impact.
I, on the other hand, will hunt up to the day I die hopefully. Whether I have to use an ebike, horse, Polaris Ranger, drone, starship, or hovercraft to get there. And I'll use a crossbow, gun, bazooka, guided drone missile, or whatever else I have to use to get it done.
I don't get too caught up in the "purity" of any type of hunting. It's not my religion. It's something I'm driven to do. I went through a little bow-only phase. But anymore, I don't care the weapon. I just want to hunt. I enjoy all types of hunting as well. I've sat in a blind over corn and alfalfa and had a hell of a good time.
I've spot and stalked. I've hiked into wilderness areas. I've banged plenty of things with a gun. I've decoyed ducks and geese. I've also pass shot them and jumped them.
I'm fine with other people limiting themselves for their own enjoyment. I've gone the other way, and prefer anymore to expand my opportunities through different weapons and hunting styles.
On legal to use trails I can see were they would be very useful.