Contributors to this thread:
Ebike hunting blog/journal
I've started doing a monthly blog/journal about ebike hunting for Ebike Generation, a Bowsite sponsor. I discuss the many ways ebikes can be legally used, ebike laws, pros and cons, etc.. My latest one is an interview with Grey Ghost about how he used his on his OIAL Colorado elk hunt this year. I'm looking for more ebike experiences to write about, so if you would like to share your hunt or suggestions about topics, please PM me.
Right now I'm using mine to climb a long, steep-ass ridge twice a day in the hill country of MO where I'm hunting, which keeps me from sweating up before I get to my stands, but silent, unlike a UTV.
Haters are welcomed, and you can post comments ("Why don't you just walk?", "You are so lazy!") ;-)
Check it out and let me know what you think.
Ok...Your so lazy!-) Why don’t you just walk!-) There, got em all 8^D
I developed blood clots in my lungs on an Alaska DIY Bou hunt in August. Almost killed me, FOR REAL! My pulmonologist told me I could go elk hunting in 6-8 weeks 8^O That’d put me into the last week of October or mid November depending on when he released me? That wouldn’t work for me.
I put a plan together that included an ebike. The Dr. set some parameters and some goals I had to hit to go. Checked them all off. And then I think I found the only e-bike in the country during September in Great Falls MT. I missed the first 11 days of season. But had it not been for that e-bike. I would have missed the entire season. A game changer is an understatement!!! I killed a bull and a cow because of that e-bike. Thanks Bakcou!
I ain't got nothing nice to say so I won't say nothing at all. Oh wait:)
I would Lou, but I'm to lazy to click on your link! haha
Good luck, Robb
I purchased a Bacou Mule so far it has been great but I am struggling with how to carry my bow and summit climber. I don't want to use a trailer too much hardware to go into the woods. I got the gator grips for the bow but need a rack fixture for the climber.
Lou, I just bought an ebike. Used off Craigslist. Got a great deal on it from an east coast hunter that bought one just for a hunt out west and sold it on his way back home. It's almost new. He basically said he had no use for it where he lived, no where to store it and just needed it for this hunt. We've had it out a few times but not a ton since the season just ended in these parts. Few things I've been wondering and there may be others out there looking for this too. Maybe an article on maintenance and common repairs/troubelshooting? What tools should a guy have on him at all times, what are the things to be looking out for and how to stay ahead of them or fix them when it goes wrong. Pros/cons/costs to upgrades like tubeless tires and stuff like that. Maybe that info is already out there on the manufactures websites, I dunno. Just a thought. I haven't really rode a bike much since I was a kid:) They have really changed a lot. My bike is so damn heavy. The first thing I thought when I got was, oh man I better make sure I know how to work on this thing. If I get back deep and something breaks, that bike will be spending the night in the woods.
They sure are pretty impressive machines. I'm already scheming and planning all kinds of hunts that are now possible.
Good luck on the new writing venture. Keep us posted on new articles if you can.
Good article Lou! You better be careful or you’ll be working again selling e-bikes!
I'm not getting an e-bike because I am lazy. I enjoy boots on the ground and getting in better shape during hunting season.
Where at in MO are you hunting?
Matt, thanks for the suggestions, and I have that planned for a future article. I'm already getting questions from readers about those very topics. It's really no different than any other bicycle as far as maintenance, troubleshooting, tools, etc.
Frank, I'm hunting across the river from Leavenworth, on that big steep ridge the glacier left behind.
PECO, yep, me too. Fitness during season, out of season, year round. But where I used to ride an ATV to access some hunting nd scouting areas I now ride a bike, get exercise, stay quiet.
Hoss, what about building a wider, longer rear rack? If you do, please share what you crafted because many of us have the same dilemma.
I had similar questions about maintenance, and what emergency repair items to carry, when I got my e-bike. Lou is correct, it's really no different than a regular bike.
On my hunt, I had 2 breakdowns that resulted in me pushing my e-bike back to camp. One was a flat rear tire. I have the tire liners, but they only protect the bottom of the tire. My tire had a tiny puncture thru the sidewall, probably from a cactus needle. It was an easy repair using basic hand tools and a tire patch kit.
My other break down was one of the nuts that holds the pedal crank to the front sprocket worked loose and fell off on one of my early morning rides. I didn't realize it until the crank literally fell off as I was riding back down the mountain later that day. I was lucky to find the nut laying in the trail as I was pushing the bike back to camp. That was another easy fix with the proper sized Allen wrench.
The only other maintenance I did on my 28 day hunt was I cleaned and lubricated the chain about halfway thru the hunt. It was extremely dusty and I noticed the chain was starting to make a little noise. Cleaning and re-lubricating it took care of that for the rest of the hunt.
My conclusion was that is was impractical to carry all the necessary tools and other items to address every possible breakdown in the field. Instead, I kept all of that stuff back at camp. With the Mule's walk assist mode, pushing the bike is really quite easy, even with a flat tire, so my breakdowns were only a minor annoyance and inconvenience.
Yep, other than a flat tire, the only maintenance needed is chain lube and periodic tightening of ALL Allen screws and nuts. If you ride rough stuff like I do, things can rattle loose. So every now and then I just give it a once-over with the Allen wrenches (that I carry along with a multitool in a little seat stem pouch.
I'll check them out! Ebike Generation sent me an email with one blog post where you talked about Grey Ghosts hunt. I really enjoyed it.
And ever since I rode your bike in WY, I've wanted one. . . :)
Lou, the article is already very popular. Nice work!
Matt, did you carry an air pump or a cartridge? I carry a cartridge but have never had to use it, wonder how it works on a low pressure tire.
Lou, I did have a cartridge on the day I got a flat tire. However, the attachment end was designed for the smaller style stems, not the standard sized stems on my e-bike. Poor planning on my part. Fortunately, I had a regular floor pump back at camp.
Do you all discuss Grey Ghost e-bike injury in article? ;)
Ha, read it and see! But I don't talk about my regular MTB injuries, one of which could've resulted in my death. Stuff happens when out adventuring.. ;-)
Ok, John is determined to publicly discuss my injury that I shared with him privately, so I'll indulge him.
One evening, about a week before my hunt ended, I got a little too froggy coming off the mountain on my e-bike. I raked my left foot thru a sage bush, which knocked the pedal out from under my foot. Since I was in mid-stroke, the pedal came around and smacked my Achilles tendon. It felt like someone had hit me with a baseball bat. Being more stubborn than smart, I hunted the rest of that week basically one-legged, including riding my e-bike. I'm still gimpy from that injury, but it's healing slowly. It was a careless accident that could have easily been avoided. It certainly wasn't caused by any inherent danger from the e-bike.
At least I did not share your comments you sent "privately" and may I say unsolicited about the owner of this site. ;)
I got knocked unconscious riding out after dark from a hunt on my regular MTB. I hit a loose rock and the bike shot sideways, pitching me head first. If I'd been on my fat tire ebike it wouldn't have happened. That wreck was one of the primary reasons why I looked into getting a fat tire bike in the first place. Matt, I'm glad you're recovering.
I think it would be helpful to discuss the type terrain where e-bikes shine, versus any other type of transportation for hunting, especially with a bow. The BLM 2-tracks I was rolling on were barely doable in a regular 4x4 pickup. I easily passed pickups a few times, that were inching along, and the occupants were getting their teeth bounced out. I just smiled and waived to them..... LOL!
With my limited experience with my son's ebikes, they seem to be a big improvement for hunting in many ways over the Honda 70, 90, and 110's that I have owned. They actually don't seem dangerous to me if common sense is used. As far as safety goes, I have owned my share of motorcycles in my youth and consider ebikes as safe or safer than any two wheel that l have owned when talking off-road. Have any of you ever almost " taken out " a quad or side-by-side on a mountain road or trail (l have) because they were approaching at high speed on a curve ? I am wondering at what rate or if ebikes are replacing quads as a hunting vehicle.......Badbull
I wrenched on bikes full time for 9 years and ran a bike shop as my vocation. I have been riding/racing road, gravel and mountain bikes for over 30 years.
I wasn't on board with ebikes until I rode one. No, you won't get the exercise you would with a regular bike, but you can still get some. But that is not what Lou's article is about from what I gather. It is about using them for hunting and scouting.
I can climb hills on a normal bike. I have a sharp little hill on my property that I test mt bikes on. Have never climbed it on a 26" wheel, about 1/2 the time on a 29" wheel. Normal fat bikes can wheel right up it, but it is work. I was working on jingalls 24" wheeled ebike and tried it on my little hill. Came up it like nothing. I was amazed and immediately wanted one. I could think of lots of places I could use one for HUNTING. I will keep my regular bikes for exercise, but for hunting, I would love to have a fat tired ebike!
Great perspective, Ironbow. Thanks for posting. Someday when you get a chance, ride a 60 lb fat tired ebike up your little hill with the assist turned off. That's what I do on my mountain rides for fitness - until my quads and glutes and lungs are on fire.. :-)
I’m looking into get the Mule, but curious as to how many miles you guys are getting outta the different rated batteries.
It all depends on what power mode you use, and what the terrain is like. I have the highest rated battery on my Mule. I've gotten 40 miles out of one charge, using power modes 1-2, with 20% battery to spare. That's on moderately hilly terrain.
My Rambo has the smaller 10.5 AH battery and I've ridden 24 miles inbthe mountains with assist between 1-3 and still had juice to spare.
I’m looking into get the Mule, but curious as to how many miles you guys are getting outta the different rated batteries.
How does an ebike do in mud - on one tract i have a fair amount of vermiculite on the surface that is mixed with red clay. Red clay is tough by itself but mixed with vermiculite I am concerned whether the vermiculite would be destructive on anything - gears, brakes....
I am guessing I could get an aggressive enough tread for the mud.
There are seriously aggressive fat tires available, but you may not need them due to the expanded surface area and low tire pressure. As for corrosive effects of vermiculite, that's way above my pay grade. But as I understand it, it is salt-free and not particularly corrosive.
Panther Bone, I have the mule set at 1000w. Pared with a 21ah battery. When elk hunting real world I get two days hunting before I charge it. It all depends on how aggressive the slopes are. Where I hunt it was average to mild slopes and I would do about 10+ miles a day on the bike. At my farm in KS it’s basically flat with a few 20’ sand hills mixed in here and there. I can get 40 miles. All of these are real world miles with me pedaling. If you just run the motor...have no clue?
Good luck on your hunt Lou, warm weather till the weekend; not what you wanted I'm sure!
Saving for yearly elk hunt currently is finically as much as I can commit too, would love to purchase but not option at this point. Is there in anywhere in the western states that does rentals of these for 7-14 days.
There are a number of places that rent them. Check the nearest town to where you're hunting. Not sure about how long they rent them for, but worth a shot if you're hunting someplace where they are permitted.
If you’ve got stand hauling problems why not throw them in your pack? I’ve hunted off my ebike for a couple years now and I’m hauling a LW Alpha and a set of 3 sticks plus my bow and cold weather gear for Manitoba. All my stuff is in my pack and my bow is just being held loose by my left hand against the handle bar. I wouldn’t recommend that I just don’t have any holders for my bow. But the stand is easy peesy.
I’ve used Kuiu packs but my favourite is my Mystery Ranch Popup 18
Do you guys wear helmets? Sounds like it would be a good idea.
I sure do. A helmet saved my life when I crashed my old fashioned MTB on an elk hunt.
I wear my helmet when I'm training on my e-bike, because I worry about oblivious drivers who scream past me doing 65 mph on hilly dirt county roads. I did not wear my helmet while hunting because that danger didn't exist, and I never rode fast enough that I felt a helmet was necessary. I don't advocate doing it my way, it's just how I chose to do it.
I really should find a manufacturer that makes good bike helmets. It is something that come up before and it is lacking on the website.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will see what I can find.
Something in ASAT camo with built in ear muffs would be nice. ;-)
Bought a Bakcou mule earlier in the year it takes some getting use to and I am a avid bike rider. That said if you get one use it before hunting season and go slow it can and will throw you in mudd or when you hit a hidden hole. They can hurt you quickly so be careful. I am loving my mule so far well built and handles the terrain well.
Nutcase makes some great affordable helmets that dont make you look like a spandex wannabe weenie with a doping syringe stuck in your butt. Very comfortable with the custom fit inserts.
I bought a Mule this summer and used it on an archery elk hunt this fall. It allowed me to get to a spike camp site which would not have been feasible on foot. But riding in the mtns brought up issues I did not anticipate as I rode around on the flat ground around home. (I will add some content when I get some time)
I'm glad to see so many helmet wearers on here. Those rocks and trees are very hard on craniums. A couple years back there was a local guy riding a bike in town and he fell when he hit a hole. Landed on his head and died. You just never know when fun is going to go south on you.
Happens so quickly. In my case, I went from a cruise down a logging road to knocked out on the ground in a couple seconds. I used to think I could simply divert my fall and protect my head. Didn't happen.
Another reason I didn't wear my helmet while hunting was my head and ears would have frozen on my early morning rides. My biking helmet is one of those open air designs intended for warm weather riding, and it's not big enough to wear any type of stocking cap or beanie under it. I didn't think about it until now, but I guess I could have worn my skiing helmet, which would have been warm enough.
I haven't been wearing helmet either as I am usually traversing old logging roads at low speeds but took a quick fall at low speed on 20" tire RadMini and darn lucky I didn't hit head more solidly on protruding rock. Got by with cracked rib under left breast. I will find helmet that will fit Merino head mask under it for next year.
Many of the "military style" helmets like Nutcase and others will accommodate a balaclava underneath. They come with a custom fit kit with adhesive-backed closed cell foam attachments. I wear a TurtleFur balaclava under mine when its cold.
Well I saw something today that might be a fix for the issue of carrying my summit treestand on my Bacou Mule ebike . A Sherpa Game cart for Summit treestands with an ebike extension. Its much smaller than the carts that Bacou has which I like. Does anyone have any experience with these ?
For anyone interested, here's the link to my latest article on Ebike Generation. It is about using ebikes to overcome health challenges when hunting.
My Rambo basically made my latest hunt possible, after a diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension (tests for the root cause are still ongoing).
I hope you enjoy the article, and if you're interested in a bike, you can click through to John's site from my link.
Excellent! Thanks for sharing, Lou. Best to you on getting the Pulm HTN figured out and treated and lets hope you are hunting for many years to come, however you choose to do it.
Thanks, Matt! Getting tired of all these tests but hopefully I can continue to hunt elk and live in the mountains. Appreciate the positive thoughts.