Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular among hunters. The number of hunters buying e-bikes grows year after year. In 2019, there were 12,000 hunters with e-bikes, and in 2020, that number doubled to 24,000.
If hunting is your hobby, you might consider hopping on the bandwagon and getting an electric hunting bike. You’ll find out why below.
E-bikes allow people who like the journey outdoors to travel further and faster, covering more ground in less time. They also offer further advantages that make them preferable to other modes of transportation. E-bikes may even have advantages over all-wheel drive ATVs.
In this guide, we’ll explain why e-bikes are beneficial for hunters and give you a step-by-step guide on how to use an e-bike for this purpose. We’ll also touch on what features make for the best hunting e-bikes, from powerful motors to fat tires.
Why e-bikes are good for hunting
E-bikes can help you be a better hunter, whether you’re seasoned or just getting started. Here are some of the ways e-bikes can improve your hunting experience:
- Save your energy: An e-bike lets you track game for miles without getting tired. The bike's electronic motor can power you forward if you're tired of pedaling. For example, Velotric's Discover 1 e-bike has a range of up to 65 miles, while Velotric's Nomad 1 e-bike has a maximum range of 55 miles (the Nomad’s range is slightly less, just because its weight and power is different).
- Cover more ground: Since e-bikes can help you keep moving without expending too much energy, they also allow you to cover more ground. E-bikes like the Nomad 1 are built for tough backcountry terrain, featuring fat tires that maintain stability on gravel, dirt, and other rough surfaces.
- Maintain your secrecy: An e-bikes materials carry no scent, which is helpful for hunters since strange smells can scare away animals. They are also relatively quiet. This makes electric bikes preferable to ATVs, which are noisy and emit gas odors.
- Get help with your gear: As a hunter, you've got to haul a lot of stuff, from coolers to rifle mounts. With an e-bike, you can more easily bring your things with you instead of carrying it all on foot.
- Enjoy greater accessibility: A quality e-bike can hold up in all kinds of weather. For example, Velotric's e-bikes are IPX6 grade waterproof. You can comfortably head out in all kinds of weather. Plus, your e-bike can help you cover tough terrain, like rugged surfaces and steep hills. This can potentially make more area available to you.
- Low maintenance: When your e-bike runs out of juice, recharging the battery is easy. Velotric's Discover 1 and Nomad 1 need just six hours for a single charge, so you don't have to wait long to head back to the hunt.
How to use an electric bike for hunting
If you're going to use an e-bike for hunting, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Make sure you follow the steps below to get the most out of your hunting experience.
Pre-charge and inspect your e-bike
The last thing you want is to discover your e-bike is running out of power in the middle of a hunt. Before you head out, we suggest pre-charging your e-bike. Velotric's bikes take just six hours to charge.
You also want to take a moment to inspect your bike before setting off, checking for potential technical issues and safety risks.
To inspect your bike, first make sure the tires have adequate pressure; if you squeeze them and they give easily, they need to be topped off. If the tires are too flat, you'll have a bumpier ride. Plus, low tires can negatively impact the bike's battery life and motor range.
Use a tire pump with a pressure gauge to inflate the tires according to the manufacturer's specifications. Pressure ranges for electric mountain bikes tend to be lower than pressure ranges for road bikes.
Next, check the brakes. This is a critical step in ensuring your e-bike keeps you safe. Give your e-bike a quick test ride in a safe space that's free of vehicles and pedestrians to make sure the brakes are working properly.
While you take your e-bike for a test ride in a safe space, you can test other components like the motor and pedal assist.
To make your inspection complete, give your bike a quick visual once over. Are there any signs of wear and tear like rust, dirty cables, or dents to the frame that could impact its safety?
Plan the route to your hunting destination
Before you head off, plan your route. You’ll not only need to consider your hunting route but also how to transport your e-bike, if you need to drive to your destination.
If you have a Jeep, you might mount your e-bike on the back. If you have a truck, you might secure it in the truck bed with ratchet straps and bungee cords. Moving blankets can help cushion your bike and prevent dents and scratches.
Some experts also recommend removing the e-bike’s battery during transport, since it could possibly get damaged while the e-bike is bumping around in the bed of a truck. To be on the safe side, remove the battery and stash it in the cabin.
Additionally, if you’re transporting your bike and hunting gear in a car, make sure there's somewhere safe to park your vehicle when you reach your destination.
Finally, if you’re hunting in a new location, do some research to make sure the area you plan to cover allows hunting and allows hunting via e-bike. We’ll go into the laws governing e-bike hunting in detail below.
Properly secure your hunting equipment for transport
One benefit of using an e-bike for hunting is that it can help you transport your gear. But you’ll want to make sure your gear is safely secured — especially any firearms.
Some manufacturers, like Bakcou, have created gun, bow, or rifle racks that attach to e-bike handlebars for this purpose.
But if you don’t have this equipment, the racks your e-bike comes with may be able to hold your hunting gear. You may also want to use bungee cords to secure your equipment in place.
You can load equipment onto your back bike rack. Make sure, however, you aren't overloading your bike over the rear wheel, especially if you have a rear hub motor. If you go over load capacity, your motor will suffer.
There are also cargo hunting trailers you can attach to e-bikes. These can help carry larger, bulkier items like coolers.
Again, note that too much weight can wear out your e-bike's battery and reduce its range faster. Our advice is to bring only what you absolutely must to preserve your bike’s battery for as long as possible.
Move quickly and quietly to your hunt
Once you’ve planned your route and prepared for your journey, it’s time to get hunting. You’ll want to keep quiet, and though your e-bike doesn’t make much sound, you’ll want to note that when you engage throttle assist or pedal assist, its motor will be slightly louder.
You also want to make sure you aren't scaring away animals visually. Camo gear can help you and your equipment blend in, and if you’ve chosen a bike that’s dark and muted in color, your e-bike will blend in too, increasing your odds of a successful hunt.
E-bike hunting FAQ’s
You might still have some questions about hunting with an e-bike. Check out the frequently asked questions below to find your answers:
Are e-bikes legally allowed for hunting?
Laws governing the use of e-bikes for hunting vary between states. Check your state's hunting legislation before going ahead. Here's a list of state-by-state resources you can consult.
The sources you’ll need to review to find out if hunting with an e-bike is legal where you live will vary based on your state. For example, in Virginia, hunting rules are posted by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, whereas in Tennessee, they're posted by the Wildlife Resources Agency.
Note that there are also laws concerning where you can ride e-bikes in general. State and national parks may have limitations, so check state laws before proceeding.
For example, in Virginia, e-bikes can be used on Forest System lands only in areas where motor vehicles are allowed.
Can you pull a deer with an electric bike?
If you manage to score big game like a deer, one of the biggest hurdles you'll face as a hunter is transporting it. Rest assured, because a high-quality e-bike with a 750W rated motor should be strong enough to pull a deer.
Note that if you're dealing with rugged terrain — for example a steep incline — pulling a deer may take longer.
Are electric bikes capable of off-roading?
Hunting usually requires you to go off-road. To be able to navigate rough terrain, you’ll need the right e-bike — a mountain bike with fat tires rather than a city commuter bike with slim tires. Thicker back and front wheels offer more stability on rough terrain, and that’s going to make the difference on your hunting trip.
Also, consider the bike's motor power. For example, the Nomad 1 has a 750W/1200W rated/peak motor. This means the bike can sustain power at 750W and can reach its peak at 1200W (it’s not meant to sustain its peak long term).
These features make the Nomad 1 the preferable hunting e-bike over other models like the Discover 1, which has an electric motor of 500W/900W.
Discover the Velotric Nomad fat tire e-bike
Finding success while hunting with an e-bike hunting starts with buying the right bike.
Velotric's Nomad 1 is one of the best electric hunting bikes on the market. The Nomad 1 has fat tires that make it appropriate for tough outdoors terrain and all weather conditions.
The bike has a 48V 14.4Ah battery and a powerful 750W/1200W rated/peak motor. As a Class 2 e-bike, this gives you top speeds of 20 miles per hour (learn more about bike motors here).
Plus, the Nomad's five-level pedal assist can take over when you're tired, while the high-end disc brakes (Shimano hydraulic brakes) allow for clean stops.
With the Nomad 1, you can travel up to 55 miles at a time — and recharge in just six hours.
Other assets include the high-end drivetrain featuring an aluminum alloy crankset and Shimano parts, and the 3.5” Backlit LCD display, which displays things like speed, battery, assist level, and more.
You also get essentials like reflectors, fenders, and a front light with your bike, giving you all the goods you need for safe and happy hunting.
Last but not least, Velotric's bikes come with a one-year warranty, so you can ride with confidence.
Checkout the Velotric Nomad today!