Using a mountain bike as hunting transportation


February 17, 2012, 10:53 PM
Driven by the horse thread. I have noticed that I am often able to come up on deer, yokes, and other animals when on my mountain bike. Also, I can cover a lot of ground. So my thought is that a mountain bike with a light trailer may not be a bad hunting rig in the right situation.

Has anyone tried this?

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February 17, 2012, 11:02 PM
Might be a little light to carry an elk on...

February 17, 2012, 11:07 PM
Not too light ! you just have to get a tandem bike and make the Elk pedal ! On a serious note ,it sounds like it would be worth trying ! Especially if you can call a hunting buddy on the phone or radio to bring the truck around if you bag something large !

February 17, 2012, 11:09 PM
There are some hiking/horse trails at a reservoir. The area is open to hunting in the early spring for turkey and late fall for deer/turkey. Open to bow hunting only. I have used my mountian bike to get back into the woods on several occasions. I can cover alot of ground and get further back than most are willing to go on foot.

I mounted a ATV handle bar gun rack to my handle bars which holds my bow. I use a primos blind bag to transport my pop-up blind and chair. Works like a charm if you wear the blind bag like a sling pack instead of a backpack.

Another guy I know had a double basket rack added to his mountain bike that is big enough to hold a paper grocery sack on each side. We both use cat eye head lights with a red lense fashioned to fit over it.

No noise to speak of really no scent trail. I don't worry about scent when turkey hunting. When deer hunting in this fashion I just throw my clothes in the pack so not to start sweating in them.

February 17, 2012, 11:27 PM
I have trouble looking around on my mountain bike(yeti 575). I tend to look where I'm going and concentrate on my biking. I think riding out to a certain point and then ditching the bike to come back to later would be a good idea. A single wheeled trailer would work ok if it wasn't too technical a ride. I think it's called a BOB trailer. Plus it could carrry your gun and supplies.

February 17, 2012, 11:49 PM
Many, many times in South Texas bowhunting Javelina.

Started doing it back in the mid '80s.

If the senderos are not too can easily sneak up to within 100 yds. of them, dismount and then make a stalk on foot. Allows you to cover much more ground than just walking and doesn't spook them like driving around in a vehicle.

We will normally park at intersecting senderos (in a vehicle) and use binoculars to glass each direction. When Javies are can determine if any in the group is one you want to pursue. If so...unload your bike...and off you go.

Often the animals will not stay out in the open for long periods of time, so using the Mountain Bike lets you get on them quickly (and return quickly if the stalk fails).

It is not unusual to spot a group more than a 1/4 mile away. That's a lot of walking if you do that 15-20 times a day. I first saw a guy using a bike on the Callaghan Ranch near Encinal Texas in the early 80's and borrowed the idea from him. Works great....just have to have good weather.

February 18, 2012, 12:02 AM
I did it. Was slow starting, but once I got into shape and got my flat tire problem solved - I loved it. Best way ever. Quiet. Won't startle the game one bit. I live in S Texas so the ground was flat and ranged from sandy to loam- lots of thorns tho. I'd still be doing it but I kinda got out of shape. I never hunted too far from home either, as I would need a vehicle to lug out my kills. Good luck.

Waste not want not. :)

February 18, 2012, 12:10 AM
I'm curious: are there any states where this could be considered road hunting?

PA regs say it's unlawful to hunt from a "vehicle". What constitutes a vehicle? Does "vehicle" mean "motor vehicle"?

February 18, 2012, 01:58 AM
Regulations in Texas allow hunting from a vehicle on privately owned land.

I can't imagine a bicycle would be considered a "vehicle" (in the traditional sense) even in States where regulations prohibit their use.

I suspect in the would need to be motorized as a qualifying factor.

Otherwise it is simply "transportation", which could be skate board. ;)

But...Lord only knows what some lawmakers would think.

February 18, 2012, 11:46 AM
I do it every year for elk in the mountains. It's a hard ride up in the dark, but it's a great ride back down. A "hard tail" is better for uphill riding, so your back wheel maintains good contact. Front shocks keep you from getting beat up on the downhills.

Here's a picture of what that looks like in snow. (

There's a photo on this page of us hauling an elk out on a bike ( I don't recommend that! I'd rather use a good cart.

I ride my bike up to hunt as long as the road in stays dry enough. Once I had to soft crash my bike to avoid riding into a panicked herd of elk on a fast ride back out about noon! Last year I unknowingly rode past some elk before daylight and then was able to hear them and set up to call them after I ditched the bike.

February 19, 2012, 02:12 AM
My hat is off to you! Mr. DWrowell ! Incredible Elk hunting !!

Lazy R
February 19, 2012, 04:49 AM
I did that last year. After a long hunt, and you're beat, and you have a few miles to go to get back to the truck, that bicycle is pretty dang nice. I didn't pack any meat with it though.

February 19, 2012, 09:01 AM
I've done it in a few places where the terrain is fairly level. In steep mountain areas you still have to push it up, and it is often too steep and dangerous to ride down.

As far as legality, the only places in Georgia that would be a problem are in areas designated as Wilderness Areas. No modern trasportation allowed. You cannot use anything with wheels including a wheel barrow or buck buggy to help carry out game.

February 19, 2012, 06:26 PM
Thanks for all the comments.

February 19, 2012, 06:54 PM
Get a trailer for the bike...

February 19, 2012, 11:17 PM
I'm an avid cyclist and have thought of getting a Surly Big Dummy ( for commuting/hauling purposes.
It uses a monstrously strong frame with the Xtracycle extended rear end for a lot of cargo carrying capacity (approx. 200lbs is what it's rated for. Knowing Surly, that number is probably pretty conservative). It's also set up for a 29er wheel/tire set, so you could have great traction off road with good MTB 29er tires. The long wheelbase would help in terms of stability while loaded down, but watch out because that would also make it less nimble and more susceptible to having the frame damaged on rocks, logs, etc...
It would certainly be a heck of a lot easier off road that using a trailer. I'd bet most people on here who are recommending a trailer for the bike have never ridden one through the woods.

You can buy it as a frameset, or as a complete bike. For your purposes I'd be tempted to buy as a frame and build up using good quality MTB equipment. I'm happy to help you if you need any starter tips along the way.

February 20, 2012, 07:32 AM
I think this thread has just solved my spring turkey transportation dilemma!

I want to be pretty mobile, and know my ATV is an unrealistic option due to noise. Off to Amazon to look for a fender rack and bags now! Thanks all!!

February 20, 2012, 08:20 AM
Great idea, I have a few management areas near me that dont allow "motorized vehilces" and last year I did see a guy on a bike with a scoped .22 on his back peddling along. I thought it was a good deal and I will be checking the yard sales when they start for a mt bike in good shape.

February 20, 2012, 08:31 AM
I've been using a bicycle for many years with great success. Don't forget your sturdy chain and padlock.


February 20, 2012, 10:21 PM
Riding in elk country, or other slanted terrain is not easy. I am a 55 year old marathon runner, so I've got the legs and lungs for it. On the way up you can get pretty sweaty, which creates a scent problem that can be solved with scent-free field wipes and a change of clothing, or just go slower. I walk the hard stuff, one: because it hurts, two: because I don't want to get sweaty and then cold and stinky. It's not easy, but it's so worth it coming back down!

February 21, 2012, 01:33 PM
A lot of people do it,

February 23, 2012, 12:23 AM
Pretty common way of getting around here in NW Oregon during the archery season for elk hunters. Most of the timber companies keep there gates locked during that time of year due to fire danger so that's about the only way to get back in the woods. Around here if a guy gets an elk down it only takes a few phone calls and there's a guy who will meet them at the gate, open it up, and allow them to drive back and get it out

February 24, 2012, 09:32 AM
Me and my wife have used them for a few years to get into our duck spot. She carries her gun (case works best) and the ammo. I take the decoy bag, my gun and the chairs. You have to be careful of that front sprocket and waders ;)

It cut our walk from 45 minutes to 8 minutes round trip :)

February 24, 2012, 01:27 PM
baylorattorney: Was slow starting, but once I got into shape and got my flat tire problem solved...

Any lessons to share about preventing flats? Thorns killed my mountain bike's tires when I was in the El Paso area...even on the road.

I don't think I could hunt from a bike in an area like that (for just that reason).

February 24, 2012, 01:30 PM
Same problem I had. I now use kevlar reinforced tires, and puncture reistant tubes AND Tire liners. Cost some cash but I havent had a flat in 2 years-

February 24, 2012, 09:35 PM
Do yuppie spandex bicycle costumes come in Mossy Oak?

Frozen North
February 24, 2012, 10:44 PM
In MN, there are allot of areas that are open to public hunting, but not open to motor vehicles. Every year, I see guys with bikes and kiddie trailers loaded with shotguns and decoys on the old logging roads heading to a way back swamp. It makes perfect sense!

These can be found on garage sales all summer long for cheap. Just pull off the tent and add a box and gun racks. They roll super easy and weigh next to nothing.

February 24, 2012, 11:01 PM
Do yuppie spandex bicycle costumes come in Mossy Oak?

They call it under armour:D

March 3, 2012, 01:54 PM
The public lands where I hunt do not allow atv's so I started using a bike. I only hunt deer and around here they rarely exceed 180lbs on the hoof so I'm not sure how well my technique would work for the really big stuff but I'll share anyways. I welded a 1in square tube off the back of the frame so that it reaches past the back tire and welded an eyelet to the end of the tube. I keep an 8x8 tarp tied to it with about 30ft of nylon rope. When I'm bringing home dinner I place the field dressed deer in the middle of the tarp wrap it up, lace the rope through the eyes in the tarp and tie the rope to the eyelet on the tube attached to the bike and drag my dinner back to my truck. Hope this helps.

March 8, 2012, 05:02 PM
I've used a bike on public lands in the past, considering they don't let you use motorized vehicles it's the only way to get around. Slime in the tires to prevent flats on the bike, no air needed on the game cart. I will try to get a pic up later tonight, my internet is too slow right now.

March 15, 2012, 10:08 PM
All loaded up

March 16, 2012, 09:06 AM
Now that is pretty bad Az

March 22, 2012, 03:19 PM
It's the only transportation we can use out on the refuge land. It would sure be a lot easier if I could drive in there, use an ATV or even add an electric motor to the bike. It sure beats slinging the deer over your shoulders and walking out a few miles!!

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