Until recently, bicycles have never been seen as an extremely practical or avid form of transportation for hunters. The predominant choice has been the quad, side-by-side or truck.
But with the recent emphasis on combining hunting with athleticism, many hunters have found themselves making their way to the back country on mountain bikes.
This mountain biking craze is bringing hunters to utilize a tool that is extremely practical, efficient, and just makes sense. It’s quiet and fast, so what’s not to like? Well for one thing it takes physical exertion, but that’s half the point.
There are many mountain bikes on the market capable of tackling the toughest of trails. And many are adaptable to the country as well. Some companies such as Cogburn are even building bikes with the back country hunters in mind.
Here are some bike styles , upgrades and preferences to accommodate the hunter who chooses the two-wheeled leg-powered method of travel.
Fat-tire bikes, or fat-bikes, are exactly what they sound like – a bike with big-fat tires on it. These things are pretty new, but they are taking the bike world by storm, in many ways. There are certainly folks who think they are unnecessary, but the truth is that they can perform in places that many other bikes cannot, especially in snow, sand, and mud.
The massive tires provide their own suspension, along with impressive traction, when a hunter abandons the trail. Cogburn Outdoors even makes a fat-bike that is specifically for hunting the backcountry.
A hard-tail bike is going to prove to be the better choice, over a full-suspension bike. A hard-tail is a bike that has no suspension in the rear, but sometimes they do have suspension in the front fork. This is going to be better on a hunt because climbing will be much easier – no momentum will be lost in the rear when climbing a hill or grade. A bike with no suspension at all may even be preferable to some individuals, depending on what the terrain may be.
You can always throw your gear in your pack, but if you are riding a bike anyways, then you might as well take full advantage of it. There is a wide variety of bike bags available that can be mounted on a bicycle. Saddle bags and handle-bar bags are great and they are very accessible as well.
Bike bags are great for storing extra supplies such as water, food, or other emergency items that you may not want to carry on a day-to-day basis. Frost River makes a huge variety of bags that are especially for the hunter who prefers two wheels. They carry bags that can fit just about anywhere on your bike — making it a gear hauling machine.
Gun racks, bow racks, and scabbards
This is some next level bicycle gear. Designed especially for hunters, companies actually make gun racks, bow racks, and rifle scabbards that mount directly to the bike. I can only imagine having this when I was 12 years old. It makes it that much easier to tote your weapon of choice up the mountain, while remaining sturdy and comfortable.
Though Cogburn Outdoors has spearheaded the production of gun and bow mounts specifically for bikes, tons of hunters are attaching similar mounts using gun and bow mounts by Koplin. Their mounting systems pretty much make any configuration possible. The hunter can decide where to mount the weapon, based on what works and what is easy to access.
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