Elk and Deer Hunting and Mountain Bikes

by skip shephard
(Tucson, AZ)

At 67 I am thinking a lot about investing in a mountain bike to get back into remote areas that may hold elk and or deer. Does anyone have suggestions and opinions on using bikes to hunt with?

Comments for Elk and Deer Hunting and Mountain Bikes

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Apr 13, 2018
Electric Bikes
by: Dave, ElkHuntingTips.Net

Since I own Elk Tips Outdoor Gear in Montana I have had people as about Quiet Kat and other electric bikes. My bow technician and I both ride mountain bikes to hunting areas. I called MTFWP and they said they would not be legal in non-motorized access areas. I'm kind of glad, because I rarely see other people back where I ride my bike, 4-5 miles back. I work hard to get back away from the crowds. (I stay in shape, so I can still hunt hard at almost 62!)

Apr 12, 2018
by: Dr Hunter

The "All Terrain Electric Fat Bike" is a good option. It's an electric bike designed for hunting. Its operation is whisper-quiet. It has 28 mph top speed. The tires can roll smoothly over every type of terrain.

Nov 05, 2014
bike trailer
by: Anonymous

I'm new to elk hunting but have hunted white tails in the mid west for years. I once went hunting on mountain bikes with my brother. When we got a buck we gutted it then put it on the bike facing backwards with the seat in the body cavity. We tied the legs together to the bike frame and tied the head around to one side. I was able to walk the bike out and even sat on the deer and rode down hills. An experienced elk hunter told me about a single wheel bicycle trailer he had made and used successfully. I found one of those tag along kids bikes with one wheel. It hitches to the seat post of the pulling bike. I removed the pedals, chain, handle bar, and seat and installed a bike rack. then I ran a piece of alluminum channel iron (an old level) from the rack to the front bar where the handle bar had been attached and secured it with several bolts. I used the seat post to provide additional support of the improvised rack. I can now mount four bike panniers to that rack and estimate I have about 10,000 cubic inches of cargo space for deboned meat. I am taking the trailer and my mountain bike on my first elk hunt in Colorado next week. I'll let you know how it works.

Aug 02, 2013
bike packing
by: Montana elk guy

I about split a gut when I looked at the photos about packing out elk. Between my brother and I we have packed out 30 elk on bikes. Here is our method. We bone out the front half, back straps and neck meat and this all goes into a heavy meat bag and onto a pack frame. The hind quarters we try to leave connected and they go over the top tube of the bike and we tie the hocks off near the back tire. If you have to split the hinds to pack out, both of them can still be tied to the bike one on each side. We always skin the animal and carry light game bags to keep dirt off. A large bull will come out on 2 bikes 1 trip. If you want the hide and head that will be a 3rd trip. Most times we have been able to walk the bike to the animal no problem. One bike for the front half and one for the hinds. Mostly down hill and out we go.

May 22, 2013
by: Dave, ElkHuntingTips.net

I've heard of them. I'd love to ride one, but don't know if I could find one within an hour of where we live here in MT. Sounds interesting. I would love it if I could get through the tacky mud that piles up on my current bike with a little bit of rain.

May 22, 2013
Fat Bikes
by: Patrick

Do you guys know much about FAT bikes? I'm not a hunter, but I'm really stoked to hear that hunters are taking to my chosen hobby, biking, as a means of transport in and out of hunt zones. Almost makes me want to pick up a bow... or rifle and get at it.

Fat bikes are a pretty cool trend in mountain bikes these days. They're burly, strong, can ride through ANYTHING, and surprisingly light, compared to a lot of mountain bikes I see hunters going into the woods with.

Check it out:

Apr 12, 2012
Hunting with a Mountain Bike (Part TWO)
by: Dave, MT (ElkHuntingTips.Net

Riding uphill can be impossible if the road or trail is steep, or slippery from gravel or ice on a slope. I am a strong competitive marathon runner, so I am fit for the work. That said, I still walk my bike on the hard stuff in order to avoid sweating too much, not to mention getting too pooped out.

Riding back down at the end of the hunt is so great! It saves sometime on the way up and lots of time on the way down. It takes me about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to my farthest starting point and 40 minutes to ride back down to where I park my rig.

I once had to control-crash my bike in order to avoid smacking into panicked elk in the road when I wasn't expecting them on the way back down.

I have not bought a new bike since I was a kid. I buy quality used mountain bikes at pawn shops and then beat the crap out of them. Just don't buy any of the department store brands. They're garbage. I have used several Raleighs, only because that is what was available. The one i have now is several years old. I do put some maintenance money into it each year. There are much better bike brands, though.

Avoid rear suspension and just get a hard tail with front shocks. Rear shocks will cause your rear wheel to slip on the uphills. Front shocks are absolutely necessary in my opinion.

I guess I should turn this subject into a complete page on the site. Thanks for the reminder! Let us know how your mountain bike hunting plans go.

Apr 12, 2012
Hunting with a Mountain Bike- Part One
by: Dave, MT (ElkHuntingTips.Net)

Hi, Skip. I use a bike extensively to hunt elk. I don't give it up until I have to start carrying it back in mud or snow! (Now that really sucks!) Sometimes I even ride the bike in to my hunting area in the morning when the wet road is frozen, knowing I might have to ride back in the melted muck.

I sometimes carry a small, quality flashlight in my hand, because I'm too lazy or cheap to buy a headlight. That would be better. Most of the time I can ride in without a light in the dark. You'd be surprised how much you can see after your eyes get used to the darkness. (Eat your carrots)

When the road is too muddy to ride down on, I go cross country in the grass on the side of the road. If it's too wet it can still be a problem. I've not seen any solution for riding in the mud successfully. It just balls up on the tires and you're done.

When I ride in, I wear less clothing than I will when I get off the bike, depending on the temperature. Someone on the forum recommended cutting sleeves out of an old shirt, then splitting the shirt from underarm through the tail. Then you can just pull the sweaty shirt out through the neck of you other clothing without having to take everything off. I plan to give this a try.

As for as carrying equipment, a backpack carries most everything. The problem is a bow or gun. I use a String Sling for my bow, with the bow slung across my back. For a rifle, I cinch up a Safari Sling with the rifle on my back. You can see both on this page.

Sometimes either one will slip a little forward and I have to adjust it. A backpack with a bow or gun holder would be great! But they don't make them small enough to fit my waste at 5'6" and 137 pounds. (Although Badlands told me they are going to readjust them to fit smaller waists this year.)

I don't recommend mounting the bow or gun on the handle bars or in a trailer. They get beat up from the bouncing. The safest place is on your back. I sometimes find arrows in the road on my way back down that fell out of my quiver on the way up. I need to find a fix for that. Anyone got one?

I have hauled out an elk on a bike, but it wasn't easy and took two people to balance the bike on a couple trips. You can see a photo of that process here. It makes it looks so easy! I prefer using a Lo-boy Game Hauler with the bike on top!

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