• Fri. Jun 7th, 2024

E-Bike Bowhunting – How an E-Bike Will Make You a More Efficient Bowhunter

ByInside Archery

Aug 10, 2023

E-Bike Bowhunting – When I discovered electric-powered mountain bikes, a.k.a. e-bikes, I knew I had discovered the solution to many of my bowhunting problems. From accessing big woods or farmland whitetail stands to cruising locked-gate logging roads while seeking bugling elk, e-bikes offer dead-silent access to sensitive areas. Silent electric motors, lightweight alloy frames, high-torque gears, and front and rear disk brakes make riding nearly effortless and stealthy entry and exit possible. And in the event you travel too far between recharges, pedal backup is always available to get you back to a waiting truck.

These inherent advantages have made e-bikes wildly popular with bowhunters, providing silent access into areas where you can’t drive a vehicle or ATV, or slipping into sensitive areas where a combustion engine would certainly spook game. Oversized tires, air-shock forks, and even suspension seats act as a cushion between you and rough trails or washboard roads while proving nimble enough to traverse sand, mud, or light snow. This is especially true of Rungu Daulie Double Wheel E-Bike designs. Features include dual front wheels spaced 9 inches apart with each including its own pivot path to provide added side-to-side stability and superior weight distribution while negotiating uneven or treacherous terrain. The added front-end weight helps keep tires in contact with the ground on steep pulls of more than 50 percent grade and offers markedly more control on difficult surfaces.   

E-Bike Bowhunting

In my experience, e-bike bowhunting has proven especially handy for accessing whitetail stands and blinds, particularly during cooler seasons when heavy insulated clothing becomes necessary for survival on stand. An e-bike allows riding in without becoming sweated up and eliminates perspiration-soaked clothing that can lead to becoming chilled on the coldest days.

E-bikes such as those made by RUNGU provide 24 mph top speeds on improved roads, which also translates into slightly later wake-up calls and more time on stand. Prime example: climbing into my favorite Idaho whitetail stand before sunrise involves an hour’s drive, three ranch gates to negotiate, and a mile uphill slog. Riding an e-bike removes 45 minutes from that trip—and in the heat of the rut and the all-day sits that become common, 45 minutes of extra sleep becomes substantial. Riding an e-bike instead of hoofing it makes it much easier to stay downwind or avoid clearing/feeding areas when I access or leave the stand.

“I took my Rungu Dualie Rugged to the mountains of Colorado and it kept up, if not, out-performed the ATVs the other guys brought. What a great product!” – Justin C., Potterville, MI

Lithium-battery-powered e-bikes are pure stealth, the only noise created perhaps by the crunch of gravel or dry leaves beneath the tires. Riding across dew- or frost-dampened ground, or after a light rain or snow, makes them even more covert. An e-bike approach is the opposite of driving a truck/SUV or ATV, where every animal in the area is aware of your arrival, which generally requires longer walks to keep that noise separated from hunting areas. The silent nature of e-bikes seems to make them less threatening to wild animals—I regularly ride right up on whitetail does while riding into dark stands, guided by the illuminated headlight.   

The typical e-bike is stealthy enough to ride within 100 yards of your stand before dismounting and stashing. When riding my e-bike while bowhunting September elk, I have on many occasions heard bulls bugling—bulls I would have run past and had no idea existed had I been driving a truck or riding an ATV. E-bikes are also essentially scent-free because they spew no exhaust fumes.

E-Bike Bowhunting

Modern e-bike manufacturers like RUNGU offer a wide array of useful hunting accessories, including gear racks and pannier mounts designed to carry hunting gear and bows. Should you require additional hauling capabilities—like toting stands, ladder sections, and lifelines—cargo trailers like Rungu’s Burley COHO XC Single Wheel Cargo or Burley Flatbed trailers are an invaluable accessory. They can also be used to haul whole deer or elk quarters from remote spots.  

E-Bike Bowhunting – Riders should use due caution because e-bikes are not without limitations. Limitations might include ultra-steep inclines—though RUNGU unique features provide an edge —deep creek crossings, or snow deeper than a foot and a half. In general, and in moderate terrain, e-bikes like those from RUNGU provide an average range of 20-40 miles on a full charge, with range doubling if the rider is willing to aggressively pedal assist. RUNGU Extended Range (XR) models include a dual battery design that extends range to 32 miles, or up to 65 miles with pedal assist. Even casual, no-sweat pedaling in the proper gear for the terrain assists the electric motor, especially on uphill pulls, helping to conserve battery life and significantly extend range capabilities.       

The lightweight nature of e-bikes, compared to motorcycles or ATVs in particular, generally allows riding where those vehicles or especially a truck would get you in hot water with landowners or land managers—like soft agricultural field edges or grassy pastures. One landowner’s property I hunt, for instance, remains locked during typically wet November rut dates to prevent damage to his ranch roads. Those with trespass permission are required to walk. Yet, I’m allowed to ride an 86-pound RUNGU Steep e-bike on this farm after dragging it under the gate, as it does not rut even the muddiest roads.    

I hunt in the Wasatch mountains.  In mid-season, the sheriff closes the road to the back country when it ices over to stop having to rescue quads and 4x4s that slide off into the adjacent stream.  Locals use snow mobiles to get through, but I use my (Rungu Dualie) and it works every time.  I also hunt restricted areas where I can ride my Rungu for two miles on trails and then hike the remaining two miles, saving time and energy. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it. It is fun to ride anywhere. ‘Wow!’ is the response when I pass others.” – Budd Ferre, Salt Lake City, UT

On most timber-company lands, like those common in my Inland Northwest backyard, public hunting is permitted but roads are gated to vehicular access. In other regions railroad right-of-way, reclaimed mining land, or wildlife management areas include trail systems where ATVs are strictly forbidden but foot traffic, horses, or mountain bikes are allowed. When permitted, an e-bike allows effortlessly leaving competition well behind.   

E-Bike Bowhunting

E-Bike Bowhunting – Before riding on public or privately-owned properties, carefully research local rules or discuss the details thoroughly with the landowner. As a rule of thumb, any natural-surface public trail open to motorized vehicles is available for e-bike use. Various public-land entities—National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management/BLM, national wildlife refuges, state-administered lands, and state wildlife management or walk-in areas—institute highly disparate regulations, so always check with local land offices. 

Today’s high-tech e-bikes are a serious investment, depending on model and motor size. E-bikes come with various power ratings with how much horsepower you require depending on the terrain you hunt most. RUNGU e-bikes, for instance, include 1120w Bafang motors—arguably some of the most powerful in the business—while other companies offer 750W motors offering less pull in steep topography or heavy snow. Assess your realistic needs and research options to choose the right model for you. E-bikes provide many distinct advantages for the stealth-minded bowhunter, including saving time and helping you avoid getting sweated up while accessing remote stands or jump-off points. If you operate off an ATV during most of your bowhunts, an e-bike offers a money-saving and, in many ways, superior alternative.

Rungu Dualie® e-bikes have two significant advantages in mountain terrain (especially in the Rockies) over single-front-wheel e-bikes:

  1. Rungu Dualie gets rid of “taking diggers.” Wiping out due to washing out the front wheel while riding is the dirty secret of the single-front-wheel/fat-tire e-bike.  Rungu Dualie’s two front wheel design focuses a lot more tire-contact-area on the inside of the turn – and that eliminates “diggers.” Hence, their line – Far more stable. This is doubly true hunting elk in the mountains. When descending steep forest service roads with loose rock, dirt and snow, most of the weight is on the front end.  With single-front-wheel e-bikes, riding downhill on this terrain almost guarantees a washout.  Downhill mountain roads are where Rungu Dualie’s “anti-digger” technology really shines.  Far more able.
  2. Rungu Dualie has a long wheelbase to make it easier to climb.  Another drawback of standard e-bike designs is the 10/90 weight distribution.  Hunters riding standard e-bikes relate stories to the company about how they end up in hospital because their single-front-wheel e-bike flips backwards when the hill is too steep (more than a 20% grade). The same happens to quad ATV riders.  With the longer wheelbase, Rungu Dualie has a 75/25 distribution that lets you climb grades above 40% and downgrades that are even steeper without sending you and your gear into the air (or down the mountain).  You’ll ride Rungu plenty of places where you’ll be forced to walk a single-front-wheel e-bike.

Rungu Dualie has quad ATV performance without the noise, scent trail, path width and weight.  The bike will fit between trees and ride over terrain beyond the scope of a quad – watch video on “Hell’s Revenge” trail – the trail is strictly off-limits to Quad ATVs due to the record of serious injuries. At less than a quarter the weight of a Quad ATV, Rungu-Dualie is the only e-bike to offer ATV-like capabilities on a platform that can haul a combined payload of 650 lbs. (rider and towed weight). 

For more information, visit https://riderungu.com/

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