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  • Mobile Hunting and E-Bikes - #7 "MOBILE MINUTE" FT. GREG STAGGS

    April 13, 2023 3 min read

    Mobile Hunting and E-Bikes - #7 "MOBILE MINUTE" FT. GREG STAGGS

    E-Bikes and Hunting - "More" Mobile 

    By: Greg Staggs 

    Mo·bil·i·ty, noun. The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.

    We enhance that ability in many ways; last month, we talked about fine-tuning the machine that is our body. There’s a certain coefficient of friction that is gained when our muscles are moving less weight. In other words, it requires less energy to move us more. This month, we’re going to discuss the latter half of that definition: the ability to BE moved. And boy, have we been spoiled by BEING moved.

    A couple years ago, Missouri opened up an incredible number of its conservation areas to the use of electric bicycles, or e-bikes as most people call them. It was enough for me to go from a passing interest in watching from afar to being an active consumer of the technology. I began weeks of online research, asking questions in forums, and watching an untold amount of YouTube videos. We looked at some of the more popular “top-of-the-line” brands that were exceeding five grand per bike all the way down to the sub-$500 models. We researched hub-driven vs. mid-drive, and the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, I placed an order for three 750W Rambo mid-drives, full luggage racks front and back, saddle bags and a cart to haul out a deer with. 

    We’re blessed, and I make no bones about it. We have a good friend who farms over 4,000 acres of some of the best hunting land in Kansas. I’ve never asked him to hunt whitetails on his properties, though it consistently produces B&C caliber bucks and my friend’s brother killed one over 200 inches a few years back. But what we do have is sole access to chase turkeys up and down the rivers and creeks that flow through his farms. The deer are his; he gives the turkeys to us. The only thing he’s asked us to do is not drive across his farms. So for years we walked. We would walk, listen, call, and walk some more. It was a lot of walking.

    Last year we loaded up our e-bikes for the trip out there. Every single dollar I spent on them was worth it. As a 100% bowhunter, I usually hunt out of a blind -- though this year I plan to try some hunts without one. But blinds are heavy, and with a long walk in it can be a bit of a daunting task to haul them in. Not with the deer cart. We laid the blind on, my bow in its soft case, a couple decoys, two folding chairs, and our backpack full of calls all atop the cart. A couple bungee cords and we were off. Dead silent. The only noise was the dried bean stubble crunching underneath the rubber fat tires. In years past, we would just carry everything in when we planned to hunt. With our new-found mobility, we rode in the evening before, set everything up, and rode back out. We would ride back in the next morning under the cover of darkness.

    We awoke a good hour before the sky even toyed with the idea of giving way to any hint of gray. We stepped outside our travel trailer and in less than a couple minutes the singular push of a thumb had us noiselessly moving down a gravel road at over 20 mph, headed towards where we’d erected the blind the day before. We turned off the road, slowed to go through a wide drainage ditch and up the other side before continuing on through the bean field. Mere yards from the blind, we slowed to a stop and laid the bikes on their sides at the field edge. I pulled out the 3D camouflage netting kept in the saddle bags and laid it on top of each bike; it would render them invisible later in the daylight.

    We slipped inside the blind and took up our positions on the chairs and I opened the Stanley thermos full of coffee I’d stowed inside the other saddle pocket, pouring a cupful by the light of my headlamp in the darkness. I flicked the light back off and we sat silently, me sipping carefully on my chocolate brew as we waited for the world to awaken. Twenty minutes later, a thunderous gobble broke the silence 150 yards behind the blind. We looked at each other and smiled, our eyes now accustomed to the dim and ever-increasing light. “Game on,” I whispered.

    ABOUT: Greg Staggs is a frequent feature writer for Petersen’s Bowhunting among other magazines, and for many years he was the former back-page columnist for Inside Archery. His mobile-hunting videos are extremely popular on his YouTube channel, Staggs in the Wild, and you can read some of his past feature articles and numerous blogs at staggsinthewild.com.

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