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Location: Denver
Joined: 10/16/2009
Posts: 70
Mountain Bike w/ Cargo Trailer for Elk hunting

My typical M.O. is to access favorite spots via a gated logging road and start walking in about 1 - 1 1/2 hours before shooting hours.  It's generally easy walking but when I have gotten an elk, the round trips have been a bit tough.  Using my mountain bike with a headlamp has come to mind, primarily as a means to get back further before daylight.  Getting a game cart has also crossed my mind. 

Then I came across a few posts elsewhere by turkey hunters and bowhunters who use mountain bikes.  Found a few mentions of this BOB IBEX trailer and read the reviews by people who use it to trek cross country.  Built (sort of) for off-road use.  70 lb capacity.  Hmmm.

http://www.rei.com/product/722506/bob-ibex-plus-fs-trailer

It's more $ than a game cart ... but attached to a bike. Hmmm.

Anyone else considered or tried using a mountain bike... with or without a trailer?  I'm thinking I could easily extend my range from the truck by another 2 - 3 miles.

 

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3945
I just watched Craigslist

I just watched Craigslist until I found a kid carrier that attached to a bike and picked one up for under $50.00.  I then modified it a little bit to carry my fishing gear to take on the bike path through Glenwood Canyon along I-70.  I am not sure just how much weight it would support but I would suppose that it could come close to 50 lbs or even a little bit more. 

One thing to check before you head down a logging road is if it is open to mountain bikes.  I know that some of them once they are locked off they are off limits to any vehicles. 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 880
I do have one area that's

I do have one area that's like that. The part that worried me was having to leave it somewhere while I went to hunt. I suppose it could be hidden pretty good, but i'd still be worrying about someone taking it.

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Location: Denver
Joined: 10/16/2009
Posts: 70
Thanks guys!

Thanks guys!  I guess the other consideration would be snow, and now it looks like we're putting in for 2nd season tags.

As I recall the FS road I'm thinking about is gated and marked no motor vehicles (jeep symbol with the red slash).  No signs re peddle-power buts probably worth a call to the FS folks.

It's a bit ironic.  It seems that the only way you could effectively use a mountain bike would be with a trailer.  Peddle in 4-6 miles.  Shoot an elk.  Then what?  Riding with a quarter or even 50 lbs of boned meat strapped to your back ... evolution tends to weed out people who do foolish things.

That BOB trailer is rated for 70 lbs so your still looking at multiple round trips.  But probably still faster and easier than the human pack-mule boogie.

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Have you ever mountain biked

Have you ever mountain biked before?  Biking on a logging road is easier than mountain biking on a trail, but still could be challenging in the dark.  I've been mountain biking in pretty much every season and have ridden some local trails literally hundreds of times.  Once you put on a headlamp and go for it in the dark, the trails ride WAY different.  Fun for something different, not fun if you're doing it for transportation.  I think it would add up to more effort and difficulty than initially bargained for.

Also, biking with more than a few pounds on your back (think camelback) is very uncomfortable.  I wouldn't even consider taking 20-25lbs on my back while biking.  The IBEX trailers are pretty cool, but really don't work well off road.  They are heavy too, even empty, and any climb will be much more difficult.  Even if the route when loaded is mostly downhill you've got braking issues when an extra 70 lbs. is pushing you.  Add in some ruts, rocks, holes, etc. and you've got your work cut out for you in biking your elk out of the woods.  And then you have to think about the flat tire, thrown chain, stuck brake, or any other of a hundred simple mechanical failures that can turn your ride into an exercise of futility.  

Enjoy the hunt or enjoy the ride.  Make sure you're up for it if you plan on combining them.

 

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
just go do it and don't worry

just go do it and don't worry about all the negative nannies. Big smile   Gated forest service roads are fair game and  work extremely well. 

As far as trailers, you get what you pay for.  the bob trailers excell at off road, the kid carries are just that.  they will work, but where the trailer attatches to the bike is an important issue.  the bobs attatched down on the rear skewer, the kids carriers around the seat stem.  But if the question is do mountain bikes work for elk.  The answer is a big hellyeah. 

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buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 340
Bikes

I used my mountain bike last year in MT, it worked good, but make the trip in daylight first, to remove any rocks that you could miss in the dark, i would just use a pack frame to get a elk out, you can put 50 -60 lbs on your back and still ride out. from the research i did, you can ride a bike on any road, they just close them to motorized travel, the exception to that is a wilderness area.

Kevin

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 880
Tim..........That's a highway

Tim..........That's a highway compared to what i'm talking about.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
they work on single track

they work on single track trails also.  We have been using bikes for hunting for many years.  For me personally, it started back in 1993.  I have packed alot of elk and some deer.  Many camps.  but i will also say that i am a mountain biker. Riding at night is not that big of a deal, but it depends on your desire, stamina and expierence. 

i was just trying to show, that mountian biking for elk has been happening for many years, and is not a new thing. 

One thing i will say though, is that i try to take the just go do it approach and figure it out as i go.  Where some others do try to show the obstacles.  Over come objections and get er done.

If anyone has some specefic gear questions fire away.  I will say that you can overload your brakes on the bike pretty easy.  Disc brakes work really well.  As far as mechanicals go, don't use a huffy, but get a real bike.  and carry your tool kit, mechanicals do happen, but i wouldn't not do it, because a mechanical might happen. 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 880
I guess i'll just mope along

I guess i'll just mope along using my old worn out back. Lots and lots of light trips.

Your setup looks pretty good though.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
I got this bull 3 miles from

I got this bull 3 miles from the truck.  It took me all day with the 5 loads to get it out, but i was able to get this bull out solo.  i shot it right at dark and spent the night in my little camp that, was a 1/2 mile away.  I was at the animal at first light and got er done.  I was able to make the 6 mile round trip in a hour.   Backpack the quarters to the bike and drop them in the trailer and roll on out.  repeat 5 times. 

This set up still allows me to hunt solo and get a bull out solo,  with out killing myself.  I am in my mid 40's.

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