Many hunters nowadays use e-bike due to the benefits it can offer. Unlike a traditional bike, an e-bike is operated by an electric motor. This motor works by matching ordinary pedaling or powering the bike to go up to 20 mph. Some models feature a hand throttle, allowing hunters to travel faster and further.
If you're planning to invest in an e-bike, you should know where it belongs to avoid violation in public land. The question is, can electric bikes be used for hunting in roadless areas? The government protects these conservation areas. Understanding the rules and policies of using an e-bike will help you to maximize its efficacy.
What are the Different Classes of E-Bikes?
Before you know if it is suitable to use an electric bike in a roadless area, here are the different classes of e-bikes. Some types are allowed while some are prohibited, so it's crucial to know how to distinguish electric bikes by classes:
This electric bike features a motor that will only engage if the user is pedaling. It can go up to 20 mph.
This electric bike features a throttle-assisted motor that will not require pedaling. Similar to the first model, it can go up to 20 mph.
This electric bike features a motor that will only engage if the user is pedaling. It can go up to 28 mph.
There are different varieties of e-bikes, and it also comes in many forms. Some resemble road bicycles with larger battery packs that are ideal for a hunter. Some models have thick and heavy frames that are built to endure harsh elements when in the forest. Choosing the right e-bike to suit your needs is crucial, especially if you plan to purchase a model that you can use for hunting.
Where is Electric Bike Prohibited to be Used?
Here are the following places where riding your e-bike is illegal:
Non-motorized single-track trails are regulated by Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) and other trail adopting organizations. COTA does not encourage cars and e-bikes in these areas. All motorized vehicles are banned from these trails. Hence, you can’t plan a hunting trip in these areas.
Forest service land
Forest service land is another place where e-bikes are banned. These USFS trails do not allow any motorized use. As a general rule of thumb, if a motorcycle or car is not permitted on the trail, you can't ride your e-bike there. Since an e-bike is not considered a wheelchair or mobility device, it is prohibited to use it in these trails.
Can an E-Bike be Used in a Roadless Area?
Now that you know the places where an e-bike is banned, you might be wondering if it is allowed in a roadless area. The answer is a resounding yes.
Recently, a new decree has been signed under the current administration that allows electric bikes to be used in national park land and roadless areas. It has been removed in the category of dirt bikes and other motorized vehicles.
This move has been made due to the increasing number of hunters who are investing in e-bikes. It is affordable, with decent models that can be bought from $500 to $800.
Before, it can be remembered that electric bikes are banned from cycling trails except for Class 1 e-bikes in limited areas.
Now, the new law allowed three classes of electric bikes on the cycling trails. However, Class 2 and Class 3 of e-bikes are prohibited from using the throttle control. It is expected to function as a standard Class 1 e-bike while in national park trails and roadless areas.
Why Use an Electric Bike on Roadless Areas?
Following the policy memorandum that allows electric bikes to hunt in roadless areas, hunters start to invest in an e-bike. Here are the following benefits of riding an electric bike instead of a traditional bike when going to conservation areas:
- E-bikes provide optimal assistance. This machine is designed to give you a boost when you're riding. That way, you can reduce the pressure on your knees and thighs. The boosting technology makes it convenient for aging people or outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities to hunt around roadless areas. You can ride around conservation areas without breaking a sweat!
- As a hunter, being practical is part of the character. Instead of spending gas money by bringing an ATV to the forest, you can ride an e-bike instead. The prices of petrol and diesel continue to surge. But with an e-bike, all you need to do is charge your batteries, and you can enjoy a long-running time hunting in roadless areas. Depending on the level of assistance you use, your e-bike can last up to 50 miles before recharging.
- Hunters are protectors of the environment. Using an electric bike will minimize your carbon footprint. It also reduces pollution compared to using other vehicles when hunting. With this, you can help to improve air quality in your area.
Is it Safe to Use E-bikes on Roadless Areas?
NPD Group market research reveals that e-bikes are growing in popularity, with huge sales of up to 72%. Furthermore, many shops near roadless areas and national parks are renting out e-bikes aside from traditional bikes due to the increasing demand. This only means that e-bikes are safe and comfortable to use in roadless areas. However, the charge for an e-bike is higher compared to a standard bike. Most hunters also switch to using an e-bike because it doesn’t produce much noise, making it perfect for them to shoot a deer without giving away their presence.
Now that you know if e-bikes can be used for hunting in roadless areas, you should consider investing in one. An electric bike is now considered as one of the essentials for deer hunting due to the benefits that it can offer. You can increase your success rate of hitting a big game by purchasing the right e-bike and riding it on roadless areas. As a hunter, e-bikes can save both your time and money in the long run.