Monday, April 12, 2010

A Bicycle for Viewing and Hunting Wildlife

Many years ago when I was young and in pretty good physical condition I hunted a 4000 acre Corp of Army Engineers refuge near where we lived. It was free hunting, which in Texas was a rare commodity. There were no deer or hogs at that time but quite a few quail, rabbits and squirrels. During the winter the duck hunting was decent, but it was a couple of miles to get to the lake edge and you had to carry all your decoys, shells, shotgun and whatever else on your back. Since no motorized vehicles were allowed on the property it was a long hard hike to get back to good hunting country. I came up with the idea of using a bike to get far away from the refuge gates to do my hunting. The farther I rode into the refuge, the fewer hunters I saw and the better my hunting was as a general rule. I spent many a day riding that old Huffy bike back onto the refuge and hunting all by myself. On opening day of dove season there were literally hundreds of hunters parked at the refuge gate. By this time one of my hunting buddies had bought a bike to hunt the refuge as well. We unloaded our bikes at the gate, put on our vests loaded with shells, water and a sandwich; slung our shotguns over our backs and rode off to a far sunflower field several miles into the refuge. We hunted for two hours all by ourselves and were just leaving on our bikes with a limit of birds in our vests when some other hunters came walking into the field. It had taken hunters on foot that long to hike back to the remote sunflower field.

Later, I finally figured out that I could ride the bike around the deer lease and see much more game than if I went in a truck because of the noise level. I soon started riding my bike to and from the deer stand and would have deer come in much sooner than if I drove the truck and parked it somewhere close to my stand. As I got older and heavier I got away from using the bike and eventually gave it away to someone that would use it.

I just recently went through a heart procedure and I am getting ready to go in for a follow up doctor’s appointment as I type this. I have decided to start an exercise program and try to stick with it on a regular basis. I hate walking but have been working at the ranch on weekends and hoping that would be enough physical activity but realize it will not cut the mustard so to speak. I went out and bought a bike and have started riding again. I am determined to ride as much as possible but I also bought the bike thinking in the back of my mind I would use it to hunt and view wildlife like I did when I was younger. I was amazed at how far bikes have come since I bought the Huffy trail bike that I hunted on all those years. I settled on a hybrid cross country mountain bike built by Trek. It is the model 4300 and looks like it is built for ranch roads and back country trails, yet it will handle my daily rides down to the park and back in style. I hope to work up to longer rides as my endurance builds. I picked up a bike carrier for my truck hitch so I can haul up to four bikes easily to places I would like to ride or back and forth to the ranch.

If you need to get more exercise, hunt a place where motorized vehicles are not allowed or just want to reduce the noise or even cut your fuel use when traveling around a ranch or lease you might consider a trail bike for the job.

Enjoy the ride, Wild Ed

Here is a link to the Trek 4300 if you want more information.

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Albert A Rasch said...

I've thought on and off about a semi-custom bike for hunting. You have given me the impetus to look into it more thoroughly!

Take it easy when you start your program btw, but shoot for a real goal! I've knocked 25 pounds off in the last four months! Weights, bike, eliptical machine, and some swimming, all hard work, but well worth it!

Best to you my friend!

Wild Ed said...

The hardest part is pushing away from the table. I just have hang in there and do it all on a regular basis. :)