August 11, 2021
By Sean Curran
Clever marketing campaigns constructed under the guise of killing giant whitetails have sold more products to hunters than most will care to admit. Does anybody remember the Acorn Cruncher? However, if you get to know any consistently successful hunters, you'll discover that it is specific gear (not gimmicks) combined with certain personality attributes of the hunters that emerge. One of those attributes commonly used to describe these individuals is “hardcore.”
That is exactly how I would describe Steve Pinkston, the president and CEO of Hardcore eCycles, an electric bike company targeting hunters, but also providing a product designed to cross into adjacent markets like wildlife enforcement, police, military, and security. While there are certainly many features and benefits that make Hardcore eCycles worthy of consideration, one of the biggest differentiating factors is that these bikes are designed specifically with "hardcore" hunters in mind. That's because they are built by one of the most dedicated whitetail hunters you will ever meet; Steve’s pursuit of mature whitetails is truly a year-round pursuit and could be written about at length.
Easy Access with an E-Bike
Steve and I sat down to discuss how e-bikes have become a critical component of his success as a whitetail hunter, and the conversation had my wheels turning. While the advantages are many, the overarching theme of our conversation revolved around access. From accessing areas for summer scouting bean fields and hanging trail cameras, to hunting mobile during the season, to even post-season scouting and shed hunting, using an e-bike improves your efficiency for locating and targeting specific deer each season.
Hunters who are successful tagging mature bucks year-in and year-out can vary widely on their tactics but share one common factor: time. They dedicate a considerable amount of time to the pursuit. Often, they have been watching specific deer for several years before they turn their attention to him as a mature target buck. This begins with glassing bean fields in the summer or hanging trail cameras to gather intelligence about the local herd and keep tabs on a specific deer’s whereabouts.
E-bikes are a huge advantage in this regard getting you to and from the hard-to-reach places you may eventually hunt, and they do so in a matter of minutes without leaving ground scent behind. Each step in which your foot touches the ground you are leaving sign behind for deer to discover. If you plan to walk half a mile or more from the road to glass a field, you are leaving lots of evidence of your presence behind. Not to mention the perspiration and scent left during the time it took to make that long walk. The e-bike virtually eliminates your contact with the ground, plus significantly reduces the amount of time you are in the area.
This is especially efficient with several areas to scout and multiple trail cameras to check. The time it takes on foot just to check a few cameras on one single farm can take hours. While time spent on your hunting grounds is always enjoyable, it can also be giving the deer you are attempting to hunt this fall an education. Tactically placing your cameras in specific locations in which you have watched deer from afar, and are easily accessible by bike, will accelerate your learning curve. Future memory card checks of those cameras is then quick and easy because you have already taken the time to consider your entry and exit routes and prepared those pathways just as you would have if traveling by foot. The difference being you now take less time to check trail cameras while leaving considerably less scent behind.
Using an E-Bike to Hunt
As hunting season approaches you have already fine-tuned trail camera positions and maintained entry and exit routes throughout the areas you hunt. In doing so, you have gathered information and narrowed down locations to hang your treestands and hunt. An additional preparation to keep in mind while utilizing an e-bike to get to and from your stand is having a place to hide the bike while you are hunting. Simply laying the bike on the ground next to small brush piles is an effective means of hiding it from deer. The matte black finish on the Hardcore models blends in seamlessly.
During hunting season the e-bike advantages continue to favor the hunter, especially accessing hard-to-reach spots that most people will not hike into. You are now hunting less pressured animals, farther than most hunters will walk, and you are doing so quickly, quietly, and without sweating. Instead of hiking in, packing your gear, and carrying all the weight of everything, the e-bike creates the convenience of being completely dressed and ready to climb into your stand. Your bow or gun is secured on the bike. If you are hunting mobile, your sticks and stand are attached to the rack. Now it only takes minutes to get to the exact spot you plan to hunt when walking in might have taken half an hour.
Benefits of Owning an E-Bike
The time factor again comes into play when you are leaving your stand after a hunt. One of the worst sounds you can hear is getting blown at by a deer when exiting your area. This is especially true after dark. Was it a yearling, a doe, or the buck you were targeting? How many other deer heard that blow and are now on high alert and watching you walk back to the truck, learning your pattern? Utilizing an e-bike significantly reduces the time spent on the ground leaving the area, allowing you to return to your vehicle quickly and quietly while leaving next to nothing behind in terms of ground scent.
The list of benefits grows well beyond the main points covered within this article, but when you consider how valuable your time truly is, and the amount of time an e-bike can give back to you, it is easy to visualize how this can be a tactical tool for your hunting success. Accesses your hunting areas while minimizing your impact in the process could be the best investment a hardcore hunter can make. That is until jetpacks become silenced, manufactured for a reasonable price and made publicly available.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.