Have bike, will travel to hunting spots
Recently, I was reading an article in the New York Times that said the bicycle has become the most popular mode of “personal transport” in the world, and it is estimated that there are two billion bikes in use around the world. Two billion!
I put a fair number of miles on my bike every year, but it’s mostly in the interest of “personal transport,” not recreation. There are far fewer than two billion people in my town using a bike to get to work, but I’m one of the proud few.
I know that tens of thousands of cyclists enjoy tearing through Michigan outdoor trails on their mountain bikes, but it’s hard to really enjoy the scenery when your eyes are glued to the trail to make sure you don’t smack a deer or a tree. Reading this story made me wonder how many outdoors-minded people are finding their bikes to be useful for hunting and fishing, as I have on occasion.
Several years ago, I used my bike to get into a duck/goose spot that didn’t allow motorized vehicles. We had been walking into it, but the 45 minute hike was a long – albeit beautiful – haul, and if you were hoping to make it to work sometime before noon, it was best reserved for weekend hunts.
After the local DNR field office cut a better pedestrian path through this particular state game area, I hatched a plan to quickly get me in and out of the place during the week, when fewer hunters were afield. It worked like a charm, although my retriever may have disagreed. As I was loaded down with shotgun and decoy bag slung around my shoulders, she still had to walk in to our blind.
Once we got in there, though, she was a happy dog. With no boat, the two of us were able to hide in the smallest pieces of cover. On one hunt, I shot and she retrieved a limit of widgeon, gadwall and green-winged teal, and we were on our way back to the truck in less than two hours. This area is frequented by geese, too, and though we didn’t get any chances at them that day, my disappointment turned to appreciation when I was able to pedal with a lighter load. We’ve had many a heavy haul out of there since then.
Outside of Michigan, my partners and I have hunted spots on the prairies that don’t allow motorized access. I’m fine with walking into those places, but I wonder if the next time we head out there, we might want to bring along the bikes.