I use a bicycle every season on some public land that doesn't allow any vehicle access. Usually my stands are 1.5-2 miles from the truck, which means A) no other hunters and B) One long drag for the way out! At first it seemed too cumbersome, but after a couple seasons, it is actually extremely nice! Without a doubt, I believe it is less intrusive, not too mention cutting my truck to stand time down from about 25 minutes to 5. Here are some tips that I have found help tremendously:
1) Firstly, ride the bike a lot before season to get yourself in shape. This includes riding with a weighted pack too!
2) It helps if the public land has many good solid dirt roads which make riding very easy
3) Never take the bike after a rain, trust me, not worth the effort of slogging through mud and puddles
4) BUY A COMBO PACK (this allows you to strap your bow or gun to your back, and pack all your gear in it too
leaving two free hands for riding)
5) usually strap the pack to the back of my treestand the first time I take it in, or if I decide to move locations
6) Buy riding shorts with padding and a big fat seat. Trust me, nothing like not being able to ride your bike OUT of
the woods after a nice 2 mile ride in with a 50 lb pack on your back. OUCH!!
7) As mentioned above, a good headlight is worth it for the ride in
8) I always pack my hunting clothes separately. Ride to your location in only one layer if possible. Once you get to
your stand, plan for about 5 minutes to cool off. Then it is time to change into your hunting gear, packaging your
riding clothes preferably into an airtight bag. Riding slow helps reduce sweat, and is much safer in the dark!
9) I built a trailer using bicycle wheels as mentioned above, I can't tell you how much this has helped! This season I
have purchased a game cart that I will figure out a way to attach to the seat post. This should be more sturdy,
not to mention less bulky than my homemade trailer. I did test my trailer by making my brother sit on it while I
pedaled him around (he is about 230lbs!), should work great for pulling out a deer too!(This really helps a TON, by
pulling the weight behind the bike, rather than it being on your back. It isn't as difficult as you might think)
10) Enjoy the look of other hunters as you pass them by on your bike! (They all say that they should try it too!)
11) Just FYI, I think Trek makes a good bike, but if you buy a cheapo bike from walmart, it will come back to haunt
you. Trail riding is tough on a bike, and you need good equipment. After having chains come off and gears strip
and you name it with cheap bikes, I broke down and bought a better bike - Just like any hunting equipment - you
get what you pay for! So it goes without saying, don't forget a cable lock to lock your bike to a tree.
Hope this helps - I have embedded a picture of me with the trailer that I made! I did remove the goose neck and made just a straight piece of square tubing run from the trailer to the bike. I also made it long so that I can use it to pull in a 14ft flat-bottom when it gets too wet to ride all the way. Deer are much easier to float out as opposed to dragging by the way... Enjoy!