On an overcast October morning, Hansi Johnson of Thomson walks down an old logging trail flanked by young aspen. He carries his old Browning 12-gauge A-5, inherited from his grandfather, ready to swing on a ruffed grouse.
It isn't unusual to find Johnson, an avid grouse and duck hunter, deep in the woods this time of year. But he didn't get here in the usual way.
Parked somewhere behind him along the trail is his fat-tire mountain bike built specifically for hunters. It's a Cogburn CB4, a beefy bicycle with tires nearly 4 inches wide. It's fitted with a sturdy scabbard that holds a shotgun, a rifle or a bow. What it doesn't come with is a motor.
"I love the fact that the gun is off my back and on my bike," says Johnson, who is Midwest region director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association. "It's a total feeling of freedom, especially if you've done it with the gun on your back for a long time."
Johnson has been riding trails to ruffed grouse for as long as mountain bikes have been around. He first rode a standard mountain bike with tires about 2 inches wide. Good, not great, for hunting.
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