Mountain hunts are flat out hard. The Kawdy program utilizes horses to cover difficult terrain but physical fitness is a serious asset in the field. Training for a hunt is not complicated but it does require time and dedication. Cardio and strength are both important factors and specific movements will help hunters hike steep inclines and shoulder weight in the field.
Here are a few simple exercises to help prepare for your next backcountry hunt.
Hike it Out
Hiking is a major part of hunting so you might as well train in the same fashion. Hit the hills and hike varying distances across different types of terrain. Start small and gradually increase your distances and difficulty level throughout the off-season. Weigh your hunting pack while loaded and start hiking with a pack of equal or greater weight before the hunt. Training on a heavier pack means your field pack will feel light and easy during the actual hunt. So go ahead and hit the hills at least weekly and several times per week if time allows.
Lower Body Day
Lower body strength is critical for lifting heavy packs and pushing up steep hillsides. Workouts that include 2-3 sets of squats, leg press, lateral lunges, direct lunges and dead lifts will prepare you for movements that require strength in the field. Work a leg workout into your routine on a weekly basis for at least a few months leading into the hunt.
Upper Body Day
Upper body and abdomen movements are useful for lugging packs, crawling up slopes and field dressing game. You don’t need incredible upper body strength or glory muscles but well honed and trained muscles that can work hard for hours are ideal. Bodyweight exercises like pull ups and pushups are great strength builders and they require almost nothing to complete. Shoulder presses, sit ups and lateral pull downs are also great for building strength in the shoulders, back and core. Work an upper body session into your weekly schedule and alternate between lower body, hikes and cardio workouts for variety.
The steep slopes are the most difficult part of any hunt. Covering distance on difficult slopes is flat out taxing and it will whip your legs in a hurry. Stairs in a stadium make a great training ground for your legs. Find a high school football field or local stadium with a good set of stairs. Run up and down to push your cardio while building endurance in your legs. As you improve on the stairs each week, consider adding a weighted pack to really simulate the hunt. If stairs are not available, find a steep hillside and do the same sprint workout. Running stadiums is tough but the workouts will pay serious dividends in the field.
British Columbia Hunts With Kawdy Outfitters
To learn more about the specific hunts at Kawdy Outfitters, please take some time to explore the rest of the website. Whether it includes stone sheep, moose, mountain caribou or mountain goat, we’d love to help you plan the ultimate mountain hunting adventure. For availability and other details, please don’t hesitate to contact us.