Over the next few weeks, we will feature a series of articles on helping hunters prepare for the upcoming hunting season. In this piece we will take a look at the importance of getting in shape.
Physical training is a critical element in getting ready for a wilderness hunt. If you’re planning any type of western mountain hunt, there are two primary reasons why conditioning should be a top priority.
First, your trophy opportunities increase with better physical conditioning. The better shape you’re in, the better your opportunities will be. It’s as simple as that. Whether you’re hunting moose, caribou, mountain goat or sheep, the more prepared you are to tackle it, the more opportunities you’ll give yourself.
Second, being in good physical condition will make your experience significantly more enjoyable. Hunting here in the wild country of northern British Columbia can be a challenge. But when you’re prepared, climbing up a steep ridge becomes a memorable part of the adventure, not a miserable chore. Allow yourself to focus on the scenery, the beauty and the thrill of hunting in this spectacular country, rather than the pain in your legs and lungs.
You don’t have to be a competition triathlete. But do your best to be in the best physical shape possible. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare:
- Start training well in advance of your hunt. Allow as much time as possible to work yourself into shape gradually.
- Establish a realistic workout program tailored to your own ability that you know you can stick to.
- Chart your progress. It’s a known fact that tracking progress will generate a sense of accomplishment and help motivate you to push even harder.
- Get out and do some hiking in your hunting boots and a pack with weight on your back.
- In addition to aerobic exercise, add interval and strength training. Interval training will simulate hunting conditions, when you have to move quickly and then steady yourself for a shot. Strength training is also important, as strong legs will help you climb steep terrain.
In summary, keep your training within your personal limits and realistic. Arrive in camp in the best shape possible. Wilderness hunting can be hard work and will test you. Good physical conditioning will help you make the most of your opportunities and enjoy every step of the hunt.
Written by Ryan McSparran
Ryan McSparran is an outdoor writer, a hunting and fly fishing guide, and very proud to be a part of the Kawdy Outfitters team.