It’s Big Game Prep month at Prois. With that, we have a series of tips for getting ready for your upcoming seasons whether you are hunting bear, sheep, elk, deer, antelope, goats or anything in between. With most western archery seasons starting in August and September, getting into optimal shape is paramount. Western hunting involves logging many miles, elevation climbs and packing for distances and elevations. Now, I am not at all suggesting you train for a marathon to prepare or build an American Ninja Warrior course in your back yard…there are some other great ways to get into hunting shape.
1. Hit the hills. While many of us maintain some sort of regular cardiovascular exercise routines, grunting the mountains takes on a completely different set of muscles and cardiac endurance. Especially if you are planning to hunt in elevations significantly higher than where you live. Aim for 3-4 significant hill climbs weekly. Work to improve speed and cardio endurance each time. Now- you can train with or without a weighted pack. Your goal should be optimizing your climbing endurance.
2. Weight Train. I’m not saying you have to bulk up for hunting season, but I am saying that improving your chest, back, core and leg strength will only benefit. You can get great results at your gym or you can DIY with great programs like Insanity, T25 or P90X.
3. Get Mean and Lean. If any of you are at all like me, I have found that the summertime festivities have helped me add a couple of pounds. I’m not at all encouraging dieting here. I am only encouraging a healthy diet with lean meats, veggies, fruits and whole grains. Your body will burn these foods more efficiently and you will lean out easier.
4. Practice. Start working with your weapon of choice if you haven’t yet. Make sure your optics, sights, rests and actions are working cleanly. Work from varying distances and angles. Work on shooting from varying positions as well.
5. Check Your Gear. Take a day to pull it all out. Check your clothing, packs, optics and pack gear. It’s a good time to dust off your tents, JetBoils and water filters just to make sure everything is functional.
6. Scout. Check your maps. If you are heading to a new area, check with the local biologist. There are many products out there such as HuntData maps, goHUNT.com and Onxmaps that can really be beneficial for preparing for your backcountry hunt.
Alas…as much as we all wish the seasons were immediately upon us, it is fun to start the preparations for the upcoming seasons.