Fitness level for hunting?

Jackomason

Poop-smith aka "Turd Herder"
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Dec 26, 2013
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Elk hunting last year burnt me out...

What would you say is a good goal for daily/bi-weekly fitness levels?
I do well with numbers like run x amount
Pushups x amount
Etc.

I dig a lot at work and lift heavy things but I don't run much and my core is slow to shape up. I know now is the time to start thinking about my first season hunt here in the Colorado Rockies.

Thanks guys.
 

DevilDocAZ

10/4 Dinosaur
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Sep 11, 2014
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If you are scouting then you will know real quick if you need more endurance training. If you are not scouting then you should consider it for many reasons, knowing your limits being one of them.

My two rules:

1-Don't take the shot if you are not willing to pack it out.

2-Be realistic about your training, only you know your limits.

Personally I like to shoot them mid stride as they are jumping over my truck. If you time it right they fall right into the bed of the truck.

I hope you have a safe and successful hunt. Make good choices and come home safe.
 

kukusya

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Jun 27, 2017
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Wa
Elk hunting last year burnt me out...

What would you say is a good goal for daily/bi-weekly fitness levels?
I do well with numbers like run x amount
Pushups x amount
Etc.

I dig a lot at work and lift heavy things but I don't run much and my core is slow to shape up. I know now is the time to start thinking about my first season hunt here in the Colorado Rockies.

Thanks guys.

Burpees as much as you can 3-4 times a week.
 

isofahunter

Get Tough or Die!
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Jun 11, 2010
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I have found over the years hiking with a pack 2x the weight I will have on the hunt gets my whole body toughened up. Hike 5 miles 3 times a week in addition to push ups, pullups, squats and burpee as often as you have time.
 

bourbonbent

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Apr 2, 2019
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If your joints and everything are fine, then there shouldn’t be a limit. The better shape you’re in, the easier the hunts gonna be.

This is my style.

4CE54609-5AAD-404F-A5E2-3358EE49D60E.gif
 

Jackomason

Poop-smith aka "Turd Herder"
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Dec 26, 2013
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Haha thanks, I went about 5-8 miles the first few days last year. I thought my weekly ultimate frisbee would be enough but it just wasn't.

Scouting is a great idea and would probably help. I bet I could get 3 birds with one stone if I pack my daughter around with me. As of right now the elk have just crossed back over to the right side of the valley.

This is exactly how I looked on the last day of my hunt last year trying to climb out of a crazy bowl!
 
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jwknutson17

Big Game Hunter
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  • Apr 29, 2017
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    Train at altitude. Do things like the Manitou Springs incline. Throw in the "Murphy Challenge" every once in a while. Hike with a weighted pack. Squats. Deadlifts. (Get your legs and back strong. ) Keep your cardio up. Work at your core. And most importantly don't drink and eat like crap.

    Don't get stuck in the same routine. Continuously switching it up helped tremendously for me in years past.
     

    Jackomason

    Poop-smith aka "Turd Herder"
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    Train at altitude. Do things like the Manitou Springs incline. Throw in the "Murphy Challenge" every once in a while. Hike with a weighted pack. Squats. Deadlifts. (Get your legs and back strong. ) Keep your cardio up. Work at your core. And most importantly don't drink and eat like crap.

    Don't get stuck in the same routine. Continuously switching it up helped tremendously for me in years past.
    My house is at 8,000ft so I think I've got the altitude part covered. Switching it up is a great idea and I think my core is going to be key seeing as I have a eberlystock gunslinger and that thing knows how to put a hurt on.
     

    jwknutson17

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  • Apr 29, 2017
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    I will also add...

    Make sure you have a proper fitting frame/suspension pack. I've seen the best shape guys get destroyed after two days when they don't have the proper pack. Kifaru, Stone Glacier, EXO, Kuiu, etc. Get measured. Buy the proper size. Make sure it has enough lift.

    I can't stress enough how important a good fitting and properly setup pack is. Especially when hauling elk out of the woods.

    If your in CO head over to Kifaru and get fitted and put in an order. Usually about 6 weeks out. Best pack system I have used.

    Best of luck this year! We all need a little on our side.
     
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    jwknutson17

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    Seems funny that I mention it, but a lot of guys don't. Most folks to to Cabela's or sportsman's and buy a pack. I didn't believe it until I spent the money years ago. I know upwards of $750 for a pack system is a lot, but it's money well spent IMO. A good setup pack makes 80lbs feel like 40lbs. So wasnt sure what you were using as some packs take their toll on you much faster then others.
     

    Jackomason

    Poop-smith aka "Turd Herder"
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    Seems funny that I mention it, but a lot of guys don't. Most folks to to Cabela's or sportsman's and buy a pack. I didn't believe it until I spent the money years ago. I know upwards of $750 for a pack system is a lot, but it's money well spent IMO. A good setup pack makes 80lbs feel like 40lbs. So wasnt sure what you were using as some packs take their toll on you much faster then others.
    Oh I dont doubt it! I just thought it was comical that between your comments I said that my pack is awful on my back. Your comment was on point.

    However I'm not sure I can sell my wife on a $750+ pack. I think my biggest mistake last year was packing too much stuff for every situation. I think I will look into a frame/insert for my eberlystock.
     
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    jwknutson17

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    You can snag a Kuiu frame / suspension for pretty cheap. Under 300 when on sale. Then grab a pack pending on what you are going to do. I like the icon pro 3200 for a all around pack and it compresses down for a day pack really well.

    Cheaper then the Kifaru and still does a good job. Super light also.
     

    Mike Casselton

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    Oh I dont doubt it! I just thought it was comical that between your comments I said that my pack is awful on my back. Your comment was on point.

    However I'm not sure I can sell my wife on a $750+ pack. I think my biggest mistake last year was packing too much stuff for every situation. I think I will look into a frame/insert for my eberlystock.
    A proper pack will not fuck up your back.

    If cost is an issue, ask her how much she's willing to spend on doctor visits to relieve a sore back.

    Lost work time?

    How about what it does to you down the road?

    Ask the guys around here that humped an 80lb pack in the shit hole overseas.
    Lots of those guys are paying the price down the road.

    I don't have 8 bills in my budget to spend on a pack.
    However, if I were still actively hunting elk, I'd find a way to come up with the money.

    Less eating out, less starbucks, cut cable TV. There are plenty of ways to cut back to afford the good stuff.
     
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    Jackomason

    Poop-smith aka "Turd Herder"
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    A proper pack will not fuck up your back.

    If cost is an issue, ask her how much she's willing to spend on doctor visits to relieve a sore back.

    Lost work time?

    How about what it does to you down the road?

    Ask the guys around here that humped an 80lb pack in the shit hole overseas.
    Lots of those guys are paying the price down the road.

    I don't have 8 bills in my budget to spend on a pack.
    However, if I were still actively hunting elk, I'd find a way to come up with the money.

    Less eating out, less starbucks, cut cable TV. There are plenty of ways to cut back to afford the good stuff.
    Not sure how to respond to that with out sounding like a pity party lol. But yeah we just cant make that happen.

    I appreciate your concern and I agree. Most "poor" people that cant afford the basics are people made of poor life decisions. And yes a bad pack can screw you up. I think I'm going to have to approach hunting in a different way this year. Keep everything light and get fit.
     

    Mike Casselton

    Trunk Monkey
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  • Nov 25, 2007
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    Not sure how to respond to that with out sounding like a pity party lol. But yeah we just cant make that happen.

    I appreciate your concern and I agree. Most "poor" people that cant afford the basics are people made of poor life decisions. And yes a bad pack can screw you up. I think I'm going to have to approach hunting in a different way this year. Keep everything light and get fit.
    Being fit will pay the biggest dividends.
    If you have a bicycle, do some long rides to build up endurance and burn fat.
    Whether cycling, walking, hiking or running, get your heart rate elevated and keep it up there (make sure to know your target and max HR) for long periods of time. Do variations from target to max so your body can respond. Wear a monitor so you know your actual HR.
    Strengthen your core and your legs including the forgotten calves.

    I no longer live out west and currently live 14' above sea level. Just the thought of hiking at 8k makes my legs and lungs hurt. Given the chance, I'd be on it like flies on shit.


    I understand the finance issue. I'm retired and on disability so I've learned to either do without or cut back to get the things I want.
    As long as the bills are paid and something goes into savings, I decide where the rest of the money goes.

    My ex-wife spent every time I made, and then some.
    When we divorced, she had me 20k in debt with Credit cards.
    She's gone and so are the CCs.

    Rebecca and I have two debts. The house and the boat. I can rid myself of the boat debt overnight and put the payment and positive balance in savings.

    I hope you kill a monster bull this year and every year after that.
    Get in shape and stay there, it's much easier than burning off winter fat stores.
     
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    fmillik

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    I am doing a backcountry elk hunt in NM next month, and I try to get myself in 1/2 marathon shape (be able to run 13.1 miles at a relatively leisurely pace (10 min mi). Every other day when I am not running I do a stair-stepper for about 30 minutes.

    For training I start by running 5 minutes at a comfortable pace. Then I add 5 min more each week. Once you can do 30 min, I start adding 10 minutes per week. In 4 months you should be ready, and it was a very gradual improvement. Obviously you can speed it up if you are pressed for time, but it's hard to go from coach potato to cardiovascular fitness on too accelerated of a timeline. People tend to just overdo it and give up/

    I generally like lifting heavy, but it tends to add a lot of bulk that isn't any fun to carry along with your gear up and over elevations.
     
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    supercorndogs

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    Feb 17, 2014
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    If you are scouting then you will know real quick if you need more endurance training. If you are not scouting then you should consider it for many reasons, knowing your limits being one of them.

    My two rules:

    1-Don't take the shot if you are not willing to pack it out.

    2-Be realistic about your training, only you know your limits.

    Personally I like to shoot them mid stride as they are jumping over my truck. If you time it right they fall right into the bed of the truck.

    I hope you have a safe and successful hunt. Make good choices and come home safe.
    1600474107355.png
    Hey, whats with the gun?

    My Grandpa's joke.

    Where is the best place to shoot an Elk?

    Close to the road. :ROFLMAO: :LOL: :ROFLMAO:
     
    Last edited:

    Jackomason

    Poop-smith aka "Turd Herder"
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    Dec 26, 2013
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    Im hoping this year involves a little less running! opening morning was mad but a blast last season. I had closed the 900 yard gap down to 550 yards on 5 motivated bulls and decided not to take a cross canyon shot in 20-30mph winds. I do plan to make a point to enjoy this year. its so easy to feel the mental pressure and get bogged down by that alone.
     

    JRaven

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    Mar 4, 2013
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    It's good that you decided prepare your body, but the most important thing for hunting is running, and push-UPS are a secondary need. You also need to normalize your diet and your sleep cycle. I know this is strange, but believe me, if you want to have the strength and sensitivity on hunting you need to normalize these things. I have a friend who loves hunting and once he decided to take me with him on a hunt, but a month and a half before the hunt, he threw me this weight loss system https://www.modernfit.com/food/how-to-order-keto-at-taco-bell-for-a-low-carb-diet/ and told me to do all what does it say . And just so you know I put myself in good shape and lost 6 kg of weight.
    That link is broken. Comes up critical error.

    Check out Aron Synder's KifaruCast. Dude is switched on and gives some information.


    Have a good aerobic base and make sure you are strong enough to get home with what you harvested.

    JR