It is always possible to sit down against a big oak opening morning and have a long beard stroll in front of the business end of your shotgun at fly down. It has happened to me, but it is rare. Most of the time, it is a game of endurance combined with a flashes of fast action and pure adrenaline. You don’t have to be physically fit to kill turkeys, but it helps.
Here are five reasons you should start training for turkey season today!
Time is on your side
Being the first week in February, you have roughly six to ten weeks to improve your fitness before opening day, depending on what state you live in. We aren’t asking you to train for a marathon, but if you start a program now, you will be physically better than you are today.
Stronger core = more opportunity
Whether belly crawling to get in range or simply holding a shotgun steady on a hung-up gobbler, a stronger core will result in more opportunities to harvest turkeys. If you suffer from low back pain, a stronger core will also help you stay in the field longer. The more time afield, the greater your chances of tagging.
Getting winded means fewer opportunities
The ability to walk long stretches or climb a ridge to cut off a gobbler without getting winded will not only make for a better experience, it will help you kill more turkeys. Having to stop and catch your breath when birds are on the move puts you at a disadvantage.
Sitting for long periods of time can cause anyone to get stiff and achy. Working on flexibility and range of motion exercises can help you remain loose and pliable in the field. At some point, we all get stiff but those who actively work on their flexibility last longer than those who do not.
Drop a turkey
We aren’t suggesting you drop a turkey, but if you lose 15-20 pounds before opening day, you will see an incredible difference in how you feel and perform in the field. Again, time is on your side. 1 ½ pounds a week would net you 15 pounds in ten weeks, so start today.
Hunting turkeys is not as arduous as killing elk but there are physical components that impact your success.
If you need help piecing together a program, the experienced coaches at #FitToHunt are here to help you prepare for your upcoming adventure.
What do you do to get physically ready for turkey season?
The barrage of New Man/New Woman plans are already blowing up
your news feed and cluttering your inbox!
If 22 years as a personal trainer and coach has taught me one thing,
this is the time of year to make hay in the fitness industry.
Everyone is back to start all things new including their health, fitness and weight loss efforts, but I am here to tell you there is no reason to start anything new.
You simply need to pick up where you left off
and focus on improving your processes.
Here are 3 tips that will help you take massive action toward your 2020 goals!
BIG AUDACIOUS ACTION is flashy, but it rarely lasts. What does last are teeny, tiny actions so small they could not be captured in your Instagram feed.
Once you master that action, add another.
Tiny action steps snowball quickly into massive results.
Even better if:
What about your plan did not work in 2019? What worked well? Can you look at what you were doing from a 50,000-foot view and identify areas that you can improve? You weren’t necessarily doing anything wrong but is there a way to achieve goals faster if you tried to do things a little bit differently?
A small tweak to your program may very well hold the key to better results.
The mission of Fit To Hunt is to help prepare you for your outdoor adventures but overall, we want to support you in your health and wellness journey.
We also provide community and a wide array of free content and support.
Click Here to Receive our Exercise of the Week for FREE!
We have a wide array of services from downloadable e-workouts to online coaching where a seasoned professional
will work with you weekly to help you achieve your goals. We also offer some cool branded apparel and gear.
If we can be of service to you in 2020, please reach out. We would love to help you get and stay #FitToHunt!
Some retailers like Menards only bring in stands around deer season or have extremely limited inventory. If you are wanting to pick up some new sets, start hitting the stores late December or early January. You may even be able to negotiate. I have a client who has become a master at negotiating price for stands used as displays. The store manager does not want to disassemble the stands and on top of a discounted price, they are already put together!
If you have holes in your outdoor wardrobe, real or metaphorical, start looking at the clearance racks. You may run into odd sizing but every now and then, you strike gold! Storing inventory costs money and no retailer wants to lose money. A few years back I was able to get an outstanding duck hunting jacket for well over 60% off! I still use it today.
If you have all you need please save your money. We do not want you spending hard earned cash for gear you do not need, but if you could use another stands or a camo jacket, take the gift cards you get for Christmas and hot foot it down to your favorite retailer. You might come back with all you need for the 2020 deer season!
What is the best deal you have ever found in the off-season? Let us know in the comments!
By Erin Wade
Now that hunting season is over it is time to set traps and hunt predators. Coyotes, raccoons, opossums and even skunks can significantly impact your deer and turkey populations.
Always check your local trapping and small games guidelines for season dates.
Improve your land:
There are multiple ways to make your property better, but after season is the best time to survey your land and decide where work is needed. Start by working with a professional forester who can evaluate your timber and make suggestions for trees to cull and trees to keep! By cutting out selected trees you are opening the canopy which allows sunlight to reach the ground creating more suitable habitat for your property.
You can also hinge cut trees to create bedding areas. Hinged cut trees, if done correctly, are still alive and will produce green vegetative growth producing safety and forage.
Most people will plant a springtime food plot and then forget about it. This is a good time to map out and clear out future plots. If you already have existing food plots in place, frost seeding can help you maintain your stand of clover. Frost seeding doesn’t require as much work. Broadcast the seed over the existing food plot. When springtime comes, the thaw will pull your seeds into the dirt. Between January and March is generally the best time to broadcast the seed. This will only be effective on existing food plots. If you wish to do this on a new plot, kill all vegetation the fall before you frost seed.
Trail Cam Surveys:
We run our trail cameras all year round. This is especially important to determine when bucks start shedding their antlers. It also helps us know which deer have survived hunting season and mother nature. Once we see the antlers starting to drop, we start shed hunting.
If you plan on upgrading stands, building box blinds or hanging other sets, now will give you the best view of your proposed set up.
Trails this time of year are very well worn, letting you know exactly how the deer are traveling.
Now is the time to plan, prepare to produce for next year. What activities will you do to prepare your land for next season?
Erin Wade is a Sargent in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Knox. In her free time, she is either in the gym or in the field spending hunting, fishing and enjoying the outdoors with her family.
To Erin, hunting, fishing and conservation isn’t a hobby; it is a passion. She loves getting her hands dirty and working the land.
Here are some tips that will help you jump start your 2020 resolutions to get #FitToHunt:
Define your goal:
Most people want to lose weight or improve their fitness. The problem is they leave the objective open ended. To say “I want to lose weight” is a wish. If you state “I will lose 10 pounds by March 30, 2020,” you have created a definable goal. You can further define your action plan by listing weekly goals.
Another common flaw in the New Year’s Resolution effort is trying to change everything at once. Studies have shown if you opt for one change in your life, you will be 66% likely to make it stick. Add two changes and your success rate plummets to 33%. Instead of going on a diet that will change everything about how you eat, pick one strategy such as eating 15 grams of protein for breakfast every day. Once you make that part of your everyday routine, add another tactic such as a piece of fruit mid-morning.
Be realistic with your time:
Gyms make their money in January because everyone joins with the greatest intent to exercise 60 minutes a day; 5-6 days a week. To avoid burning out in the first few weeks, start with an exercise duration that you can easily accomplish with little to no effort. Build gradually vs. participating in workouts that smash you in the teeth and leave you sore for days.
Enjoy your activity:
Join a gym every year only to quit within a month? You may be performing the wrong type of exercise.
Just because your gym has treadmills doesn’t mean you should be using them.
What activities do you enjoy?
If you find a form of exercise that makes you want to come back and do it again, do more of that type of exercise within reason.
It is easier to accomplish your goals with a team of supportive, like-minded individuals who are keeping you laser focused.
It is the #1 reason we created Fit To Hunt!
Make sure to surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart.
The professional coaches at Fit To Hunt are dedicated to your success and can customize an exercise program that will help you crush your goals.
No matter your fitness level, age or goal.
To get started email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.
Breakfast is more important than you may realize. Hit your morning meal out of the park and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. It also gives you the nutrition to hunt, train and excel at work. There are tons of healthy options to get your day started the right way, but for many of us, if it is not convenient, we will not do it. This month, we focus on two options that not only provide a nutritional punch, they are also convenient.
Wilderness Athlete Meal Replacement Shake
Wilderness Athlete Meal Replacement is one of our favorites. We dare you to find a better tasting meal replacement shake and with 18 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates and 9 grams of fiber, this shake packs a nutritional punch! It provides the ideal level of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) to fuel the body and quash hunger for an extended time period. Due to the high fiber content, it might not be the choice before heading to the tree stand…for obvious reasons, but if you are wanting to lose fat and build muscle, adding WA Meal Replacement is an excellent choice!
Start Right Foods Protein Waffles
A St. Louis company, Start Right has us all asking the same question: Who doesn’t like waffles? Available in original, blueberry and maple flavor, a single serving yields approximately 210 calories, 15 grams of protein and 22 carbohydrates. They are also gluten free. I have had the privilege to befriend owners Clint and Kyle and they are both fantastic people (Clint is a big-time deer hunter). They also happen to market a tasty and nutritionally ense product. It is easy to support them!
Start Right is a product I have began to use before my hunts.
I like a hot breakfast, but I am not getting up any earlier to prepare it. As the coffee brews, I can toss my protein waffles into the toaster and in seconds, I am fueled and ready to get after those whitetails.
The number one way for breakfast to work is to eat it.
When you are pressed for time throughout the week or scrambling to get to the deer stand before dawn,
here are two options that will keep you fueled and provide convenience.
What are some other breakfast options you like that are both healthy and convenient?
Last month we initiated the idea of simple meal prep by discussing the concept of pre-cooking your protein for easy lunches and dinner prep, but you are going to need something to go along with that perfectly prepared protein, right? It is time you learned the power and versatility of quinoa.
A grain crop grown for its edible seed, quinoa has found popularity with health enthusiasts the last few years despite the fact it has been around for a long time (it was a staple crop of the Inca Empire).
A cup of quinoa contains:
8 grams of protein; it contains all nine essential amino acids
39 grams of low glycemic carbohydrates
5 grams of fiber
Contains minerals like magnesium and iron
And it is LOADED with B vitamins
And cooking quinoa is a cinch. If you can boil water, you can make quinoa.
Here are the steps we use:
1. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under running water.
2. Put the rinsed quinoa in a 2 qt. saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and pour 1 ¾ cups broth (or
water…but broth adds more flavor) in the pan with the quinoa. Add ½ teaspoon of salt (I like sea
salt or kosher salt) and stir.
3. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. When it starts to boil, cover the pot with the lid and turn the
heat down to the lowest setting and let it cook for 15 minutes.
4. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and enjoy.
This will make about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
One of my favorite things to do for lunches is to combine deer tenderloin and a serving of quinoa for a protein packed and filling lunch. I am a BIG heat guy so I will pour spicy BBQ sauce over the combination and warm-up in the microwave for lunch. Quinoa is also a fantastic substitute for rice and works great in a wrap.
Did I mention versatility? Click Here to get breakfast recipes using quinoa!
Give this power seed a try by adding it to your meal prep planning and stay #FitToHunt!
Sunday’s are for grilling:
It is one thing to grill a few steaks on Sunday for dinner but while you have gone to the trouble, go ahead and prepare extra venison tenderloin, beef steak and chicken so that lunches are packed with at least 30 grams of protein per meal. I like to separate these into microwavable dishes so in the morning, I simply grab and go as I head out the door to work.
P.S. Everyone in the office will be jealous that you are eating steak for lunch every day.
Fire up the skillet:
Take several pounds of ground beef or the last of your ground venison and brown it in the skillet for later use. This makes preparing spaghetti, tacos, sloppy joes, or other casserole dishes for dinner a cinch! We are all busy with work, raising kids and chasing whitetails. Why not make dinner prep easier by having the main ingredient for your supper already complete?
We preach everyday that finding time to exercise will mean you will never exercise. The same goes with meal prepping. My challenge to you this week is to pick a day and pre-cook your protein. We promise that once you start performing this exercise and see the value, it will become part of the process that will help you get and stay #FitToHunt!
What are some additional meal prep tips that you use to boost nutrition and performance?
When you travel or go on vacation what is more fun and relaxing? Rushing from point A to point B without taking the time to enjoy the sights and sounds or slowing down and taking your time to truly enjoy the experience? Of course, the more you experience from your travels, the more fun you have, and you return to work more relaxed, focused and productive.
Taking the scenic route with your fitness plan and going slower can help you accomplish goals and increase the odds that your results, actions and strategies will be sustainable where quick fix programs often are not.
As a personal trainer and fitness coach for the last 22 years, I have helped many people lose weight, build muscle and improve their nutrition and each one of them used different tactics. However, there is one common trait among all of them who not only reached their goal but maintained them; they took their time.
Depending on where you live there are approximately 4-6 weeks before archery season opens in most states. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to make significant gains but if you can start with one or two tiny strategies, it is possible to build muscle, lose weight and improve conditioning; all of which will improve your performance in the field and help you get Fit To Hunt. The secret is in the tiny strategies.
I want you to pick one tactic you can start doing this week that will make you just a little healthier.
1. Walk 10 minutes
2. Do 20 push-ups
3. Eat 20 grams of protein at breakfast
4. Drink 20 ounces of water
5. Do 20 squats
6. Eat one apple
7. Drink one less soda
The list can go on forever, but the key is you pick only one tactic and do it daily.
Then when you have mastered that tactic…add another.
Pretty soon, you will have 3-4 solid habits you do everyday and are well on your way to creating a disciplined process that produces results and is sustainable.
Remember I said that archery season is about to begin? The key to continuing with your new tactics (and not bagging them because of deer season) is learning how to make small changes in your daily routine fit and work for you.
Start small, hunt hard, get some successes, coast through the holidays, then start the New Year with a solid base and the tools to truly attack your fitness in 2020.
For help with your program contact Jeremy at email@example.com
There are 5 components of fitness:
① Body Composition
② Muscular Strength
③ Muscular Endurance
⑤ Aerobic Fitness
I think balance should be thrown in there, but these are the big 5 you will see personal trainers and coaches talk about with their clients.
As mentioned earlier, a body composition chart (which discusses percentage of body fat) is loaded with numbers and age ranges for both men and women which state what level you need to be at to rate poor, average, good or excellent. This can be confusing and if you are on the “poor” end of that spectrum, deflating.
In my 22 years as a professional fitness coach and personal trainer based in St. Louis, MO, I have developed a scale that is short, sweet and to the point.
Here are my measures of fitness that I hold myself accountable to and preach to my clients:
➪ Run a 5K in under 30 minutes
Muscular Strength (Pull-ups, Push-Ups and Squats):
➪ 5 pull-ups for men
➪ 1 pull-up for women
➪ 20 push-ups for men
➪ 10 push-ups for women
3. Squats (Body Weight)
➪ 20 squats for men and women
➪ Waistline 35 or less for men
➪ Waistline 32 or less for women
I look at fitness in very simple terms. I have also long maintained the truest form of fitness is your ability to manipulate your own body weight. Many hunt from elevated positions, so the ability to pull yourself up to a platform (should you fall) is paramount to you coming home safely. You don’t have to rock out pull-ups like a Navy SEAL but you better work hard to be able to do at least one.
For cardiovascular fitness, if you can cover 3.1 miles in under 30 minutes, congratulations! You are likely in the upper 1/3 of aerobic conditioning for your age and gender!
The reason I use waistline to measure body comp is because it is easy. You know what size your jeans are and if it is rising, time to act because carrying excess weight in your abdomen increases risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
What if you cannot meet these standards? It’s simple: You work towards them!
Two years ago, online client Dayton Holloway and I ran a 5K on the 4th of July. It was the kick-off to his training for a back-country elk hunt. He finished in roughly 37 minutes. Before he left on his trip in September, he ran a 5K in the 27-minute range.
Can you get a baseline time for walking/hiking a 5K and then work to cut that number down?
Can’t do a pull-up?
Start working with assisted-pull ups (bands or machine) and take a good look at your weight. If you are carrying more than you should, focus on dropping some pounds and getting stronger simultaneously. Trust me… it is easier to accomplish a pull-up (males AND females) when you are not carrying excess weight. And by losing body fat, your waistline will shrink as well - killing two birds with one stone.
Can’t do a regular push-up?
Start with a modified version and work your way up to regular push-ups!
Wherever you are in your journey, use these standards to help fine tune your exercise program, develop a disciplined program and train with intent.
For tons of FREE exercise videos check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking HERE and stay #FitToHunt!
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!