As temperatures begin to warm and the days last just a little longer, our thoughts turn to turkeys. Big, gobbling turkeys with beards so long they flop side to side as they come strutting into our sets. It won’t be long until we are putting birds to bed and waking in the wee hours in the hopes of punching a tag. Here are some tips that will help you stack the deck and up your chances of bagging a bird in 2018.
Take Inventory and keep notes:
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to hunt dirt that doesn’t hold birds. Sure, birds are probably still in winter flocks but now is the time to start running trail cams to see the numbers and age structure of birds on our properties. Know where they roost, feed, loaf, strut and water and you will know how to set up on them opening morning!
Boost your fitness:
No, you do not have to be fit to hunt turkeys but having a high level of fitness certainly increases your odds of success. Simply having the ability to belly crawl to move up on a bird or the stamina to run and gun all day will increase your likelihood of punching a tag. And if you start now, you will be in peak condition as season opens. We suggest starting with walking 30 minutes two to three times per week. After a week or two strap on your turkey vest to simulate the physicality of being in the woods.
You can also pick up our customized Strutter strength program that will provide turkey hunting specific exercises to ensure you have the physical tools to bag your bird by clicking HERE.
Each program, 6 or 12-week, comes with a complete list of exercises, videos with instruction and a phone consult by a Fit To Hunt coach.
Learn to call:
This year at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention I had the privilege of working a booth with legendary turkey hunter Ray Eye. Now I kill turkeys every year but like many of us, there are times where we rationalize our lack of success by saying the “birds just weren’t cooperating” or were “henned up.” And this can happen, but what I learned from Ray during his Saturday presentation just about re-wrote everything I thought I knew about turkey hunting and how to be successful in the woods. I might run into these situations but now I have the strategies to combat uncooperative, henned
If you cannot make it to one of Ray’s live presentations we highly encourage you to pick up his “Calling is everything III” DVD by clicking HERE.
You will learn everything from how to gobbler yelp and how to address the hen social structure; two techniques that will drastically improve your odds of success.
Practice your calling:
Ray was kind enough to get me a new box call from his sponsor Hooks Game Calls…then proceeded to show me things that I have been doing wrong for the last 20 years (I am a
serial lid lifter). Whether box calls, slate or mouth calls, make sure the first sound you make isn’t as the sun comes up on opening morning.
Pattern your shotgun:
Sounds like a no-brainer but birds are missed every year because the first shots fired through that hunter’s gun are his or her first of the year. We are all busy people but if you do not know the shot pattern or range of your weapon you are doing disservice to yourself and the animal by not knowing the range for a safe, ethical kill. Besides, shooting is fun. Go do it!
Lose ten pounds:
It may not sound like a lot but ten pounds is ten pounds. Plus, it is much easier to
move through the woods with stealth when you are a little lighter. Consider the Wilderness Athlete 28 Day Challenge! All of our clients who have followed the system have lost between 10 and 13 pounds and the best part it is an easy system to follow. Pick up your challenge by clicking HERE and remember to use promo code: fittohunt to get a 10% discount on the challenge.
Turkey hunting is a lot of fun.
It is even more fun when you are killing turkeys.
Follow these tips and increase your odds of bagging a bird this Spring!
I am not sure what punched me in the face but for the past 24 hours I have been darn near horizontal. If you follow us at #FitToHunt you already know that I really never stop so I think this was God’s way of saying “YOU WILL NOT GO TO WORK TODAY!” Or, it may have been God whispering to me to “slow down and take a look at what you really do” in your daily travels, sessions, social media posts and interactions with hunters and non-hunters alike.
I’ll admit it. When we started Fit To Hunt back in 2014 our main goal was to build a community. Offer some cool content, sell some t-shirts…maybe a few hats and ride off into the sunset. The rude awakening was when we had a basement full of t-shirts and hats and very few orders; someone had forgotten their lesson in branding but that is a story for another time.
I have always fallen on the “total wellness” side of the spectrum. What that means is my vision for Fit To Hunt was never to simply produce workouts but really help people navigate through the minefield of wellness that includes categories such as:
Physical wellness (the one we all know)
Environmental wellness (being clutter free…not saving trees)
As a practicing personal trainer and fitness coach in St. Louis, MO for over 21 years, I have made it a point to include these elements in the conversations I have with clients. It does not matter if they train in person or online; total wellness is more than how many apples you eat and the number of push-ups you can perform.
Nevertheless, when the inventory of t-shirts weren’t moving, we fell back to what we know and are really good at: personal training and fitness coaching. Each year we help people prepare for the hunt of a lifetime or simply help them continue to hunt for the duration of their lifetime. In the last year we have helped folks get ready for elk, whitetail, duck and turkey excursions but it was a November waterfowl hunt that really made me stop and think it is possible I missed the point of Fit To Hunt. Or did I?
I was sitting in a duck blind in Northern Missouri with Nick and two guides from Pro Outfitters. The ducks were stale but we were able to shoot a few Canada Geese and Nick connected on a young gadwall. It was a good day.
In that blind, I listened for hours as Joe, one of our guides told me his story. He had battled cancer for the last year and it darn near broke him. He was living on a relative’s couch during his chemo treatments because he couldn’t work. It was awful, yet he persevered. Joe is a colorful character and I found myself captivated by not only his story but his honesty to a guy who he had just met a few hours earlier. He stared some pretty bad stuff in the face and won. I believe with sheer grit and determination as Joe does not strike me as the type of rolls over when presented with a challenge.
At that moment, I knew that Fit To Hunt was going to become more than us telling you how to perform planks or which supplement to take to drop some pounds. I did not offer any “solutions” for Joe that day, but I made a friend and that concept about community? On that day, our Tribe grew by one.
Last Friday night I saw a DM on our Instagram account. In opening up it was a longtime supporter of Fit To Hunt who lives in Idaho. Now, we have never offered him one piece of exercise advice but he has been one of those folks who have been there from the beginning. He proudly wears and represents our logo on the west coast (something we never tire of seeing) and have supported our partner products such as Yo Buck, Wilderness Athlete and Pure One Outdoors.
In the DM I could tell something was wrong. Our friend had just gone through some personal tragedies and despite a long week and a big difference in time zones we got on a call around 8pm CST on a Friday night. We talked about what was going on in his life, his loss and his outlook on spirituality. I am not even sure if the conversation lasted 15 minutes but it was a meaningful 15 minutes.
I know we did not talk about his exercise program. I do know we talked about God, the universe, perseverance and friendship. We talked about his dad who he had lost several years ago and how there are still places on their property he cannot go because of the memories associated with that piece of dirt. I also listened. Funny how a professional coach sometimes does his or her best work when they say nothing. This was one of those moments.
And today, amidst the body aches, chills and pounding head I responded to a Tweet from a long time follower and client regarding his exercise program (because when you are sick Twitter is the place to hang out). His response to our response to him made our day
Joel has grown to depend on us and as a result, we want to be accessible to him. We want him, and you, to find such great value with Fit To Hunt that you want to be a part of our community.
It doesn’t matter if you buy a $3 beer koozie or a $20 6-week workout plan or follow us on Instagram; we want you to feel like you got value equivalent to a $2,000 purchase? Does that make sense? Is that even possible?
We think it is. Mainly because we know now this isn’t just about creating exercise programs. We want to know you, help you solve problems and be there with you when you climb that mountain, harvest that bull or land that fish. Or, if you simply need someone to listen to you.
We really are grateful for your business, your support and for following us! Thank you and as always it is our wish that you stay #FitToHunt.
What kind of content do you want to see created to help you get the most out of your outdoor adventures? Leave a comment below!
Guess what? I’m pregnant!
Want to know something else? I’m still working out!
We all set goals for 2018, and my first goal is to have a happy and healthy pregnancy. Which brings me to my first point, a lot of my happiness and health comes from my workouts. Working out while pregnant can be a hot topic, and many people have opinions on the topic and they aren’t always positive ones.
Listening to the messages your body is sending you, especially during your pregnancy is incredibly important; and maintaining a regular work out routine during your pregnancy is definitely something that should be discussed with your doctor in order to figure out the right plan for yourself. But most importantly don’t let yourself quit, (or not start) because of a few negative opinions.
I know there are many articles, blogs, and opinions out there on this subject, but doing your own research from a credible source will help you understand the risks and benefits that come with exercising while you’re growing a human. One of the most common things I hear is that if you were not working out before you got pregnant, you cannot start now that you are pregnant. Though this statement does hold some truth, its not necessarily accurate. If you are having a healthy pregnancy the CDC recommends that pregnant women get up to 150 minutes of moderate (this means still being able to hold a conversation while exercising) aerobic exercise per week. That’s 30 minutes each day. So for the newbie exerciser, you can and should, start slow! Maybe its only a 5-minute walk every day, but it’s something; you’re moving, and that’s the point! Eventually you can increase your time, and slowly work it up to 30 minutes, or a time frame you feel comfortable with. On the other hand, if you’re a veteran to the exercise world, you can keep doing the same workouts upon doctor’s approval!
There are a few things that change during pregnancy that can affect your exercise that are very important be aware of. The first thing I noticed was my breathing. If anyone
knows me or has seen me workout, you know I love my cardio just as much as I love lifting weights. Let me get a run in and I’ll be a happy camper! But a couple weeks after finding out I was pregnant I realized I was wheezing like I used to when I first began running…not cool. I’ve worked very hard at this whole running thing (I used to HATE running), and now I feel like I’m back at square one. With pregnancy, your need for oxygen increases, so feeling short of breath is normal; which is why it is important to make sure you’re still able to hold a conversation while doing cardio, and again, always check with your doctor. There are a few other changes and precautions to take while you’re pregnant that I recommend reading up on and discussing with your doctor.
Exercise is GREAT! In any way, shape, or form, and as a trainer; I am just happy if
you’re getting up and moving! The same goes for pregnancy. However, there is a common misconception that pregnancy is like a disease and your life will no longer be the same from that moment on. I mean, to a point it won’t, you’ve got another life you’re now responsible for! But this amazing, life-changing, tiny human will benefit much more from you being active, not from giving up your exercise and health. You should be more afraid of living a sedentary lifestyle and the negative effects it has on your health vs. going out for a 20-30- minute walk.
Personally, exercise is my stress reliever and going a day without it really isn’t an
option. Of course, if I was told - by my doctor - to scale it back or rest all together, I would certainly listen. I also listen to my body, and if anything feels different or just not right, I stop, and I change what I am doing. Knowing your body and understanding your limits will allow you to safely workout.
But for now, I’m healthy, my baby is healthy, and I am going to continue to improve our lives with exercise! I hope that if you are pregnant, or you plan to become pregnant that this helps you see the benefits that come with exercise and encourages you to get out there and stay active!
If you wanted to read more about this topic and see
where I get my information visit the link below!
Are you interested in training with Annie?
She is currently accepting new online clients!
Click below to get started today!
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!