You don’t have to be Fit To Hunt. There are plenty of hunters out there who don’t watch what they eat, do not exercise and still kill deer. Some smoke, drink a little too much beer at camp and are still able to bring home the groceries. So what is the point of regular exercise and clean eating if there are those out there who are not fit, eating doughnuts for breakfast every day and still having success in the field? It comes down to two things: Longevity and turning yourself into a better outdoorsman.
Let’s start first with what I believe is the obvious; longevity. I plan to hunt in some capacity until I take my last breath but in my travels, I run into more and more folks who have had to quit or severely curtail their outdoor experiences due to physical health. And we aren’t just talking about a lack of physical fitness. Health conditions like coronary heart disease and diabetes can limit or debilitate one to the extent where hunting must be given up. Add in lifestyle choices such as cigarette smoking, excessive drinking, poor nutrition and little to no physical activity and these disease states will be accelerated.
Understand that while you cannot control your genetics you can control the choices you make regarding exercise, nutrition and smoking. And these choices make a difference. There are a lot of folks in their 60’s and 70’s who can outperform folks in their 40’s and 50’s. What they give up in chronological age they make up by keeping their bodies fit and healthy. These will be the men and women who will be walking the trails and killing trophy animals well into their golden years.
Our other point is to take a note from the top predators in the food chain. For example:
♦ A grizzly bear has the strength and power to drag their kills long distances and can run up to 30 miles per hour over short distances
♦ Mountain lions are the epitome of strength and stealth using their heavily muscled bodies to take down prey much larger than themselves. In fact, their legs are so powerful they leap up to 30 feet.
♦ Not too many hunters admire the coyote but these predators display amazing endurance and the ability to work together in teams to secure a meal.
Stop and think about this for a moment? Have you ever seen an overweight mountain lion? How about a weak bear? How successful is that coyote without the social structure of the pack? Of course you haven’t because these situations do not exist in nature and if they did, these animals would not survive very long.
Being Fit To Hunt isn’t about bodybuilding or show; it’s about being able to outlast, outperform and outthink the prey you are hunting. Just like the aforementioned predators. If you are carrying 20-40 extra pounds you can easily glass a mule deer across the valley but will you have the ability to climb the ridge to get in range of a shot? If you aren’t in good physical condition you can still walk the mountain in search of a bugling elk on the first day of your hunt. The next few will be miserable, potentially ruining
the hunt of a lifetime. And you don’t need a lot of strength to shoot a whitetail buck with a 30-06. Field dressing, dragging it out of the woods and butchering your harvest is when the real work begins. No, we can make the argument that in order to become a better hunter, you need to model the physical traits of predators who make a living out of killing their own dinner. So how do you become the predator?
You do it one step at a time.
First, understand that anything you do to improve your physical health and conditioning is a plus. Even a modest weight loss of five to ten pounds means you are lugging less weight around the woods. You move faster, have more energy and can last longer in the field. Are you a heavy smoker? Naturally our wish for you is to quit but going from 1 ½ packs a day down to a few smokes is progress and a step in the right direction (and I don’t care how much scent control you use….the deer can smell you). Does coffee and a greasy sausage biscuit from the local fast food drive thru sound like your typical breakfast (or
perhaps you don’t eat breakfast at all)? Try subbing the fast food breakfast for a Wilderness Athlete Meal Replacement and Recovery Shake 5 days a week. You can keep the coffee and have those biscuits on the weekend . Changing your health, fitness and performance isn’t about BIG scary change. It’s about taking a small step, being consistent and once you have mastered that step, add step #2.
We can even learn a lesson from the coyote. Fit To Hunt’s primary mission is to create a community where outdoorsman can get the info they need to improve their physical performance and a support system to stay motivated to reach their goals. In this example, you can think of the Fit To Hunt Tribe like a pack. We are here to motivate and support your efforts. And as the Tribe grows you will find more outdoorsman all over the country who just like you, are working to improve their performance in the
If you want to take a more aggressive approach you can try one of our hunt specific workout programs such as the Back Country or Bull E-Workouts. If you are brand new to exercise we recommend the base conditioning program that will allow you to build a base level of physical fitness. We can help you piece together a routine that will have you ready for the fall hunts. You can also jump start your nutrition by taking the Wilderness Athlete 28 Day Challenge. This program is designed to help you overhaul your nutrition by providing you a kit of their top nutritional products that will help you lose weight, boost energy and improve your health.
Use promo code: fittohunt to get 5-10% off your order!
What changes will you make to improve your physical fitness and nutrition before season starts? Leave a comment below!