Each season I tell myself "___ season" is my favorite game animal to pursue but I really do think it is hard to compare anything to the anticipation and excitement of Spring turkey season. No matter where you hunt, Spring turkey season is magical but I have been blessed to call Missouri, one of the top turkey hunting destinations in the country, home my entire life and I never take for granted just how good hunting in the Show Me State can be.
For the last 10-12 years, a vast majority of my hunting has been on small tracts of land in and around Southern Missouri and for the most part, it has lived up to expectations. My family farm is a prime example of how small tracts can produce awesome hunts. Unfortunately, two years of poor hatches and habitat destruction is taking its toll on the turkey populations on the places I love to hunt the most.
In the 2018 Spring Turkey guide published by the Missouri Department of Conservation, hunters were warned that while Missouri is still a prime destination, hunters may have to work a little harder to fill their tag. 2016 was a very poor hatch; this will result in fewer two year old gobblers. 2017 was not much better for poult production. Mother Nature can be cruel but she can also be forgiving. While we are off to a very cold 2018 season, it remains to be seen what turkey production will be like this year. One to two good seasons and turkey numbers will rebound. The one thing they cannot rebound from is habitat destruction.
According to the National Wild Turkey Federation prime turkey habitat includes:
🍃 Trees for food, daytime resting, escape cover and roost sites
🌱 Grasses that provide food for adults and poults
🐣 Nesting habitat, including developed understory of vegetation and overhead cover
🐛 Brooding habitat that is insect rich and provides cover
Dad’s farm is 100 acres but only has 10-20 acres in timber. The rest is crop land or pasture but the farm has been surrounded by other properties for decades that provided ample nesting habitat and as a result, this small tract of land produced a lot of turkeys. Today this is not the case.
My son and I braved the unseasonably cold elements for this year’s youth season on the family farm and were incredibly disappointed in the lack of turkeys on the property. A two day hunt produced zero gobbling and only one visual turkey sighting. Remember that in year’s past, there were a multitude of birds due to the right habitat components but urban sprawl has played a significant role in the flock’s decline on my parent’s farm.
Within a half mile of our family farm there has been:
🏠 A new home built on 5-7 acres of nesting habitat
🌿 7 acres of nesting habitat converted back into pasture
🔨 10-20 acres of nesting habitat cleared to make way for a new subdivision
There are still plenty of trees for roosting and escape, food and water but a critical component in the reproductive cycle of wild turkeys, nesting habitat, is disappearing due to urban sprawl. And it is not just around our family homestead. Farm land that has been in production for generations is being developed at a rapid pace as more people spread from urban areas to experience country living and who could blame them? The only problem is as more housing developments are created past the city limit signs, more habitats are sacrificed.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to fill a tag. Three jakes came into our set gobbling and in full strut. It was a sight to behold and I was thrilled to experience such an enjoyable hunt. After breakfast, we took a drive to scout potential hunting sites for next week and I was shocked to see homes or new construction on many of the farms that have been so good in the past.
There is no sense complaining about urban sprawl. It is reality and it will force hunters to develop other options. It should also motivate us all, hunters, land owners and conservationists, to take action to ensure the habitat that is left is as good as it can be.
Here are some things you can do to help save wild turkey habitat:
❶ Join the National Wild Turkey Federation:
No, you may not own a farm or hunting property but you can certainly take a stand by belonging to an organization like the NWTF. In fact, you should consider belonging to other organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the Quality Deer Management Association as well. If you value hunting and the outdoors this is an easy action on
❷ Visit your state’s conservation website for tips on how to manage your property:
The Missouri Department of Conservation not only has online resources but will mail residents, free of charge, a complete library of land management resources that benefit all wildlife.
❸ Bring in the pros:
It will cost you, but hiring a professional who can help you manage your farm or recreational property is an excellent way to ensure you are doing the right things to create habitat where both turkeys and other wildlife can thrive. And some states may have programs to provide financial assistance.
❹ Be mindful:
I myself intend to have a cabin on acreage to retire on but trust me when I say careful consideration will be given to when and where my future home will be built. This is my opinion, but I believe most developers do not even consider wildlife habitat when building a new community; they just want to build houses. If you intend to develop land or build a home outside of city limits, be mindful of where you break ground. Anything you do to the landscape will have a ripple effect.
Every time I see a large tract of timber or a sage field bulldozed I get a little sad but I also realize this is a part of life. I plan to do what I can on the properties I hunt, own and manage to provide the best habitat so my kids and their kids can enjoy the sport of turkey hunting for years to come. I would challenge you to do the same.
I had an epiphany the other day. If you know me, you know that it gave me an immediate
headache (just kidding). But it happened during a team workout. I was complaining about flutterkicks, you know, the one where you lay on the ground and hold your legs up and kick them around. Yeah, that one. And this thought crossed my mind, “Good heavens, my legs are HEAVY! I strongly dislike this,” give or take a few choice words not to be mentioned out loud. Although, I'm pretty sure I said a few things out loud because Mike said to me, “You do know you do that to yourself right?” And once he
explained what he meant, it made my mind go into a whirlwind of thought. What type of things do we give up in order to train for something specific?
I'll just start by giving an example of my training goals at the moment. In short, I want to lift weights. Big weights. Weights that truly challenge the structural integrity of my body. We are talking hundreds and hundreds of pounds. Ok, I think you get it. In order to do that, my body has to match my goal. In order to lift big weights, guess what, my body and more specifically my legs have to match. I noticed it most during flutterkicks. My legs have gotten significantly heavier, therefore I have to work a LOT harder to do longer duration exercises like flutterkicks. And here's the thing, I am MORE than willing to give this for that. I may hate flutterkicks and struggle whole heartedly at holding my legs up, but guess what, it means I don't have to struggle so hard at lifting 400 and 500 pounds. Now maybe you see where I'm going with this.
We all (hopefully) go into training with an idea of what we want. For me, strength is king. Always has been. For others, maybe athleticism is more of what they are training for. To be agile and quick. If my goals are to lift as much weight as possible, sure I can add some agility type moves into my workout. Am I going to be great at them? No, probably not. I'm going to have a lot more of me to try and move quickly. But remember, that's not my goal. This could very well be the opposite for someone looking to have the quicker more agile training approach. Gaining large amounts of muscle mass for these people is going to make that type of training more difficult and possibly make them unsuccessful.
Everyone has a different mindset about their training. We approach things differently. But it is ALL fitness. Someone trying to lift hundreds of pounds can easily be looked as as fit. Someone that is training for functionality or athleticism can also be considered fit. The things they are good at, are going to differ quite a bit. And that is where this title came from. This For That. It is something until recently, like 24 hours ago, that I never really considered. And honestly, I think it's something that so many people get caught up in. They want one thing, just to look across the room and want something else, never settling on a path to reach a certain goal. This process can usually lead to people stagnating, or even leaving their path to wellness all together.
When I say give this for that, I don't want you to think that you can't train for something and change your mind about what you want. You most certainly can. It's a matter of finding that one thing you want to train for the most and committing to that plan. That is why nowadays I am OK with struggling at certain things. Some of those things happen to be things that in the past I happened to be good at. I know that those things can help me reach my goal, but I also know that my goal is not to be great at flutterkicks.
My goal is to be great at deadlifting and bench press. My goal is to compete with others that have that same goal. As you figure out what path you want to go down on your wellness journey, stop worrying about those little things that have all of a sudden become a bit more difficult.
Sometimes those things whether thoughts, exercises or skills, aren't crucial to you achieving your goals. The real worrying starts when we sit back and allow ourselves to just become mediocre.
Don't be afraid to give a bit of This For That.
As the final days of cool weather pass and water temperatures warm, visions of lakes, farm ponds, streams and more importantly, the various species of fish that live in them become more frequent in my mind. Now most of you have already read the title and chuckled about the importance of physical fitness when it comes to angling but there are some solid reasons why targeted exercises and workouts may be beneficial. You don’t need to do countless hours of aerobic exercise to catch a smallmouth but adding a few exercises to a daily routine may help you get more out of your excursions this summer.
It takes very little effort to sit in a lawn chair and cast a bait to the bottom of a farm pond (what I intend to do very soon) but for those of you who kayak, canoe or wade, you will be challenged in the field.
Some of the key points of interest include:
🐟 Weak and tight low back muscles can make a fun day on the water miserable
🐟 Walking downstream is not problem; walking upstream can wear a fellow out
🐟 Poor balance can make traversing swift currents or rocky, slick bottoms while wading treacherous
🐟 Weak upper back muscles and rotator cuffs can suck the fun out of fly fishing and make pulling back a bow all day a chore
🐟 And…none of us are getting any younger so slowing down Father Time is a key consideration
Bill Cooper , outdoor writer and host of The Wild at Heart on ESPN 107.3, has been fishing Missouri waters for a long, long time and has personally experienced all of the above. Bill believes “Staying physically fit greatly adds to the enjoyment of fishing and being in the outdoors. Being fit allows you to fish longer, harder and smarter. A common problem among anglers is lower back pain. I had it too many years ago after an injury where a doctor told me I would be in a wheelchair within 5 years. I opted to take control of my life and began a simple exercise of flexing my hips up and down for a few minutes each morning before I get out of bed to strengthen the muscles of my lower back. Almost 40 years later, I am still going strong and a wheelchair is the last thing on my mind.
There are fish to catch.”
You can read about Bill’s adventures by visiting Outside Again Adventures.
So how does one get fit to go fishing? We are so glad you asked!
Start with balance:
Our favorite drill is the single leg stand. To perform a single leg stand you….are you ready for this….you stand on one leg. This can be done in the office, at the gym or while carrying on a conversation about fishing. Simply stand on one leg for 10 to 30 seconds. When you lose balance or have to put your foot down, switch out and repeat on the other side. Perform two to four cycles per day.
Increase your range:
Stretch daily; especially your calves, hamstrings, glutes and low back muscles. The more pliable the better and while it is possible to be too flexible, I have never had this problem in the fishing population. Hold each stretch 10-30 seconds and repeat up to five times. Foam rolling is also incredibly beneficial to keep muscles loose and aid in recovery.
Here is a short video on how to roll hamstrings:
Leg strength and muscular endurance is VERY important for wading streams. Simple movements like squats and leg presses are important but so is lateral movement. Knee problems? No worries. If you work with an experienced fitness coach or personal trainer they will be able to help match the right exercise for you; most of which can be done with little to no equipment. Remember, we aren’t going for world records in weight lifting. We are simply increasing functional strength that translates to the field.
Here are two of our favorites:
Build your core:
A few years ago I went on an all day excursion near Boca Grande, Florida in search of snook and redfish. After a few hours of balancing on the stern of the boat, my low back began to tighten. I was in great shape for dry land by my sea legs needed a little work. One exercise that can be performed anywhere is the bird dog. Perform two to three sets of 10-15 reps every other day and you will see a noticeable difference in your core strength and low back health:
Rotate for stronger casts:
Rotate those rotator cuffs that is! Internal and external rotations are an incredibly simple move that can be done with a small dumbbell or resistance band with handles. It is also a good preventative move that will keep your shoulders healthy and reduce the risk of an injury in the field. Perform two to three sets of 10-20 repetitions every other day.
A routine that can significantly boost your fishing fitness can be as short as 15-20 minutes and if you desire to only pick a few of the areas suggested above it may be less than that.
If we can help you piece together a plan that will help you get more enjoyment on the water this summer contact Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org!
A few points of interest as we begin:
1. I do not, nor ever have, owned a pair of ovaries.
2. This blog will in no way help the majority of readers who follow us and most likely will not aid them in their hunting pursuits.
So why write it?
1. it has been my experience as a personal trainer and coach that there are more women out there suffering from PCOS than let on
2. I know for certain we have followers who are frustrated due their inability to lose weight; a complication of their PCOS.
3. Even though I have admitted to never personally possessing ovaries, I have experience helping people with the condition.
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition where women’s hormones are out of balance and cause problems with…lady processes. It is a cause of infertility and can make it difficult to lose weight, increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes from those who suffer from PCOS.
According to WebMD treatments include exercise, eating health and weight loss.
Ever feel like saying “Duh?”
Weight loss, even ten pounds has been shown to have positive effects on people who have PCOS but the problem lies in the difficulty the condition presents in losing weight; specifically body fat.
We had a deadline and like any good plan, we implemented strategies that included dietary changes and physical exercise but this is the point where unlike many articles, we are going to give you the good stuff. Here we go:
We had a deadline:
Sounds like a no brainer but Susan’s wedding day was the day we needed her to peak. With that in mind, we had approximately 4 ½ to 5 months to get her to her goal. A goal without a deadline is a wish and there would be no wishing here.
She had support:
Susan wasn’t the only one in this relationship who wanted to look good at the wedding. Her fiance’ Francisco (his name isn’t really Francisco but since I know he will read this and I am laughing as I type, we are calling him Francisco) also wanted to lose weight. There is strength in numbers.
We HIIT it hard:
What we learned almost immediately was that breaking down muscle groups and doing moderate intensity cardio was not going to yield results. We had to trick her body into losing body fat. This meant total body workouts with intense intervals. An example of a circuit would look something like this:
We typically programmed 25-30 sets which meant multiple circuits and we always trained total body with high intensity intervals. This boosted heart rate and kept her metabolism burning hot for hours after the session ended.
She pretended she was diabetic:
Susan found a diabetic diet and counted carb choices and total calories in the My Fitness Pal app. She still consumed carbs (whole grains, fruits and veggies) but eliminated junk carbs like breads, buns and simple sugars. If she was consuming a burger she would allot herself a few fries just so she did not feel deprived.
Cardio with purpose:
You cannot train high intensity every session and expect to not break down or burn out mentally but you cannot walk at a pace slower than you would pushing a cart through the grocery store and expect results. Susan’s cardio in between training sessions was set to be moderate to somewhat hard and it could be anything she wanted it to be (jogging, walking, cycling, etc.). She had complete control of her cardio and was instructed to listen to her body. If she was completely gassed from the workout before, stick to moderate intensity. If she felt good, let it rip.
Because both Susan and I knew she would have to work harder and eat cleaner than women who
did not have PCOS, the coaching within the session presented a consistent yet simple message. “Keep your eyes on the prize” which meant stay true to the program and process and using the wedding day countdown as a reminder. We knew she couldn’t keep this pace up forever but anyone can stick to a plan for a limited time. That was the point that was preached over and over; do not break because the end is in sight.
And then we relaxed a little:
The 85% rule states that if you eat clean 85% of the time you can eat whatever you want 15% of the time and it cannot harm you. Truthfully, Susan probably was more 90/10 but in that 10% there was room for cold Bud Light. All foods fit in moderation.
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!
Here we are in February with cold temps and snow on the ground, but we all know the woods will soon be heating up with the lovelorn gobbles of the American wild turkey! For many of us reading this article, it is a sickness. A sickness we are proud to have acquired and while I have never been on the receiving end of a bugling elk on a New Mexico mountainside, I have been point blank with a dominant gobbler as he closes the distance and struts into range. For a Midwest boy like me there is not anything to compare it with. It is just awesome!
As we prepare to move into the turkey woods let me remind you that it is, in fact, the “turkey’s woods.” They live there and know how to use every rolling hill, draw, creek bottom and ridge top to their advantage. Let me also remind you they can see better than you, hear better than you and run faster than you which gives them a distinct advantage in their ability to survive.
High premiums need to be placed on camouflage, stealth and alertness. It is one thing to get into position before the sun comes up. It is something else altogether to run and gun when that gobbler has dug in his spurs and refuses to come to you. Moving quickly yet quietly through the woods is more than an art form; it also requires some physical tools.
Here are three moves you need in your workout program to increase your odds of bagging a bird this spring!
Add these three moves into your workout and you will boost your odds of success this spring!
Looking for a comprehensive workout plan that will have you #FitToHunt and ready for turkey season?
Check out our Strutter Program here: FTH Strutter Workout Program
You can get a complete program complete with six-week exercise plan, videos and a consult from a Fit To Hunt Coach for as little as $19.99!
Get started today! Click here for the FTH Strutter Workout Program!
Before you read too far, there is something I want you to imagine. It's the day before bow season or gun season or shotgun season, or whatever method you prefer, and you are packing everything up.
So excited for a chance to have the season of your dreams you cannot even sleep. And yet you have no idea what the season will hold.
Everything is perfect.
You've eliminated all odors from your favorite camo, sharpened your broad heads, and spent countless hours at the shooting range. Those are all the things that we LOVE to think about the night before the hunt starts. But guess what? There is so much that we don't think about.
When my 2017 season started, I was just like everyone else: PUMPED UP!
I was beyond excited because I finally had places to hunt where I could truly be successful. I set up game cameras that were taking hundreds of pictures a week. And just like everyone else I had a 'hit list', so to speak, of bucks that I would love to harvest. I put in countless hours watching deer movement in person. Tracking the time marks on my game camera pictures and getting more and more excited as the Rut was about to kick in.
As the season went on I started to be successful. I was seeing does and making some great shots to fill the freezer. It was at this moment that although I hadn't seen any of the bucks on my camera, that I set a goal to harvest 2 mature bucks during the 2017 bow season. A feat that I had never even thought of accomplishing before now. And to set this goal in late October seemed to be a big stretch (my wife wasn't too pleased either (it would mean more time in the stand). I studied my cameras harder, I watched the weather on a regular basis and I started formulating plans based on every aspect of hunting that I knew of….and it worked.
On the morning of October 29th , I was getting frustrated because I was seeing no buck movement. It was Pre-Rut, how could the bucks not be on their feet starting to move. Around 9:45 am I decided that my hunt was over. I sent a text to a friend saying I was getting down, I was giving up. I looked up and there he was; the triple brow tine 8 pointer. I only had 1 picture of him. THWACK and 30 seconds later he piled up at 60 yards from my Moon Stand . Little did I know, I wouldn't see another target for quite some time.
I hunted and hunted and hunted some more. I pushed through the Rut without another buck sighting. I started to believe that my goal was silly and unattainable and that I should just give up. I wanted to spend more time duck hunting but I had caught the big buck bug. I couldn't just hang up my bow. I had to push farther. There was 1 specific buck that I was hunting and he had eluded me all season. But, my camera was finally getting pictures of him every day... at 11:30pm. He was in his late season feeding
pattern. However, I realized it meant that he was bedding close by.
Through the season, I made friends with a police officer that hunted not far from me. And he said something that I had never heard before. He said, “Don't go back to hunt, until the deer tell you to.” It took me a moment (I'm kind of slow some at times) but I finally understood what he meant.
Thanksgiving came and went, the Christmas festivities had all died out. Still no day light pictures. Then the cold weather came…BITTER cold weather. And BOOM, he was there. Not in complete day light, but close enough to it that it was time to get back in the tree.
By this point in my bow season, I had had the most success that I've ever had with a bow and arrow. But, I still had a goal to achieve. I had become discouraged that I wouldn't see the deer I was after. I had even become fine with accepting that fact that it wouldn't happen for me. I had essentially accepted that I would fail at achieving my goal. And all of that changed on January 3rd , 2018.
I set up early, again in the bitter cold. But it was silent except for the 12 mile per hour wind. At 3:30pm I saw the buck I was after. He was moving early. Then all of a sudden he flipped around and walked straight away, out of my life forever. Or was it? 2 hours later, daylight was almost gone. I was ready to call it a night when I caught movement from the opposite end of my plot. He had flipped a 180 and was coming straight at me. 30 seconds later I fulfilled my season by arrowing the biggest buck of my career.
The elation that I felt was unlike any other. It lasted for days. I put in countless hours sitting in the heat and the cold to try and connect on this elusive and mature Whitetail. And all it took was letting him tell me when to hunt. I told my wife that this would be my last sit as because I needed to spend more time at home. And that no matter what I would be done with my bow season after ward. What a cap to a great season! The Split G2 9 pointer that haunted my dreams was coming home with me.
Ladies and Gentlemen, 2018 has just started. We all have goals that we want to achieve. Most of these goals will have to do with health and wellness. And the crazy thing is that more than 90% of people that set these goals will give up on them. Most will give up within the first few weeks, some after a couple of months. It seems to happen this way every year. The planning and execution of the plan just doesn't seem to happen for some people. Little do they know that if they would just push that little bit farther, they could truly succeed!
Early in the year, motivation is high. You're excited about achieving something you've never have before. New Year, New You, right?
Think of the day before bow season. You were so excited that you planned EVERYTHING all the way down to how many times you would spray your clothes with you scent elimination spray. Then as weeks go by, and you don't feel that you have anything to show, the planning begins to wane and just like the planning for your New Years resolution, you quit doing the things that made you successful.
You think, “ Well I guess I'll try again next year.” Not realizing that if you would have pushed just a bit farther, you could have had so much more.
Motivation disappears quickly. It's there and then it's not. The discipline to continue comes from a place much deeper inside. How bad do you really want it? If it's easy to give up after just a few weeks of “trying” you really didn't want it that badly. If you did, you'd have it. Find a training partner, a coach or a dietitian and HIT your goals. Don't just write wishes and dreams. Make a plan, and go for it.
My hunting season was successful because I made a goal and didn't quit on it, no matter how cold it got or how few trail camera pictures I captured. Sustainable success requires work….A lot of work.
You have to be willing to put in the time and push forward even when your brain tells you no. I harvested my first buck in October. It took almost 3 months before I even saw another one. Any other year, I would have given up on the cold. But I had a goal to hit. Much like the goals I have for my wellness in 2018, I know that I have to push. I know that 3 months from now getting up at 5 am will still be tough. Perseverance is fleeting. If you work toward something and succeed, you are just touching the surface. Continue to move forward. Don't just have a brush with perseverance. Set yourself up for consistent wins.
Persevere, the mantra of 2018!
If you are looking for help I would love to be your coach.
Email me today and let’s get started prepping for your 2018 season!
If you are like me you will flat wear out your hunting gear and I am not ashamed to admit I still have camo pullovers that still get the job done that I have been wearing since I was 16 years of age. I’m still killing turkeys and ducks with the Remington 870 Wingmaster I received as a birthday present when I was 12 years old and my Muck boots have more rubber cement patches than I can count.
Yes, I will use gear until it literally falls off but doesn’t it feel good to upgrade once in a while? If you say no I will accuse you of lying.
Just this year I watched Fit To Hunt head trainer Nick Lape get all jazzed up opening the box to a new Matthews compound bow and I myself was strutting like I was 5 foot 9 when I was able to upgrade my duck hunting camo.
Upgrades make us feel good.
Which brings me back to my original topic and that is you. How do you feel right now? Are you in good health, do you possess the fitness or performance level that allows you to excel in the field, at work or on the farm? Has the doctor hinted at your need to lose weight? Are you already dealing with disease states like diabetes, cancer, heart disease or other ailments that could rob you of time away from the passions you love?
New Year’s is the time most people get the fire to make a change. Problem is those changes don’t last very long. As a personal trainer and fitness coach for 21 years, I know full well the problems, challenges and barriers that exist preventing you from improving your health. I see the periods of motivation or lack thereof that derail your fitness routines. I can empathize with feelings of being overwhelmed when it comes to learning how to eat healthier.
This is where we step in. Aside from helping build a community of healthy outdoor-loving men, women and children, we also offer services such as:
6- and 12-week hunt-specific workouts
Online coaching and personal training
One-on- one and semi-private personal training (St. Louis only…for now)
We continue to build partnerships with amazing companies such as Wilderness Athlete.
Our method of operation is not to change everything about you like every other diet, weight loss book or system purchased on late night television.
Our method consists of helping you make targeted, strategic upgrades to how and when you move, how and what you eat, how to balance work/life/stress/family, etc. and ultimately will teach you how to get and stay Fit To Hunt.
“I have always felt in dealing with clients, regardless of industry,
You see, like us, you don’t have to upgrade everything there is about who you are and what you do. Just like you probably aren’t going to upgrade your entire arsenal of camouflage, compound bows, shotguns, and rifles all at one time. Why? Because unless you are independently wealthy, you couldn’t afford purchasing all new equipment every year. You can, however, buy some new broad heads here and a new turkey vest there and not break the bank.
Friends, changing health and fitness are a lot like the aforementioned process. When you try to change it all at once, it rarely takes root. This is why taking an upgrade mentality will increase the likelihood your changes will stick.
You might also consider working with one of our Fit To Hunt professionals. Throughout January you can purchase online personal training and fitness coaching for only $99.99 (Normally $149.99)! Through online training you will receive:
Goal setting and nutritional analysis
Four-week personalized exercise plan
Unlimited text/email support
Weekly accountability call
If working with our degreed, certified and experienced coaches isn’t in the cards, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for free content, tips and motivation.
Thanks for being part of our Tribe.
We cannot wait to see all you accomplish!
Stay Fit To Hunt my friends,
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!