Fitness and Hunting

As a western big game hunter I wanted to write a little bit about what fitness means to me related to hunting. Fitness is important, however being able to bench press 400lbs does not do me much good if I cannot hike 5-10 miles a day.

As you all know I am a Pro-Staff member to the TV show Beyond Rubicon. Being “pro-Staff” brings with it some benefits as well as expectations to perform. In order to perform in the field and be successful as a hunter, physical fitness plays a large role. My typical day hunting elk usually entails me hiking an average of 5-10 miles a day in the mountains with a 30-45lb pack. If I am lucky and I harvest an elk, that pack weight jumps up quickly in weight. Hopefully at max I’m looking at a 3-5 mile hike out one way with meat. Typically I am looking at doing this pack out at-least one more time to get all the meat out if I am lucky and have a partner with me to help.

Looking at what an elk hunt looks like for me helps me understand what I need to train for. I need endurance over long distances day in and day out carrying a load. I do not need to be able to bench press 400lbs! Lifting weights is not a bad thing at all, I am not knocking it. I do work on strengthening my core lifting weights while working on endurance too. I like to focus on exercises like dead lifts, squats and other exercises that engage a majority of the muscles in my body. I aim for higher repetitions versus throwing up heavy weights.

Working out is only part of the equation to becoming “fit.” Nutrition is absolutely key in helping my body perform at optimum level and ensure my muscles are getting everything they need. I am working with Redy Nutrients under the Beyond Rubicon team to help me with supplementing my nutrition. Supplements are just that, supplements, and help me ensure I am getting exactly what I need at the right time without consuming extra calories. Supplements can help ensure your body is energized for a workout, providing BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids), to providing proteins that are easily digestible and used by your body right after a workout. Not only can these supplements be used in the gym, but they can be used in the field while hunting!

Fitness is important for hunters, and extremely important to me. We will be posting more on fitness on the Beyond Rubicon Facebook page on our journey in preparation for a Train To Hunt event in Colorado we will be competing in. Please go check out Redy Nutrients for what we believe are top of the line products in nutrition; or otherwise we would not have teamed up with them. Train hard this off-season and we hope to see your successes in fitness lead to successes in the field.

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Early Season Scouting

Elk season is only a little more than 3 months away and I am headed to a unit I have not ever hunted.  With this hunt being in my home state I have no excuse for not scouting the unit.  So my early scouting started with a few friendly conversations with friends who have hunted this unit in the past to have some starting points for myself.  After a few conversations with a few different people I noticed one area that seem to pop up each time, so I knew that was a definite spot I would have to check out.

I headed down to our local sporting goods shop that prints custom maps, on waterproof tear resistant paper.  This map would help show me what roads would lead me into certain areas of the unit.  I would then compare the paper map to what google earth showed me in regards to “two track” roads that were not listed on the map.  Now just because a road is listed or can be seen from google earth does not mean that it is accessible.  With this being said that means that I will have to verify this information with a scouting trip.

So with a few places to go check out down in our hunting unit I set my alarm for 3:30am.  When my alarm went off it felt like my head barely touched the pillow before I needed to get up and get going.  I loaded up in my truck and headed over to pick up my hunting buddy to start our first scouting trip of the year.  It took us about 3 hours to reach our designated elk unit we will be hunting this year.

My thought process for this scouting trip was to focus on access, or lack of access more importantly for me, and potential areas to set up a base camp.  I wanted to find good terrain that was a little harder to get to, by either really rough roads, or no roads at all.  I wasn’t trying to locate the elk this trip because the season is still a little far away to be worried specifically about what quality bulls are in the area.  The reason for me wanting to find more remote areas is because the season opens on a Friday and it is Labor Day weekend.  That means more people will be in the woods more than likely and things should cool off some when some of the hunters who can’t get work off head home.

All in all the scouting trip allowed us to eliminate a few areas for weekends and to focus us in on some other areas the next scouting trip we make.  My plan is to make one scouting trip a month if possible.  Next trip we will head out on foot into the back country to look for some more remote terrain and some potential water holes the elk could use.  If we find some good water holes then I will put up some game cameras to see what is visiting the area.