Fitness for Hunters
Most people think that hunting is just pointing your rifle at a target and pulling the trigger, but it is in fact a workout as intense as any other sport. Hunting involves walking long distances (tracking your prey), carrying your rifle and other gear/ammo or dragging or carrying the animal. Mentally it requires strategy planning, patience and precision.
Most rifles weigh quite a few kilograms. Carry that rifle for a period of time then it can get heavy and that is not even the extra gear/ammo you are carrying with. You will definitely need strength and endurance. Covering long distances of walking, tracking your prey. Transporting your animal from where it lies to the truck and onto the truck. Post hunting preparation involves more lighter activities but for longer periods of time (skinning, butchering and storing). Good balance, muscle control and precision in movement are essential in a good hunter.
Hunting is a mentally and physically demanding sport. So the question is: Why aren’t hunters training like any other athlete does? Regular exercise will help a hunter have more balance, reflexes and flexibility. You won’t be huffing and puffing and sweating so much. Which won’t leave a heavy scent for your prey to pick up. Mentally you will be happier, be more alert and have more patience.
Strength training is important as it helps with balance and stability. The stronger your muscles, the sturdier they are and the better balance they provide when under stress. If you’ve ever walked through the bush with your hunting gear on your back and your rifle in your hand, you know how having strength, stamina and balance is important in the field. A hunter that is stronger can also more easily, steadily and accurately swing the weapon towards the prey allowing a shot that someone weaker may have missed. Strength training exercises you can either do in the gym or at home. Not sure what to do, consult a certified personal trainer.
Cardiovascular strength is important to keep the heart and lungs strong. Working on your cardio will help you develop the stamina to hike and to chase game. Cardio will help with the endurance and stamina you need for hunting. Cardiovascular exercises like hiking, bicycling, swimming, jogging or walking.
Last but not least and very important aspect: PROPER NUTRITION
Nutrition is your body’s fuel to do the task it needs to do. So provide it with optimal nutrition so that your body can function optimally during your hunting session. If you are not sure where to start, start by evaluating what you are eating and consult a professional if you need help shaping a plan.
So don’t let your fitness be the reason your hunting trip was a daunting experience.