Deer season can be a great test -- a test of your tracking and shooting skills, a test of your patience and understanding of your environment, and a test of your physical mettle. This last one -- physical fitness -- is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be.
After all, you’ve got a lot of ground to cover and burdensome deer-hunting gear to haul, not to mention a deer to drag out if you’re lucky enough to land a big kill.
Here are some workout tactics to get in good shape for hunting season:
- Shooting practice. This may sound obvious, but you’re not really going to have to worry about being in good enough physical shape to drag out a deer if you can’t hit your target once you’re in the field. Challenge yourself by shooting under less-than-optimal conditions to get the most out of your practice.
- Stretching. You may be spending multiple hours in less-than-comfortable positions, so get limbered up and help to prevent injuries by slowly and carefully stretching your muscles after a few minutes of a walking warming up. Need advice on how to stretch properly? Talk to a fitness professional or tune into one of the many stretching tutorials led by professionals on YouTube. Just search “stretching exercises” on the video site.
- Cardio and endurance. Start slow and gradually push yourself is the rule of thumb. Depending on your current level of fitness, this may mean starting your routine by walking on level surfaces. Or it may mean hiking through moderate elevations, or even picking up your pace to a jog or run. Your routine should reflect your abilities, and increase little by little as you work out several times a week, while giving yourself days of rest to recover. Stick with your program. All this will help you make it to your hunt site, make the kill and still have the energy to trek back out to your home base.
- Strength. Follow the same slow-but-steady guideline when building strength. Note that you don’t need a gym membership or weights to get stronger. Doing classic exercises like push-ups, pull-ups and crunches will help you improve a great deal. Once again, you can consult with a fitness pro or check YouTube to find modifications of these exercises to match your fitness level, whether you’re just beginning or advanced.
As you build up your physical fitness, be sure to do a few hiking test runs before the season opens while incorporating your hunting clothes and gear.
And remember, always consult your doctor before starting a workout program, and while training, put safety first, be realistic about your capabilities and listen to your body. This is important to avoid everything from minor injuries to life-threatening issues that could arise from pushing yourself too hard.
You’ve waited all year for hunting season. Be ready for it, and be safe.
Posted by Bass Pro Shops 1Source