Get in Shape for Elk Season

Submitted By Admin Feb .22.2016

It's late spring and we are just wrapping up turkey season, but elk season will be here before you know it. This is a good time to start thinking about getting those legs under you for elk season. I travel across the U.S. giving elk seminars and I always like to stress the importance of being in shape for the season. This is particularly important to hunters that will be traveling from lower elevations and spending time in the mountains.

I have witnessed many hunts that were ruined by a lack of preparation and I'd hate for this to happen to you. Hunting in higher elevations, where there is a lack of oxygen and just the demanding terrain that goes hand in hand with elk hunting, can be overwhelming. Now I’m not saying that you need to be able to run a marathon before heading to the elk woods, but it would sure make the time in the elk woods far more enjoyable. All I ask is that if you are preparing for an elk hunt just be sure that you are in far better shape in September than you were when you were eating Twinkies in February.

Below are a few tips that I stress in my seminars.

•Start Slow-Start Now: Walking will be a huge help and you can start now. Start slow if you haven't exercised and work your way up to 3-5 miles per day. If you already exercise, start finding hills to climb, even the bleachers at the local stadium will work. Building the climbing muscles in your legs will be a huge advantage.

•Start Light-End Heavy: I like to load my pack up with the gear I will be carrying on a daily elk hunt. I make sure that just before my trip, I'm carrying nearly the weight I anticipate having to carry on the hunt. I weigh my rifle and carry hand weights that are about the same weight. Even though I use a sling for my rifle, the shoulder strength really helps in the long run, especially when I'm bow hunting. This will really help you get your legs and back conditioned for elk country.

•Go Early-Get Acclimated: Especially for those hunters coming from lower elevations. There is really no way to simulate the lack of oxygen. Plan to arrive to your hunt a few days early, if possible. This will give your body time to acclimate a bit and help in the coming days. And remember, stay hydrated!

And lastly, we all know that scent elimination is huge in the elk woods, but I have found using Scent-A-Way detergent on my workout clothes works awesome. With most workout clothing being antimicrobial material, I have found Scent-A-Way detergent completely eliminates odors in your clothes. Just a little tip next time your sweaty workout clothes hit the laundry.