10 Great Workout Routines for Western Hunting
April 29, 2014
If I could go anywhere in the world each year to hunt, it would be the Western U.S.
There's beautifully diverse territory as wild and remote as you can handle. There's a ruggedness to the landscape that also brings extreme difficulty. And if you think you can just roll out of bed and stroll through the woods, you are in for a big surprise.
I grew up hunting whitetail in Illinois and remember how shocking my first Colorado elk hunt was. I had been living in Colorado for years, climbed a dozen 14,000-foot mountains and was in great shape. But it was still incredibly hard.
Climbing or traversing terrain where the only trails are made by animals is taxing, to say the least. You have to climb over and under trees, up and down muddy slopes, and through scree fields. Going one mile in the woods out West at elevation is harder than any 5-mile trail hike I have been on in more forgiving environments.
If you're planning a DIY hunt, then everything gets more difficult. You are now responsible for setting up camp, packing out your own game, carrying food, and so on. But even if you are planning a guided hunt, you need to be in much better shape than you think. Ask any guide service and they'll tell you: The odds of success drastically decrease with out of shape clients.
Keep in mind that you're probably going to be at altitude out West. If you are a flat lander coming to hunt at altitude, you need to work on your cardio all that much more. After all, do you want to spend your whole trip grabbing your knees every 20 minutes to catch your breath? Or do you want to enjoy your hunt and cover more ground, giving you a greater chance at success?
In order to make the best of your Western hunt, here are 10 great workout routines to get you in shape.