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Thread: How do you get in shape for elk hunting?

  1. #1

    How do you get in shape for elk hunting?

    I normally start in April/May. 25 or 30 lbs in my ruck, hiking a mile or two to start. I have a route that has up and down hills on the equivalent of a gated road. There are several spots that have steep trails/hills heading up off the road so I climb/crawl up them and walk back down through the woods to the road. By the end of summer, I get up to hiking 3-5 times per week with close to 40 lbs in my ruck walking up to three or four miles. How do the other elk hunters get into elk hunting shape?

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  2. #2

    exercise for elk hunting.

    Your exercise routine sounds really good. One thing I make a point to do is ( if you can) I go elk scouting during the months before season, this helps my body get use to the elevation and terrain, I also bike or run to get in shape, but there is nothing like hiking up and down steep hills at high elevations.

  3. #3
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    so far, i've been watching elknut dvds with a bag of popcorn.

    when it gets a little warmer, i'll start working on cardio, but nothing crazy, 1-2 mile jogs 3-4 times a week. strengthening my legs and back seems to make the biggest difference for me. stairs, hiking with a heavy pack, etc.

  4. #4
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    I think you do whatever it takes for you to lose weight. A guy should do whatever works them personally. For me the most important thing is proper diet. As far as exercise I run daily after work, and will mix in biking when warm enough.

    I think it's 90% diet, 10% exercise.

  5. #5
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    You have to get in shape to kill elk?
    Passion for the outdoors is what drives me, but respect for it and all that live there is what makes it live on.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gselkhunter View Post
    You have to get in shape to kill elk?
    My dad guided in the Bob Marshall when he was a pup, years ago and I'm quite positive, he never ran farther than a few feet in his life, or, carried a ruck to get in shape for hunting. When I started hiking to get in shape for hunting, he'd always cock his Stihl hat sideways and say something like "what the hell you hiking fer, you'll get in shape when you pack my bull out".
    Alpine Archery F1 Fireball
    "Sir, left side Sir!" "Are you sure Private Pyle?"
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  7. #7
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    I have been doing the Michael Jackson Wii dance game...go ahead laugh, but it is good cardio, and I know I could kick anyones' behind dancing to Thriller, ha ha. Plus, I ride my mtn bike on a trainer inside as it is cold out and lift weights.
    Colette

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gselkhunter View Post
    You have to get in shape to kill elk?
    Isnt round a shape
    “The credit belongs to the man who's actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who best knows at the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that this place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither.” Teddy R.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JG358 View Post
    Isnt round a shape
    I resemble that remark Jake! Before my knees went bad I played hockey, rock and ice climbed. So who needed to get in shape. Now I eat Ibpro and drink scotch to get in shape If my knees get much worse, Cabelas Big Game Hunter
    Passion for the outdoors is what drives me, but respect for it and all that live there is what makes it live on.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom16 View Post
    My dad guided in the Bob Marshall when he was a pup, years ago and I'm quite positive, he never ran farther than a few feet in his life, or, carried a ruck to get in shape for hunting. When I started hiking to get in shape for hunting, he'd always cock his Stihl hat sideways and say something like "what the hell you hiking fer, you'll get in shape when you pack my bull out".
    I think you may be confusing your dad with mine. lol
    Work hard. Be happy. Annoy a Liberal.
    2012 Bowtech Insanity CPXL (Crackerized!) #61/31" DL (Gold Tip Pro ~ 455 grains @ 290 fps = 86 lbs. KE!)
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  11. #11
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    I start out by eating as much bacon, burgers, apple fritters, pizza, steak, and BBQ pork and ribs as I can all year. I also drink a whole gob of coffee every day. Then I stay pretty active all summer working out in the yard, then I go elk hunting. The only time I run anymore is if something very large and dangerous is chasing me, or I'm chasing it. I played basketball for years and years, but pounding pavement just to pound pavement has always been for the birds IMO. Every time I try to get back into lifting over the past 10 years, something pulls, tears, or breaks. So, I don't really even do much of that anymore. But I guarantee you that I'm in better shape than 99% of the rest of the hunters out there.
    2006 LH Bowtech Old Glory 70#, 32 1/2" draw, back to the Hostage rest, SH 7-pin Hunter, 500gr TR Crush 300 @ 285fps.
    2007 LH Bowtech Commander 60#, 32" draw, Limbdriver rest, BG 5-pin Flashpoint.
    2014 PSE Freak SP 70#, 32" draw, not set up yet.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gselkhunter View Post
    I resemble that remark Jake!
    Me to But I'm not gonna let that get in the way of chasing elk.
    I normally do ok as long as I'm not trying to keep up with Mike.
    “The credit belongs to the man who's actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who best knows at the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that this place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither.” Teddy R.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by 5MilesBack View Post
    I start out by eating as much bacon, burgers, apple fritters, pizza, steak, and BBQ pork and ribs as I can all year. I also drink a whole gob of coffee every day. Then I stay pretty active all summer working out in the yard, then I go elk hunting. The only time I run anymore is if something very large and dangerous is chasing me, or I'm chasing it. I played basketball for years and years, but pounding pavement just to pound pavement has always been for the birds IMO. Every time I try to get back into lifting over the past 10 years, something pulls, tears, or breaks. So, I don't really even do much of that anymore. But I guarantee you that I'm in better shape than 99% of the rest of the hunters out there.
    I can't believe it! Somehow, you've stolen my super secret summer get-in-shape for hunting diet, down to the exact food groups. I'm heading to the patent office right now to get my summer eating plan registered. If you know about the twice per week, cold beer consumption on the riding lawnmower on a hot summer day workout, I know you've been spying on me.
    Alpine Archery F1 Fireball
    "Sir, left side Sir!" "Are you sure Private Pyle?"
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    Zumba

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom16 View Post
    If you know about the twice per week, cold beer consumption on the riding lawnmower on a hot summer day workout, I know you've been spying on me.
    Oh, I know about it. I just don't subscribe to it.

    I don't drink and I actually push my lawnmower up and down the hills in my yard. My wife tried it one time.......I thought she was going to die. And she does P90X everyday and runs several times a week.

    MMMM....I just finished two Culver's doubles with swiss. That should keep me going until 3 or so.
    2006 LH Bowtech Old Glory 70#, 32 1/2" draw, back to the Hostage rest, SH 7-pin Hunter, 500gr TR Crush 300 @ 285fps.
    2007 LH Bowtech Commander 60#, 32" draw, Limbdriver rest, BG 5-pin Flashpoint.
    2014 PSE Freak SP 70#, 32" draw, not set up yet.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom16 View Post
    I normally start in April/May. 25 or 30 lbs in my ruck, hiking a mile or two to start. I have a route that has up and down hills on the equivalent of a gated road. There are several spots that have steep trails/hills heading up off the road so I climb/crawl up them and walk back down through the woods to the road. By the end of summer, I get up to hiking 3-5 times per week with close to 40 lbs in my ruck walking up to three or four miles. How do the other elk hunters get into elk hunting shape?
    I don't go crazy by any means. I start getting into "backpacking" shape in May. I start just like you with a 25-30 lb. pack and walk 2.1 miles around my hilly neighborhood, 5 days a week (as fast as I can walk). I always make sure to stretch (especially in the beginning thanks to some seriously tight muscles and tendons). Once I have done that for a few weeks (and my feet and legs are back in reasonable shape) I will increase my pack weight up to 50-60 lbs. and alternate days. One day I will run, the next I carry the pack (normally run two days a week and carry the pack three). For the months of July and August I get my pack weight up to 80 lbs. so that my 50 lbs. or less backpack feels like "nothing" for the hunt.

    I don't go crazy looking for steep country or elevation while training. I never get sick at the altitude we hunt at (6-8k) so there no need for me. I feel like working out before the season is more about strengthening your feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders, joints, etc. The idea for me is that I don't want to be sore at all in the backcountry (you can't help but get worn down mentally and tired, but that's 90% mental). If you are in pain, it makes hunting day-in-and-day-out much less enjoyable. I could care less about running marathons or having the best conditioning. I don't run while I'm hunting and I try to keep my heart rate down as much as possible and exert as little energy as possible in the backcountry. After doing my routine for the last 4-5 years I have found that my body feels basically the same at the end of the hunt as it does at the beginning. Mentally, I'm ready for that hotel room, shower, steak and beer. But physically, I could hunt another 10 days.

    I also play hockey 1-2 times a week but that doesn't seem to help a whole lot.

    My dad works in the woods and due to his "permanent" hockey injuries to his knees and hips, he cannot work out in preparation in the same way that I do. He carries a 20 lb. pack everyday when he walks miles through the woods doing his job and plays hockey (even though he shouldn't) and this seems to keep him pretty strong. He's very beat down physically after a 10 day hunt but he just sucks up the pain and keeps hunting. I know some day I will be in his position and I hope I have the toughness he possesses.
    Work hard. Be happy. Annoy a Liberal.
    2012 Bowtech Insanity CPXL (Crackerized!) #61/31" DL (Gold Tip Pro ~ 455 grains @ 290 fps = 86 lbs. KE!)
    University of Washington; Foster School of Business Alum

  17. #17
    Best way to get in elk hunting shape is to not get out of shape. Year around for me. Lifting and cardio, besides the normal scouting, shed hunting, camping, etc.

  18. #18
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    guess i better start excercising before i wake up one day and feel old
    "The Arrow is everything"
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by trophyhill View Post
    guess i better start excercising before i wake up one day and feel old
    I woke up this morning and do feel old. These drizzly WA winters sure take a tole on my physical fitness I might just jump into SLIM9300's ruck for summer training.. now that's a workout!
    Alpine Archery F1 Fireball
    "Sir, left side Sir!" "Are you sure Private Pyle?"
    Elknut Field Staff

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom16 View Post
    I woke up this morning and do feel old. These drizzly WA winters sure take a tole on my physical fitness I might just jump into SLIM9300's ruck for summer training.. now that's a workout!
    lmao
    "The Arrow is everything"
    "Never Give Up........Ever"
    "I Call, They Come, I Kill Them" Gregg Stevens
    "Not all Elk Encounters are Created Equal" Paul Medel aka ElkNut1
    "The Rockies are no place to find out you are not in shape" Trophyhill

  21. #21
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    I don't do anything special. I just stay active at 11,000 feet regularly. Fishing, camping, shed hunting and the like.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom16 View Post
    I woke up this morning and do feel old. These drizzly WA winters sure take a tole on my physical fitness I might just jump into SLIM9300's ruck for summer training.. now that's a workout!
    i know what ya mean. i shouldn't be talkin like that i shot my bow about 4 weeks ago and strained some muscles in both shoulders and collar bones. yesterday was the first time i shot it in about a month. it isn't pain free yet but gettin better. we aint gettin any younger.
    "The Arrow is everything"
    "Never Give Up........Ever"
    "I Call, They Come, I Kill Them" Gregg Stevens
    "Not all Elk Encounters are Created Equal" Paul Medel aka ElkNut1
    "The Rockies are no place to find out you are not in shape" Trophyhill

  23. #23
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    I run all the time and have all my life. I grew up playing 3 sports so was running in practice year round and after I got out of school I just kept running as it was just what i did. I don't do marathon runs but do 2 to 3 miles 3 to 5 times a week and then during the summer add in running the bleachers at the high school. I actually like to run and I think it has helped me. I'm 53 and have never had any health problems other than a couple sore throats and very few colds over my entire life. Plus when elk season comes around I don't have a big problem going where I want or need to go

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gselkhunter View Post
    You have to get in shape to kill elk?
    I hope not!

    Quote Originally Posted by JG358 View Post
    Isnt round a shape
    YES!

    Quote Originally Posted by gselkhunter View Post
    Cabelas Big Game Hunter
    May be the only way for me to get an elk....

    Quote Originally Posted by JG358 View Post
    Me to But I'm not gonna let that get in the way of chasing elk.
    I normally do ok as long as I'm not trying to keep up with Mike.
    I knew you were hunting with me for a reason....



    I started January 1st.
    Slowly changed my diet, added more salads and fruits each day. Mid January started cutting carbs down and joined a gym. Started working out 3-4 days a week.
    Workouts started out 300-400 calories, plus 10-15 minutes of weightlifting until the soreness went away.
    When I started out I could barely do 5 minutes on stairclimber and and could not run do to previous injuries from last season.
    After a couple weeks increased workouts to 800 calories, and increased weightlifting to 25-30 minutes. At this point I started running for the first time in over 8 months.
    Held this for two weeks before getting sick.
    Lost a couple workouts to being sick, but trying to get back on track. hit the gym tonight but was weak.
    Only cranked out 500 calories.
    Stair climber for 12 minutes, then running intervals 120 second splits of 3.0 mph and then 5.0 mph for 20 minutes, finish on elliptical.

    Have planned on holding workouts to 3 days per week to avoid burnout until I get into mid May.
    I will work back up to a 1.5-2.0 mile run,30 minutes on stairclimber without stopping, 20-30 minutes on elliptical and then lift weights for about 30 minutes.
    Then, I'll go hunt mulies before elk!
    To enter the woods in pursuit of a wild animal, brings my soul alive, It renews the energy within and brings a peace to my life.
    It puts things in perspective, it gives value to life, and perseverance through difficulties.
    It gives me an understanding of what makes me tick!

  25. #25
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    I caved...Chuck Norris talked me into the Total Gym! In all honesty, 4 weeks now and my torn rotator cuff is almost a non issue!
    DXT & Switchback...28"/ 72lbs..FMJ's 340..100gr Nap Hellrazors

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