Hunting takes a lot of preparation and if you want to be successful there are things you can be doing year-round to help when fall finally arrives. You may be wondering, well its now mid July, what can I possibly do to prepare now? The food plots are in, tree stands are set, and the Cuddebacks are out? Well there’s another big part of the equation that could probably use a little work, and that’s YOU!
There are two very important things that every hunter should have on their year round to do list, stay in shape and practice shooting!
Hunting is just like anything else, the more you are willing to put in, the more you will get back. This is true with both practicing, and staying in shape so why kill two birds with one stone?
Sure, when it comes to practicing any kind of shooting is good. But think of the real world situation and how you will be feeling once you finally get to full draw. Probably sweaty, out of breath, and shaking like a leaf! I don’t know what you can do about the last, but I try to make the sweaty and out of breathe a reality when I practice.
We’re all short on time, so why not combine the two and get even better results in half the time. I start by spending at least 15 minutes stretching. Many people think stretching is a waste of time, but you want your muscles flexible to prevent injuries while hunting. Do not skip this step!
Once I’ve stretched, I usually go for a 2-mile run up and down the hills near my home. After the jog, I grab my bow and shoot around 50 arrows at my target placed 40-60 yards out. I prefer shooting longer distances as a rule, because once I am confident at 60-yards, 20 seems like a piece of cake.
Shooting while you’re tired is important; in fact it’s very similar to basketball. I was never taught to practice free throws when you enter the gym; instead you shoot them at the end when you’re dead tired. This is the real world simulation as to how it would be the last two minutes of the game during crunch time. Hunting is no different. You’ve waited all year for this hunt. You’ve climbed half way up the mountain and finally you’re at full draw, all your practice will now pay off. Your instincts will take over, your breathing will calm, and your arrow will hit its mark. Isn’t that the way you want your big hunt to play out this fall?
Not only will the workout make you a better real world shooter it will also make your hunt a much more enjoyable experience. Here are five reasons getting in shape for hunting season will help and shape your hunt this fall.
#1. If you’re hunting public land you will be able to get in further than other out of shape hunters, giving you a better chance at success.
#2. You will have a more enjoyable hunt and not be gasping for air and desperately hoping for a break every five minutes.
#3. Being in shape on a guided hunt will help you significantly because the guides will make their plan according to where the game is, not by where you can or can’t get to.
#4. Increase your percentage on making a good shot, because you will be less out of breath and already practiced in this situation.
#5. By being in shape you will have more energy on your hunts and in your everyday life. In fact, it may help you live longer to enjoy more hunts in the future!! Not such a bad of a deal after all…