Re: 5 Tips For Success In High Country Mule Deer Hunting
Being in shape changes the way you hunt and vastly increases success.
The best way I've found to stay in shape for hunting and backpacking is the Forest Service Pack Test. You carry a 45 lb. pack 3 miles in 45 minutes. It is tough enough that some folks have died trying. It isn't something to start if you're not already in fairly good shape. For years I ran 3 miles each morning and rode my bicycle to work (20 mile round trip) and still suffered the first few days of a hunt. My joints started to hurt with the running, so when the Forest Service came out with the pack test, I decided to try it. The first time I tried it without a pack, and I couldn't walk 4 mph. With my short legs I couldn't get a long enough stride. I finally learned to take short steps, very quickly. As I got older (I'm 57) I found my hips didn't like that stride, so I quit racing and just walk with a 45 lb. pack. A comfortable pace for me is about 2.7 mph. Two years ago we hunted Colorado and backpacked in to hunt. We were climbing 2000 feet every day. Carrying a pack is the best practice for climbing when you don't have hills nearby. This year on an early elk hunt two of us knocked two bulls down 3 miles from the truck in 75 degree weather. Boned out, we made it in three trips, and still felt good.
One last trick. Endurox. It is a magic potion that guarantees a 10% increase in endurance. It takes away the muscle pain and helps build new muscle. I take some with me and drink it like Kool Aid at lunch and again at the end of the day. It works!