Many sportsmen view the summer as a down time without a large amount of significance to their hunting plans. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. How you conduct yourself this summer will go a long way toward making that hunt of a lifetime a success or a failure.
I can’t stress how important conditioning will be on that big hunt. Whether it be for that big moose or white ram, if you are in premium shape, your chances of success just doubled or tripled. Make no mistake, the mountains of Alaska are challenging and that’s using a gentle term. So what can we do to be ready for them?
Exercise, well that’s an obvious answer, more importantly what type? I lot of people will tell you that going to the gym and running the treadmill or stair machine 3 0r 4 times a week is the answer, but personally I’m not so sure. I’ve prepared for many Alaska adventures and I’ve done it on hard ground and in the gym and somehow I always end up in better shape when I prep in the great outdoors. There’s just a steel that you get in your legs when you work out on God’s green earth as apposed to a machine. I’ve got no better way of explaining it. That’s why the summer is so perfect. The weather is great and you can spend most every day leading up to your hunt either pounding the pavement or the mountainside, whichever you have access too.
What type of exercises work the best? You really don’t have to get that elaborate to get into good hunting shape. The three key areas I’d concentrate on are your legs, your back and your core. You can target two of these with the most important exercise, walking with a pack on. Start out light in July, a pack with 40 pounds on for a mile. By the time September rolls around be accustomed to carrying a 100 pound pack no less than 3 miles non-stop, 3 times a week. You don’t have to work out on the steepest terrain, just some good rolling topography will suffice. The most important thing is to meet that 3 mile 100 pound goal. Your core is pretty simple, crunches work the best for me and you can easily throw in three hundred crunches 3 times a week.
Give yourself two full months before your hunt to get prepared and if you put in the effort it will pay off big when it comes to filling your tags!