Preparing For A Wyoming Antelope Hunt: Part 2
Part 2: Physical Conditioning –
When it comes to preparing for a Wyoming antelope hunt, or any western, big game hunt, our guides have two clear recommendations: shooting practice and physical conditioning. In a previous article, we covered shooting. This time, we’ll take a look at some of our guides’ top tips when in comes to getting in shape for the big hunt.
First, why is conditioning important? Because when it comes to open country antelope hunting, you can be the best spotter, the best field judge, a great marksman and have the best gear. But if you can’t get to where the animals are quickly enough for an ethical shot, none of it matters.
Being able to move across large distances through varying terrain can be very important. Can a guy who is out of shape do it? Sure, we can usually make it happen. But will the experience be more enjoyable if that same guy is in better shape? Absolutely! Simply put, the better shape you’re in, the more enjoyable the experience will be.
When it comes to getting in shape, time can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you’re trying to cram workouts in the weeks leading up to your hunt, you will have a difficult time, and the experience will be more painful. However, if hunters make an effort to stay in decent shape year round, you won’t have to put yourself through that painful crunch just before the season. Starting well in advance and giving yourself time will help tremendously.
Start by setting goals for yourself that are realistic and attainable. Don’t burn yourself out in the first few weeks. If necessary, get some help at your local gym to come up with a well-rounded exercise plan. A good plan should include a combination of weight lifting and cardiovascular exercises. In your weight lifting, focus primarily on leg strength, as that will be your best asset on a tough hunt.
In addition to exercising at the gym, get out in the field as much as possible. Put on your hunting pack and climb a nearby hill or even stadium stairs. As the season approaches, try these workouts in the actual clothing that you’ll be using on your hunt. If there are any comfort issues, you want to know it well ahead of time.
Find an exercise that you enjoy – whether that’s running, biking, swimming or hiking. Mix it up, and try to keep your workouts from becoming monotonous. Employing a variety of exercises will help work different muscle groups, and it will help you from becoming bored with the routine.
Finally, in the couple of weeks prior to your hunt, work to maintain your level of strength without pushing it too hard. Concentrate on workouts in the gym where you’re less likely to twist an ankle. The last thing you want is an injury just before the hunt. Weight lifting machines to keep up your leg strength and easy jogging can be ideal.
Have confidence in your ability to stalk or quickly move into position for a shot. Being in good physical condition can be the difference between a good hunt and a great hunt.
Keep your eye out for our next article on preparing for a Wyoming Antelope Hunt: Gear and Packing Tips. In the meantime, check out huntwyo.com for more information on antelope hunts, elk hunts, mule deer hunts and more with SNS Outfitters & Guides!