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Author Topic: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?  (Read 13011 times)

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2017, 10:26:21 AM »
You are a smart guy, I remember walking up to my first (and only) bull and wondering why the elk turned into a horse.  That said, it comes apart the exact same way and I had really no problem taking it apart myself.  Yes, the quarters are larger and heavier, but it is entirely doable.  You just have more trips to the truck, 5ish instead of 2ish for a deer on your back.
im not trying to get into pissing match, merely trying to show a difference in the training, based on the hunts. the reason some people might be training with 100lbs, is because 5 trips for 1 bull in not feasible. the last bull i packed out, 5 trips would have been over 80 miles. 40 of those under load.

Walking 80 miles with 40 under load seems more feasible then walking 8 miles with 300-380 pounds of meat,gear,and horns on my back

Hope I'm not coming off as sarcastic, I know you guys train hard to get back in there but what's your plan when a big bull hits the ground ? Some of my bigger bulls have had around 300 pounds of meat on em and another 20-50 of horns depending on if I wanted to keep the skull on.....then add in your general gear...lets not even think about a cape ! So 400 pounds to be packed out.....how do you do it ? Even @ 100 pound loads that's 4 trips under weight...so 8 miles in your looking at 32 miles under a 100 pound load

Even with a couple guys we've always made multiple trips doing a leap frog technique as the terrain isn't conducive super heavy loads, usually once to a trail or road it's horses or mtn bikes

Again hope this doesn't come off as sarcastic, just curious at another perspective

I'm not going to say one thing or another on how much meat comes off a typical bull elk...but THIS elk FTF is talking about had 225 lbs of boned out meat. We did it in two trips. This was verified with a luggage scale at the TH.

And here's a realistic moment and a testament to why it's important to train with higher weights IMO. We trained with 100+ during the offseason, loaded up the first load to what we felt was close to 80-85 and they ended up being like 60...

And we were smoked.

Train how you feel comfortable, but IMO push your body to its limit.

My favorite quote that I found this year really speaks volumes on this topic, and it's been a driving point for me this year.

"If Misery doesn't find you in the preparation, it will find you on the Mountain."

Good luck, train hard, and slay em.




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Offline kentrek

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2017, 03:54:55 PM »
That sounds about rite for a couple guys and that much meat....60 pounds is a good weight in the mtns  :tup: 

Arnt ya glad ya had a partner ! 

Offline ballstothewaal

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2017, 04:42:34 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that the human body has an amazing ability to adapt itself. Keeping this in mind, make sure you have a variety in your fitness plan. More built for power? focus on endurance first. Change up your workouts where you are running some days but hiking others. change up the weight and surface. Adjust variables constantly to get more out of your workout sessions.

Offline buglebrush

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2017, 06:30:31 PM »
Congratulations on losing all that weight! Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your elk body.

Mental toughness is definitely something that is trained. The only problem is that it is trained during season.

As far as physical, you seem to be at a point in your training where you shouldn't be doing any hikes without weight. Start light if you must but work towards 80 pounds or more.

I'd also recommend weening off the treadmill and start going on runs. Push yourself further and further.

Good luck!


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I sure wouldn't train with 80#'s unless you're just walking smooth easy stuff.  No reason to risk injury before season ever comes.   Just put 25#'s of hunting gear in, and do lots of off trail hiking in steep country.  Training is about building your self confidence so you have that mental strength that you can do it.
:yike:  Train as you hunt!  Silk's advice is what I would follow.  You WILL be faced with a 100lb ruck at some point (or a LOT more loads).  Training with 60-80lbs is totally normal.  Just don't do it on hardtop pavement - That WILL kill your joints.

25 lbs is what he was walking around with for body weight 6 months ago.

50 lb bag of sand is really not that hard after a time or two.

As far as injury goes, not sure how humping 80 lbs of sand on a trail is going to be a cause for injury concern anymore them playing basketball or jogging in a busy area would be.

Once you get accustomed to that I would increase weight further. Of course, a solid pack frame/bag helps in these endeavors. I wouldn't be doing it with a Jansport! 😂

But I can't support the idea of NOT training with heavy weight...doesn't compute with me...


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Not training with weight is what will lead to injuries - not the other way around.
Believe what you want, but I'm not going off trail with 80#'s until I have to.  I'm going to get in better shape bushwhacking with 25#'s than trail hiking with 80#'s.  May be different somewhere less thick and nasty, but climbing over deadfall with 80#'s is asking for injury.

Offline Jpmiller

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2017, 07:12:26 PM »
The only thing I have to add is my elk hunting usually involves off trail hiking. Walking your own route through the woods is alot different than a logging road or a trail especially with a pack so I would venture out under load at least a couple of times before season.

This is a good reminder for me too. I think Ive finally reached the point I need to get "back" in shape as well.

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2017, 07:39:53 PM »
I think Ive finally reached the point I need to get "back" in shape as well.

Yeah I agree with you on this one

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #51 on: June 21, 2017, 09:00:30 PM »
The Shuttle pack is a lifesaver for us older guys.   Take a load a half mile, drop and go get another load and take it a mile, drop and go get previous load and take it a mile.  Gives you time to recover without sitting.  Two guys can move a lotta meat this way.  We Count on Two shuttle trips with two guys for a big bull or one for two guys for a typical bull.


Offline pd

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2017, 09:52:36 PM »
At 31 years old, do what you're doing by getting your weight down & a moderate full body work out program,. You don't need to do anything superman style for your age, you have youth in your corner. At 50 years old & older you would require a different program & mindset. Do not over think it, you will do fine with a moderate workout & weight control!

  ElkNut1

Words of wisdom from Yoda himself.   :yeah:
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Offline Cab

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2017, 08:20:36 AM »
WOW I had no idea this topic would spark so much conversation but I'm glad to see so many people sharing great tips and information.This week with my pack on and another 20lbs inside it I have been keeping up my routine but added squats and planks. I went from struggling to keep my normal pace with 7-10% grade to not dropping below 11% and able to finish strong. I have keep up my healthy eating and haven't felt this good in years(sleeping better, twice as much energy during the day and feeling stronger overall). Thanks for all the motivation guys and keep the tips coming!  :tup:

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2017, 08:37:29 AM »
Keep it up!  You're doing great! :tup:

Offline Luckyone

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2017, 01:17:24 PM »
 If I was you I'd start adding at least 40oz. You your pack and make sure you take the time to drink it!!!!! Gotta enjoy the process...

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2017, 01:44:41 PM »
If I was you I'd start adding at least 40oz. You your pack and make sure you take the time to drink it!!!!! Gotta enjoy the process...

Your weight to alcohol percentage sucks if you're packing 40s. Plus glass is heavy.

Stick to bags of wine or repackaged whiskey!


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Offline Rainier10

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #57 on: June 22, 2017, 01:48:58 PM »
The one thing that I have found as I have gotten older is you have to fuel the body.  I drink fluids and snack all day when I am hunting ,two bottles of vitamin water, two halo oranges, apple slices, peanuts, cheese, beef jerky and a baked chicken breast go in my pack each morning and are gone by the time I make it back to the truck where I have more food ready and another bottle of vitamin water.  I have really noticed that it helps with muscle fatigue if I stay fueled up all day.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #58 on: June 22, 2017, 02:14:23 PM »
The one thing that I have found as I have gotten older is you have to fuel the body.  I drink fluids and snack all day when I am hunting ,two bottles of vitamin water, two halo oranges, apple slices, peanuts, cheese, beef jerky and a baked chicken breast go in my pack each morning and are gone by the time I make it back to the truck where I have more food ready and another bottle of vitamin water.  I have really noticed that it helps with muscle fatigue if I stay fueled up all day.

I agree. Buddies as well as my old man give me a hard time in the morning when I am filling my pack full of food. I eat often at home so my body is used to it and it helps provide me a consistent source of energy. With that said, eating the RIGHT kind of snacks also in very important.
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline Rainier10

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #59 on: June 22, 2017, 02:53:44 PM »
The one thing that I have found as I have gotten older is you have to fuel the body.  I drink fluids and snack all day when I am hunting ,two bottles of vitamin water, two halo oranges, apple slices, peanuts, cheese, beef jerky and a baked chicken breast go in my pack each morning and are gone by the time I make it back to the truck where I have more food ready and another bottle of vitamin water.  I have really noticed that it helps with muscle fatigue if I stay fueled up all day.

I agree. Buddies as well as my old man give me a hard time in the morning when I am filling my pack full of food. I eat often at home so my body is used to it and it helps provide me a consistent source of energy. With that said, eating the RIGHT kind of snacks also in very important.
For sure.  I hit a wall in my early 30's, maybe 32, and thought there is no way I can keep doing this until I am in my 60's.  My father in law was walking away from me going up hills.  Then I figured it out that I couldn't get by on youth alone anymore and started eating smarter, training before the season and hunting smarter.  At 35 I was a rockstar again.  Now approaching 50 there is no doubt in my mind that I will be able to do this into my 60's and hopefully 70's.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.