The success of your hunt may very well depend on your physical & mental preparation and ability. Except for some riverboat / lake and some horseback moose hunts, there are no “easy” or “canned” hunts in this part of Northern British Columbia. Hunting here is the Real McCoy. You only live once and you might as well take care of the one body you have. You’ve likely heard this before, but because it is so important, I’ll repeat it again. You should be doing some type of physical exercise (aerobic and anaerobic) at least 3-4 times/week and more is better. If you really want to burn calories, exercise first thing in the morning and if time allows, once or twice a week, add a workout in the afternoon. Remember to eat healthy and balanced meals. With proper exercise and eating habits, you’ll be healthier, stronger, happier and a better hunter.
The following are things I would suggest depending on you physical ability and age. In order to get aerobic exercise you need to do these for at least 20 minutes straight, each time. I’d recommend 30-60 minutes/time.
- Running or brisk walking – at least 2-3 miles
- Biking (mountain or road bike)
- Organized sports – (Basketball, Hockey, Soccer or Tennis)
- Exercise machines (Stairmaster, Nordic Track, Treadmill, Bike)
- Circuit training w/free weights or universal system
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Aerobic type classes (Tai Bo, step aerobics, etc.) – don’t laugh as you be surprised as to how well this improves agility and coordination and the scenery is usually great
Make sure you hike around town or the local hills with the boots and pack you’ll be wearing on the hunt because if you have sore feet, everything else is secondary.Backpack Hunts
These types of hunts require special preparation in order for it to be comfortable & enjoyable. I’d suggest taking the pack you’ll be using on the hunt and hike with it several times/week. Start with 20 or 30 pounds if you haven’t backpacked before and work your way up, over a 1-2 month period to 45-65 pounds. If you’ve backpacked before you should know the routine. For your backpack hunt, you will need to be in good enough shape to hike with a medium weight pack for up to 8 hours/day. With many breaks of course.
Riding horses is much easier than backpacking, but it uses muscles you probably don’t even know you have. If possible, go to a horse stable and take a few riding lessons if you haven’t ridden before. If you’ve ridden before, put some time in on a horse, starting several weeks before your trip to avoid excessive soreness. Walking and leading your horse, will keep your muscles more limber, and will be easier on the horse. We have good horses but in bad areas it’s best to get off and walk them.