Can working out truly make you a better hunter by becoming a “Hunter Athlete?”
A trend that has become extremely popular amongst hunters is becoming a hunter athlete. The social media world of hunting has noticed the emphasis hunters are now putting on their physical conditioning. But does it truly improve one’s ability to pursue their quarry?
There are many voices saying this new craze is just another way for hunters to boast about themselves in the ever-expanding realm of social media. People down talk the need to be in supreme physical condition to hunt high mountain species, let alone whitetail deer. They argue that a person’s will to succeed far out performs their physical condition.
My response to these two arguments is that one doesn’t have to be in great physical shape to complete a marathon either, but it sure does make it more enjoyable. Also, people are going to find ways to brag on social media with or without the added influence of showing off their physical prowess.
However, the question is whether or not being in better physical shape improves your ability to hunt effectively. Here are my reasons why it does.
Stamina is important on backcountry mountain hunts that require long hikes in and long packs out. No one is questioning whether or not being in shape will benefit you in these scenarios. What about the weekend warrior whitetail hunters though? Having great stamina allows you to push your hunts further.
Stamina allows you to walk that extra distance to your stand without becoming sweaty and winded when you arrive and may be just the push you need to not park your truck or quad unnecessarily close to your stand. For those guys that hunt public land and carry their stand in and out this is a no brainer as well, allowing you to extend your reach comfortably and put some distance between you and other hunters. Mental toughness can push you to do the same thing but if your body is prepared you are much more likely to put that extra effort into your hunt without be physically wiped out.
2. Core strength
Core strength is vital when carrying heavy loads on your back for an extended period during hike in hunts. However, core strength also plays a major role in posture when sitting or standing for long periods of time. How many times have you sat on stand for long periods and you’re constantly fidgeting in the stand due to back pain. A strong core will help alleviate some of that discomfort through posture.
3. Mental Toughness
When naysayers talk about the lack of physical conditioning needed to be a great hunter their number one reasoning is being mentally tough. It is true that you can do some amazing things if you set your mind to it. How much more prepared for tough times are you however if you have already put your mind and body through them.
If you’re in great physical shape, chances are you have had to ignore your mind and your body when they are telling you to quit. That’s what it takes to better yourself. So by pushing your body before the moment of truth you already know how to control that urge to quit and what it takes to motivate you to take that next step.
Being in great physical shape may not make you a better hunter, but it will make the physical toll of hunting easier. There are countless benefits to being in shape physically that goes far beyond hunting. Therefore I can’t think of a reason someone wouldn’t want to be a hunter athlete, especially since I can’t think of a better reason to work out. If you want to add a dimension to your hunting ability and get healthier this year, use hunting as an excuse to bust out those old gym clothes and take them for a spin.