Skip to main content

5 Quick Tips for Getting in Elk Hunting Shape

With the season around the corner, here are some ways to get into elk hunting shape.


Whether you are a beginner or a veteran hunter, there is a lot more that goes into being in shape than most may realize.  Being that you have decided to get out and hunt elk, there are some things that you can do now to make your trip a little bit easier.

RELATED: Pump Up for Rocky Mountain Elk Hunting

View the slideshow for five quick tips to help you get in elk hunting shape.

What have I missed?  What tips would you give to someone wanting to head west to chase elk and be in shape?  Let me know in the comments below.

1. Muscle Building

Photo via Flickr

When you think about it, you are going to be using a variety of different muscles on your hunt.  Back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps, just to name a few.  The ideal workout is going to include hitting all these muscles.  The best thing that I have found is doing a circuit workout with high amounts of repetitions.

Here is a good example of a workout that you can do all with 2 sets and 18-20 repetitions:

  1. Chest press
  2. Pulls ups. Feel free to do assisted pull ups until you can do it without the weight
  3. Shoulder Press
  4. Seated Rows
  5. Bicep Curls
  6. Triceps Press
  7. Leg Press
  8. Leg Extension
  9. Leg Curls

This simple plan will help you to hit all the major muscles groups that you are going to be using on your elk hunt.  It will also help improve your bowhunting shot because you will be able to pull back your bow and hold steady for longer.

2. Running

Photo via Flickr

It is a very good idea as a hunter to be strengthening your overall body for your upcoming elk hunt.

Related: The 6 Best Hiking Spots in the United States

Nothing does this better in my opinion than running or biking, which includes using a treadmill or stationary bike. You want to be ready for the high altitude and long hike that is ahead. As I have learned over making the mistakes myself, each year that I train a little harder the easier the hunt is.

3. Hiking

Photo via Flickr

Nothing is going to help you to better understand the rigors on your body for being in elk hunting shape, then to get out and do some hiking. Where I live in Utah, there are many trails that are nearby that I can go and enjoy.

Not only do you get to enjoy the natural beauty around you, but you also get to know where you are at physically. Were you worn out? Then maybe you need to increase the distance that you run or bike while training. This is also a good time for doing some scouting.

Related: 5 Quick Tips for Scouting Elk

4. Hauling out an Elk

Photo via Flickr

Elk are very big animals. When you think about getting an elk down, that is the easy part. Then comes the difficult part, getting it out from the backcountry area that you were able to find it.

The best thing that I have seen for preparing for this, is first working on your legs. They are going to be vital for this pack out. When you get to the gym or just outside, it is a good idea to load up your favorite hunting pack with some weight. Start out with a little weight and work up.

You can start by walking around your neighborhood, and then you may want to change it to hiking your favorite trail. This will prepare your legs for what is in store.

5. Eating Properly

Photo via Flickr

This is going to be vital. You have probably heard it many times, but you really are what you eat. Making the sacrifices now will bring the reward in the future.

It is not going to guarantee that you will be able to come home with a cooler full of meat, but you will notice that you are feeling better overall. Maybe you start by giving up soda or sweets. Just make sure that you are only attempting to do one thing at a time. Studies have shown that trying to do many things at once often causes people to give up on their goals.

View more hunting slideshows

10 Things You Need to Film Your Hunts

you might also like

5 Quick Tips for Getting in Elk Hunting Shape