By Shannon Jones and Laura Del Guerra, Take Control Health Coaches
Hunting season is right around the corner, and preparing yourself and your equipment for hunting season increases your chance of success. Dietary indiscretions and inactivity can catch up with you quickly out in the field. Like any athlete, hunters usually have their own pre-season rituals, but here are a few tips to consider before heading out this season:
Get in Shape
- Start getting physically active and increase activity gradually with walking, biking, swimming or hiking. Hiking with a light pack is the best exercise, as it mimics the hunting experience. Walk in public hunting areas, state parks, and state and national forests. Go off-trail, walk up and down steep banks, jump creeks, and push your way through brush.
- Stretching after workouts can be helpful with improving your recovery and helping to prevent injuries.
- If you are stuck inside, run or walk briskly up and down stairs, lift weights, and get the best workout that you can. You can use the local gym, or invest in a pair of dumbbells, stretch band or fitness ball. Find an online workout routine that combines both lower and upper body exercises. com has 10 Great Workout Routines for Western Hunting and Outdoorlife.com has Your 12 Week Plan to Get in Shape for Elk Hunting Season
- There is no better way to start the day then with a protein and fiber. Look for healthy simple ways to include these into your breakfast. If you need ideas, webmd.com has a great article called Healthy Breakfast Ideas and Recipes
- Hydration is especially important, and even when you do not feel thirsty; consume at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water. Consider a Camelback or other hydration device to meet your needs in the field.
- Make sure your hunting equipment is in good condition. Get your gun sighted-in, and practice with it. If you are a bow hunter, this should be a year around activity to keep the muscles used strong and limber.
- Take your binoculars and spotting scopes outside and make sure they are still clear and fog-free. If your eyes have changed over the past year, or you have a different vision prescription, it can drastically change the way things appear through a scope or through sights. Sharpen and oil knives and other metal tools that you will be using when deer hunting.
- Check to make certain that your hunting clothes and boots still fit. Place your hunting boots into a tub of water to make sure they are still waterproof.
- If you rely on an ATV, check or change the oil, check tire pressure, brakes, and make other recommended changes and adjustments.
- Finally, make sure your hunting license is up to date, and all stamps are in proper order. Double check your hunting property for permissions, etc. You should have scouted before season and have these things lined up well ahead of time, but if not get it taken care of as soon as possible.