June 15, 2024

Well October will come and go and November will be here and this is what most of us hunters live for. We have scouted every trail, checked the rub lines, made sure we have stands to hunt no matter what the wind and weather and check our equipment once maybe twice. Or if you are like me you check all the time. But one thing we can not afford to check is ourselves and making sure we are taking care of ourselves.

Has hunters we make sure that we give respect the animal we hunt but we also need to make sure we are respecting our body’s. Making sure we are eating, minding aches and pains and keeping ourselves in tip top condition. A lot of our time in the preseason is spend on sighting in our bows, planting food plots, trimming shooting lanes and hanging stands. Why not spend a little bit of that getting into better cardiovascular shape.

Cardiovascular conditioning will not only help with improving your heart it can also help you control buck fever (Your heart rate can double over its current resting just upon seeing a deer.). It will make dragging that monster out that much easier. You read every year of the hunter who had a heart attack while dragging his kill out of the woods. A study done by Beaumont Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program in 2007 found that many hunting activities sent the men’s heart soaring to peak heart rates achieved during cardiac stress testing. Why put yourself at risk doing something you enjoy without taking the steps to make sure you are prepared. The study also showed hunters heart rates were above max after shooting, gutting and dragging their kill. Sustaining a maximum heart rate for a sustained period places a hunter at higher risk of a heart attack. Don’t allow your passion, hobby or job be a widow maker for your family.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 mins of moderate cardiovascular exercise a week. This can be obtained with sessions lasting as little as 10 mins in length. Gradual progression of time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least risk of injury. People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some cardiovascular activity. Always consult with your Doctor before beginning a new exercise program

We take so much time to prepare for the hunt and to make sure our spot, gear and everything is ready to go we sometimes forget about the most important part Ourselves. Take the time to take care of yourself not only for you but your family and friends. This will lead to more time in the woods and more enjoyment while in the woods. 

Happy Hunting!

Chris Travers
Exercise Physiologist