There are many things a hunter needs to do to be successful in the field which involves “muscle memory” (I explained what that means in Podcast Episode 2, give it a listen) as well as hard work. There are things you can do with your hunting equipment to get ready for the rut so you are prepared before it hits.
When you’re sitting in the stand and its cold and a deer starts to cross your shooting lane lifting and holding that 30.06 to your shoulder while you look through the scope to see if it’s a 10 point buck or just a big doe can seem daunting. Then once you’ve determined it is that 10 point buck you’ve been patterning for the last 10 months you have to hold it to your shoulder for longer trying to line up your shot. That action takes quite a bit of isometric strength. In order to be prepared to hold your hunting rifle to your shoulder for a long period of time knock out some front raises with your rifle. These are quick and easy to do.
Step 1, make sure your rifle is unloaded, does not have live ammunition in its magazine and the weapon is on safe.
Step 2, stand with your feet shoulder width apart holding the weapon with your arms straight in front of you.
Step 3, raise the weapon with your arms straight high enough to block your view in front of you. This should be just beyond parallel with the ground.
Step 4, every 3rd rep hold the weapon with arms extended in front of you for a 5 count. Then bring the weapon back down to the starting position with your arms staying extended.
Complete 3 to 4 sets of this doing 12 reps in each set. Once your rifle becomes too light for you, upgrade to your hunting pack or something around the house a little heavier than your rifle.
Dragging the deer out is always a chore, especially if you hunt in a wooded area where you can’t get an ATV or truck to. Game carts are nice and help a lot but in rugged terrain they become difficult to use. I use a JetSled to drag deer out, it slides over uneven terrain well enough and you don’t have to worry about compromising the hide of the animal.
To prepare to drag out your 12 point buck grab your JetSled, fill it with weights, books or kids and drag it around the backyard. If you can get to a hill that is mostly grassy that works great too. I have an old harness from a weight sled I have in the Tommy Miller Home Gym that I attach to the rope on my sled. This helps so the rope doesn’t dig into your midsection while dragging. If you don’t have an old weight sled laying around your home gym you can pick one up for pretty cheap. Another option is to find an old tire or two and tie a rope around it and drag that around the backyard. Drag your sled the length of your backyard, turn around and drag it back. Start with 2-3 laps and work your way up to 6-12. Yes, your neighbors may look at you funny but when you have them over for that venison meatloaf you harvested they will understand.
Like we talked about during Episode 2 of the podcast the best way to start is by walking and working up from there. Once you’re comfortable walking a mile throw a pack on your back with a few books in it and work up again to that mile. Then incorporate the front raises and sled drags into your hunting prep workouts!
Keep checking back to Celebrateman.com for more workout tips and tricks. If you have any questions or thoughts on working out for the hunting season check out our forum and drop us a note!