While most hunters use the summer months to hone their shooting skills and fix up their equipment, I would like to point out one more thing that hunters should do in preparation for season. The general concept of physical activity being beneficial has always been around, but working out and getting in shape can be extremely advantageous for hunters. Short sprints, long stalks, or long hikes up and down hills are never out of the question when pursuing our quarry, so in order to be at our best we need to be in at least decent shape.
I am 100% convinced that college baseball has made me a better hunter, extended periods of running and swimming lead to enhanced cardio strength, which I have found help me in the heat of the moment shots. For example if you have to move in a quick burst to relocate for a shot, when the shot comes you are much more likely to have a steady shot, with controlled breathing if you have prepared for such a scenario. For those archers reading, by doing back and shoulder workouts you increase your upper body strength, this can be beneficial if you feel the need to increase your draw weight. Having just had shoulder surgery, this will be my main focus for the summer. More importantly though, a few stabilization workouts are available that can help steady your shot. Leg strength is important when it comes to stalking, I’m sure at one point or another in the middle of a stalk you noticed that burning sensation in your legs, especially if you were stuck in a crouching position. By working on leg strength you can prepare for those long stalks, and that along with raging adrenaline should be enough to keep your mind on the hunt, instead of the burn in your legs.
In the end, what it really comes down to is the type of hunting you are doing, and how much effort you are willing to put into preparation. For those avid hunters out there, physical preparation can make or break a hunt. I am in no way shape or form saying if you are out of shape that you can’t successfully harvest animals, all I am saying is that preparation such as the above can be beneficial not only for hunting, but more importantly your daily health. I encourage you, if you are able that is, to use these summer months not only practice your shooting and calling etc., but also incorporate some physical activity into your regular routine. Run a few hundred yards and then take a couple shots. The only warning I will give is to start slow! The last thing you want is to mess up shooting form because you pushed yourself a little to hard. With time and without a doubt you will become a better hunter.