Growing up in Oklahoma fitness wasn’t a barrier to entry into hunting. Walking 200 yards and climbing into a tree stand to hunt whitetail isn’t the most physically exerting activity. This begs the question, “So why do I need to be in shape to kill an animal?” In short, in some instances you do not. The answer to this question also comes down to what type of game you are chasing and what type of terrain they call home. The western spot and stalk style of hunting can be ruthless and require immense training months in advance. Crawling on the ground, hiking steep canyons and hills, and putting 10+ miles on the boots per day are all great reasons to be in shape. Some terrain is more physically demanding than others, but nevertheless it never hurts to be in good physical shape. The saying “you get out what you put in” couldn’t be any truer in my experience when it comes to hunting. All your preparation will come down to a single moment in the field, and the question is: “will you be ready?” Regardless of what animal I am chasing, I owe that animal to be at my physical best when I take its’ life. I believe that by working out consistently and using supplements beforehand, these things can be an effective two prong approach to harvesting more animals in an ethical manner.
Using supplements will not take the place of the gym, but they can help. I was extremely interested in how nutrition and energy products as well as physical fitness helps hunters in the field. Resulting from that curiosity I interviewed, Jordan Harbertson, the Co-founder of the outdoor nutrition brand MTN OPS. He gave me some great insight into how supplementation and being physically fit can positively affect your hunting experience. Jordan and I discussed MTN OPS products in depth on The Hunters Advantage Podcast and how they can benefit hunters inside the gym and in the outdoors or “God’s Gym.” One thing to consider when evaluating nutrition and energy products are the needs of hunters and how they differ from the average guy in the gym. Hunters unlike the average gym goer need sustainable energy over several hours instead of an immediate boost like a pre-workout. In the gym you need products that give you energy for less than a couple hours. This typically leads to high levels of caffeine and a considerable crash and jitters. Products like MTN OPS Ignite aim to improve cognitive function and deliver smooth, long lasting energy for up to 20 hours. They do this through blends of Amino acids, L-Citrulline, L-Arginine and proprietary Brain Blend of Nootropics. Jordan explained the benefits of consuming MTN OPS products more in depth on our podcast episode, so if that intrigues you make sure to check it out. There will be moments in the field when you need a considerable boost of energy, like dragging elk quarters out of the back country or hiking steep hills in search of that coveted desert big horn sheep.
Being in good physical shape is only one way that we can be prepared when the moment of opportunity presents itself. Supplements like MTN OPS provide additional energy and nutritional benefits, but they won’t replace the need for hard work in the gym. A great example of a merger between fitness and hunting is Cameron Hanes, a bowhunting athlete that runs ultra-marathons, but loves to chase elk in the back country. His philosophy is “Train Hard, Hunt Easy.” The work that you put in the gym, hiking, running, and etc. will pay dividends when in the field. It will allow you to put yourself deeper into tough terrain where the animals we pursue call home. Just like shooting your bow to prepare for the upcoming season, fitness and using the right supplements is only going to benefit you while in the field. It allows you to stay out longer, go farther and experience more adventures in the great outdoors.
In conclusion, every hunter has different aspirations of game and terrain they want to harvest. Regardless, don’t let fitness be the reason you cannot harvest the animal that you have dreamed of chasing since your childhood. I think MTP OPS puts it best when they say, “Train Inside, Conquer Outside.” I hope you get to pursue all the adventures you have dreamed of in your life, don’t let being out of shape be the defining factor. If you want to learn more about MTN OPS nutrition and energy products you can check it on The Hunters Advantage Podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts and several other platforms. It is also available on our website in The Hunters Advantage Podcast tab.