Outta shape huntin buddies

VAspeedgoat

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I'm thick into the planning of my first mule deer hunt and was talking to the guys the other night. I was shocked that they were shocked that I planned on being a mile to two mile minimum from the truck before daylight. All three led me to beleive that this would be a shock to their system and maybe they should start excercising. I'm not holding my breath although it would help to slow me down to their pace.

Have any of you guys dealt with this, and how did you handle it. I am half mad about it because I have been telling them how much walking would be involved. Is there a nice way to leave them behind or do I just resolve myself to being a jerk? Any suggestions humorous or serious would be appreciated.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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Give them the expectation for fitness and the terrrain/distances you'll be hiking then let them struggle by themselves if they choose not to prepare. Do NOT let yourself babysit adults and ruin your hunt that you're working hard to make successful. Had a hunting buddy do that once and he missed an opportunity because he was out of shape. The next year he got his ass in excellent shape and we had a great hunt.

Some lessons have to be learned the hard way I guess.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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I think you need to keep on managing their expectations. Make sure they are ok hunting independantly, and if they don't want to walk that far back they don't have to, but if they want a shot at a nicer buck they will need to. You aren't all going to want to be hunting the same specific area anyway. I would caution you about bringing a bunch of guys out who don't participate in the research/planning/education, as they will turn to you for direction.

I have organized alot of hunts that were guy's first taste of hunting out west, and several of them have not returned. What I have realized though, is that it is easy for you to start resenting them if you compromise the way you want to hunt; which is why finding hunting buddies that hunt like you do is so important. I have fallen into the trap of turning into the informal outfitter, and that is not why I am going.

Good luck. I don't mean to scare you, I think the key is managing their expectations, enabling them to hunt for themselves, and you can all have a good time around the fire at night.
 
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Jamen

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When I drew my ND elk tag I was no where in the shape I needed to be in to tackle a hunt like that. I put my mind to it lost some weight and prepared myself for what was in store. Went scouting in July found out I still wasn't in the shape I needed to be in. Come Sept I was prepared enough to tackle the terrain. But I wasn't ready for the 103 degree weather. Those hot days you think it is easier to just stay inside in the AC and not train will separate you from maybe filling your tag. I was not going to let the physical aspect of the hunt hold me back. So if they do not want to put in the time or effort and are mainly "road" hunters I would not feel bad if I left them at the bottom of the hill while id go harvest my animal. Possibly find more dedicated hunters that share the same drive and passion you do. But to not be prepared for a hunt due to being lazy and expect to harvest an animal they will learn and maybe next time not waste their time and money and especially not waste your time and hold you back.
Jamen
 

2rocky

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In your communication with them just share a helpful link.

Now I'll be the first to admit....You can be 30 pounds over weight and still be in hunting shape. Cardio and muscle tone can exist when your BMI is higher than optimum.

Regular hilly hiking (4-5x per Week) will help greatly.

Good luck.
 

Bambistew

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If you're buddies are worried about walking a mile, you should look for new buddies, What happens when you kill something? Do they understand that they have to pack it out?

I've taken a few people hunting before, that have never come again with me. I had more than a few give up after a 1000 vertical and a mile or two. Told them I'd see them at the truck. I don't let it ruin my hunt, and I don't mind hunting alone, actually prefer it in most instances. You can be so much more quiet and less movement is always a good thing.
 

genesis273

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It seems that they're not taking this trip serious. Assuming they are from VA too, and assuming your mule deer hunt will be above 1000', they better start working out now. If they can't walk any further than that now, without being at high altitude with heavy packs, they will not make it then. I learned that first hand as a flatlander, and I worked out constantly for months and still had a hard time.
Don't let them ruin your hunt. Get serious with them now.
 

LCH

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I think a lot of guys think it's like hunting whitetails at home. You might just need to branch off on your own and let the mountains kick their butts.

I have 2 BIL's coming with me for their first western hunt this year, Wyoming antelope. Tags are already paid for, so I know they are serious about it. Shouldn't have to worry about being in mountain shape, but 1 of them asked me the other day if he should bring his climbing stand.. I don't think he knows exactly what to expect :)
 

brownbear932008

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And not sure where you are planning to hunt what state/terrain but a hunt in eastern Montana is totally different than a hunt in western Montana terrain wise. A mile in the mountains can be a tough mile. Matter of fact a lot of areas in eastern Montana have tons of up and down very steep areas, factor in the wet gumbo and too much clothing on and if your not in shape you won't have a good hunt.

If those guys are serious they will get to working out and hiking this summer if they want to have a better trip with better odds of success in the west.
 
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devon deer

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My advice, show them this thread:eek:

As a flat lander myself, in their position i would start right now to start getting fit, but i don't care how fit they get elevation can effect different people in different ways.
1 or 2 miles is nothing at sea level, at altitude it's a whole different ball game.

Cheers

Richard
 

hank4elk

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Another reason I hunt alone.
No babysitting anymore. I like to set my own pace and goals.

If they can't go 4 miles flat,or a mile off a road up.......
 

Mthuntr

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I'm in shape if you count round as a shape. I'm the fat guy in my hunting group but I can get into places that surprises a lot of people. That being said I typically venture on my own so I don't slow too many people down. I can say that I'm good for maybe 3 days of hard mtn hunting but after many miles in the hills, I start to hurt more than someone in good shape will.

Your buddies, if they don't get moving now, will be only good for maybe 2 days and then they'll start to fall apart. Knees will hurt, blisters will form, and hips will give. If they don't start they'll end up as unnecessary camp cooks and won't be able to help you when you drop a moster muley 2 miles from camp.
 

brownbear932008

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I'm in shape if you count round as a shape. I'm the fat guy in my hunting group but I can get into places that surprises a lot of people. That being said I typically venture on my own so I don't slow too many people down. I can say that I'm good for maybe 3 days of hard mtn hunting but after many miles in the hills, I start to hurt more than someone in good shape will.

Your buddies, if they don't get moving now, will be only good for maybe 2 days and then they'll start to fall apart. Knees will hurt, blisters will form, and hips will give. If they don't start they'll end up as unnecessary camp cooks and won't be able to help you when you drop a moster muley 2 miles from camp.


I had a buddy a few years back planned a trip to AK. on a bou hunt walk in off haul road with 5 guys most way out of shape. Needless to say after 2 days it became a camping trip for the guys because they were beat and couldn't hack it. One was lucky and got a small bull. I was really glad I passed on that trip I saw it coming ahead of time.
 

jryoung

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Just tell them they are not worthy.

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Seriously though, do they have perspective of the landscape they will be in? There is plenty of time to prepare, start small, a half hour walk a day, then add some weight, add some distance, add some elevation. Even if they don't get into ideal shape, they'll be glad they got into better shape and might improve upon that in years going forward.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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So, another tactic you might try with them is getting them more involved in the research, getting together throughout the summer to shoot/talk logistics/compare notes on the maps, make a competition out of losing weight, etc. For alot of us the preparation (read eastern flatlanders) is what keeps us tied to the hunt. I cannot get out and walk the hills scouting on a weeknight, but I can shoot my bow/rifle, load up the pack, go to the gym, and it keeps my head in the game. Maybe it will work for your buddies too.

I would be willing to bet that they aren't going to invest much time into getting ready if there only involvement between now and then is putting in an application and packing their bags for the trip. If these are guys are good friends, that you want to go out and have a fun hunt with, and you want to see them be successful, this may help.
 

Jwill

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If they're close by you, get them with packs on and start getting some hiking in during the evenings. You could hit the GWNF or SNP pretty easy right? Their enjoyment of the hunt is likely going to be proportional to how good of shape they're in, a few pounds in a pack and a steep trail will help convince them of that.
 

Mthuntr

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Just make sure you can pack it out on your own;)

Most definitely. I've never actually packed an animal far but a boned out mule deer should turn into a nice, heavy load for one. I still have very little experience with the gutless method to be efficient at it alone. This year I carried my antelope out to my truck whole after gutting it. It was tough to balance but once centered wasn't bad. I discovered my current pack wasn't going to work for elk hunting.
 

sbhooper

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I went to Newfoundland with a guy a few years back that was way out of shape. He had a whole year to prepare and was well aware of the conditions, but still failed to get into shape. He got a dinky moose and almost died in the process. The guides were really frustrated and afraid he would keel over. That tundra is no joke.

He also went on some elk hunts with me and was never in shape. Some people just don't learn.
 

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