Here in Northern California the beautifully diverse territory is as wild and remote as you can handle. There’s a ruggedness to the landscape that also brings extreme difficulty. And if you think you can just roll out of bed and stroll through the woods, you are in for a big surprise.
Climbing or traversing terrain where the only trails are made by animals is exhausting, to say the least. You have to climb over and under trees, up and down muddy slopes, and through marshy fields. Going one mile in the woods out West at elevation is harder than any 5-mile trail hike on flatland.
Keep in mind with your hunts that you’re probably going to be at a higher altitude. If you are a flat lander coming to hunt at altitude, you need to work on your cardio all that much more. After all, do you want to spend your whole trip grabbing your knees every 20 minutes to catch your breath? Or do you want to enjoy your hunt and cover more ground, giving you a greater chance at success?
We haven’t even touched duck hunting yet. Wearing those thick heavy waders, waist/chest deep in thick swampy water, pushing yourself through the tulies while dragging a bag of decoys. This all takes strength, balance, energy and work to be done successfully.
Core strengthening will help with balance and overall strength for packing gear (or animals) on and off the mountain. And endurance training will help with your overall cardio along with hiking from point A to point B (to point C), while ensuring you have enough energy and focus for a successful hunt.
We enjoy distance running as it helps with focus, teaches patience, and ensures the benefits of working hard; these are all characteristics of a good hunter. So what helps what? Does running make us better huntresses or does hunting make us better runners? We’ll just keep combining the two, because as of now it seems to be working.