For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing the pre-hunting season workout KUIU sent out a while back. On weekdays, it’s a 20-minute CrossFit workout designed by Seth Larsen from Cloud Peak Fitness up in Sheridan. It gets you to work all the muscles you’ll use for hiking, carrying a bow or gun, shooting, and packing a critter out of the hills. It looks pretty tame on paper, but once you start doing all the burpees, push-ups, lunges and other exercises, you’ll realize it’s pretty aggressive.
But the Saturday workout is the one I’ve begun to really look forward to. After a week of lifting my hunting pack in the house, I get to take that pack out to the woods and go on a hike. Seth’s workout calls for a 45-minute hike with a 40-pound pack, but I’ve been going a little farther than that each week. We’ve been venturing up to the Pole Mountain area between Cheyenne and Laramie, and we’ve been checking out some new trails. I swap out my hunting pack for my camera pack for these trips – it’s the same weight, but it gives me the ability to take some photos along the way if the opportunity arises.
The beauty of actually getting out in the hills once a week is that I’m exercising at altitude. It’s not quite as high as where I’ll be hunting this fall, but it’s close. I think last weekend, we topped out at about 9,000 feet, so I’m still a bit short of where I’ll be in September, but I’m working my way up to that. Maybe this week I’ll go do my hike in the area I’ll actually be hunting. If you haven’t started getting in shape for hunting season yet, you might want to get crackin’. The antelope season starts in two weeks, and deer and elk will be open a couple weeks later. Do the KUIU workout, hit the gym, or just go get some hikes in. When you’re dragging your elk out of the woods, you’ll be glad you did.