You don’t have to be fit to hunt turkeys, but it sure helps.

Every year we get a lot of commentary about not needing a high level of fitness to kill turkeys and you are right. There is nothing written that says your fitness level can offset scouting, good calling skills, and overall woodsmanship, but what happens when you combine all of those things with being physically fit?

Having high levels of strength, conditioning, and athleticism can:

  • Give you more stealth in the woods
  • Help you to get from point A to B faster to intercept a gobbler
  • Give you more flexibility and mobility to turn with ease when a bird comes in the wrong direction
  • Help you belly crawl or get into position for a shot
  • Help you tote a bird out of the woods with ease
  • Run, gun, and cover more ground to strike up a bird
  • Help you with mental toughness to outlast stubborn toms
  • Help you hunt into your later years

Move More

Start with doing things in the outdoors you enjoy or need to do. Planned exercise is important but if you are very sedentary, it is hard to achieve weight loss goals if you exercise for 30 minutes and then sit the rest of the day, and for turkey hunting, weight loss is a big deal. Not only will you feel better but you will move better in the woods.

Whitetails are dropping antlers so now is a great time to log miles while shed hunting. Another fun activity is doing habit work like timber stand improvement, making fire breaks for controlled burns, and scouting for turkeys. In your daily life, where can you get extra steps? A solid plan starts with moving more and sitting less.

Load Up Your Pack and Go!

Since we started working with the Beast Mode Archery Challenge events, we have fallen in love with the concept of rucking or hiking with a weighted pack. The Beast Mode events train you for elk and mule deer hunting, but the concept of rucking will absolutely increase your fitness level for chasing Eastern and Osceola’s and translate exceptionally well for chasing Rios in Texas Hill Country or Merriams out west.

We suggest weighing your turkey vest and doing two to three hikes per week. You can go for mileage or time. As turkey season gets closer, you can add a few hikes with weight slightly heavier than your vest to create overload. If you have questions on how to design a rucking program, email us at info@stayfittohunt.

The split squat is a move we put in every turkey-specific program

Turkey-Specific Strength Training

I see a lot of smash-and-burn workouts on the Internet; Workouts that are REALLY hard and for most people, not sustainable long-term. The idea of a turkey-specific program is to focus on the movement patterns needed to pursue turkeys and assign exercises that will translate to the field. A high level of fitness will always help boost performance in the woods but if your program is nothing more than box jumps and burpees, you have been fed a smash-and-burn workout that is being called “hunt specific.”

For our personal training clients who chase turkeys, we always include movements such as:

Split Squats: Builds functional, bi-lateral strength and mobility

Bear Crawls: You will have to close the distance to a hung-up bird at some point

KB Deadlift: The foundation for everything in the outdoors

Paul Campbell, host of The Turkey Season podcast and the creator of has lost over 80 pounds using our DIY Base Conditioning, Strutter and now Extreme Strutter programs and the first thing he noticed was the ability to move. Campbell stated, “I was at a point where I could not get up from the base of a tree without rolling to my knees and using the trunk for help. After using these ridiculously affordable programs, I started to laugh at the fact I could just stand up and move. The freedom of movement has greatly impacted my enjoyment in the turkey woods and has allowed me to be a better husband, dad, business owner, and friend.”

With four weeks to go before the early portions of the wild turkey’s range opens, consider picking up one of our hunt-specific DIY Programs.

You can also sign up for our free exercise of the week email and get a new movement to add to your routine every Monday morning!

Either way, the content we create is to help you have more fun in the woods and tag more birds. We hope you will take advantage of our experience.

Upgrading Your Gear

Our new Holler Commerce site allows you to purchase hunting, camping, and fishing gear while helping support #FitToHunt

Here is the most fun part of this blog. Let’s talk gear! I am the type of guy who will wear out gear and after about 25 years, I FINALLY got a new vest last fall for my birthday.  It was time.

At Fit To Hunt we are constantly looking for ways to improve the overall experience of our followers, customers, clients, and community and recently added a new outdoor online store filled with hundreds of different products. You can check out our new Holler Commerce outdoor store by clicking here and the code 10OFF will give you a discount on most products. Check out the line of decoys, calls, and camo, and remember, your purchase helps support the mission of Fit To Hunt!

As the famous quote from Col. Tom Kelly goes, “You don’t hunt turkeys because you want to. You hunt them because you have to.”

Chasing these birds gets in the blood and becomes an obsession. It is our goal to help you have the best experience in the woods this Spring and appreciate you being part of our community.

Thanks for reading and what more can we do for you to get and stay #FitToHunt?