The rut is here and all the work you have put in since last deer season is about to pay off! 

If you have followed #FitToHunt you will know we call this time of year “In-Season.” For whitetail hunters, this is our world series, and it can be a grind.  You should be in the woods more than the gym, but the next four weeks will be INTENSE!  Here are four tips to keep you on top of your game as you seek to tag your target buck!

Shoulder Work

You cannot be in a deer stand and the gym at the same time.  Additionally, many bow hunters complain about shoulder pain.  Especially as they wander into their late 30’s.  The archer’s stability hold is a great exercise to improve shoulder strength, stability and improve accuracy.  And it is simple.  Take a resistance band and a light weight plate (about the weight of your bow or slightly heavier) and run the band through the plate.  Grip the band in your bow arm so the plate dangles then raise arm while simulating full draw.  Hold 10-30 seconds then repeat on your non-bow arm.  Do 2-3 sets per side.  You can watch the demonstration by Clicking Here.

Sleep

Easier said than done with early morning wakeups and long days in the stand.  You cannot store up sleep and I would argue you cannot catch up, but you can work on getting the best sleep at night and supplemental sleep.  Catch a nap in between hunts whether it be on the couch or in the truck.  Other tips for better sleep include limiting caffeine in the afternoon and putting away your phone an hour before bedtime.  The body can’t perform and focus will wane if you aren’t rested and that can cost you a buck.

Nutrition

We could write an entire article on in-season nutrition.  Deer camp food or hunting food in general can be that of convenience.  You do not have time to meal prep so focus on portable, high-quality fuel to keep you energized and in the stand longer.  Some of our favorites include:

Hunting hungry sucks and the longer you can stay in the stand, the better odds you punch a tag.  Stay fueled!

Get off the couch and run around the block. Grab your Kettlebell and do 50 swings. Get on a bike and ride for time, miles or calories, whatever you feel will get you going. The time of day in which you find the time to do it may not be ideal for you, but do it.

Hydration

At a minimum, have a bottle of water.  Studies prove that even mild dehydration can cause a dip in performance and not being at your best when it is time to draw puts you at a disadvantage.  You don’t need to gulp water throughout your sit.  That will result in more peeing than hunting, but do not let yourself get thirsty.  If you are thirsty, you are already experiencing mild dehydration.  We also suggest keeping a packet or two of Wildness Athlete Hydrate & Recover in your pack.  After several days on the stand, it will help your muscles recover and accelerates hydration.

Focus on these four tactics throughout the rut and I promise you will feel better and feeling good is a big key to a successful hunt.  If you hunt hard like us, you are going to be tired.  All the more reason to use these tactics and focus on strengthening, fueling and recovering like the athlete you are!

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Have a great season and Stay #FitToHunt!