One shot, one kill.
It is a philosophy I adhere to and something I have instilled in my children as they have begun to find success in the outdoors. I abhor wounding an animal. In fact, I believe I not only have a responsibility to the animal but to the image of the outdoorsman to make a clean, ethical kill. One of the primary benefits of physical training is enhancing performance in the field but drilling down even further is the idea of kill efficiency. Here are some thoughts from one of our #FitToHunt clients and a few reasons why training can help you fill more tags.
Hard work beats talent when talent won’t work hard
Some folks are just naturals. Whether with a compound bow or a rifle, I have many friends who are way better shots than me. They work at it, but I notice some have taken their game to the next level by adding exercise to their process. Not bicep curls or triceps extensions but moves like core exercises and shoulder work that provides strength and stability that directly effects accuracy. Take two archers with the same level of talent, but one works to improve shoulder strength and stability. In a head-to-head competition, my money is on the archer who puts in the extra work.
Capitalizing in the moment of truth
Seeing the crosshairs rest firmly on the target vs. bouncing around is a wonderful feeling. Especially in situations when you have a once in a lifetime tag in your pocket. Outdoor writer and #FitToHunt client Erin Merrill knows this feeling well. This summer Erin drew a coveted moose tag in her home state of Maine and began training immediately but in the seconds leading up to harvesting her bull, she was rock solid as she made an off-hand 206-yard shot. Merrill stated “We had seconds to make the shot count. The last thing I wanted to do was miss or worry about holding my gun steady as I aimed. I noticed (and my guide commented on) that when I lifted my rifle, I was solid. I was focused and stable. The work that I put in throughout my training allowed me to think about making a great shot instead of holding my gun still.”
Fatigue impacts focus and that can impact accuracy. Whether weathering 20 mile per hour winds out of the north or weary from hunting multiple days in a row, the hunter who can maintain focus is often the hunter who will fill their tag. Physical training turns into mental strength. Merrill continued, “Throughout the months of training, there were ups and down and days when I didn’t want to do the work, but I did. Keeping the mindset that I needed to push through and dig deeper allowed me to regroup after disappointing days in the woods and focus on accomplishing my ultimate goal of a successful hunt.”
Pulling it all together
We have long maintained one does not have to be physically fit to hunt but in a game of inches, giving yourself every added advantage could be the difference between full freezers or missed opportunities. We have long maintained that all the hours of sweat and hard work in the off-season typically come down to a matter of seconds in the field. How much is the ability to hold your bow at full draw for a few more seconds until the elk clears the brush worth to you?
There are a 101 reasons to get and stay #FitToHunt. As we move into the holiday season, I encourage you to think about your goals for 2022 and what you will do to prepare for your moment of truth. As always, if we can be of service, email us at email@example.com!
Merry Christmas and Stay #FitToHunt!