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Many new hunters ask us, “Is hunting physically demanding?” The simple answer is yes, especially high-altitude hunting.

Hunting is supposed to be challenging. That’s part of the fun. But, it doesn’t need to be so draining that you’re beaten before the end of the first day. You can reduce the toll the hunt takes by getting in shape ahead of time.

Not only will getting in shape make hunting easier for your body, but it also gives you an advantage. Fit hunters can hunt faster, longer, and further than the competition. Stay in the hunt by stepping up your stamina. Get fit for hunting season with these helpful hunting workouts.

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Hunting puts unique demands on your body. It requires the strength and endurance to hike for miles through harsh terrain all day while carrying a heavy pack. You’ll hunt longer if you prepare your body for such a demanding task. Start by creating a training regimen.

Hunting requires both strength and endurance. Include cardio exercises, like running or swimming, in your training. But, also include plenty of strength-building activities. Remember, packing your weapon through the wilderness will require strong muscles throughout your core and legs. And when you finally see that perfect shot, your arms need to have the strength to hold the gun steady or draw the bow. And if you do get the kill, you’ll need the energy to drag it out of the bush. Build up the strength to do it all before hunting season begins.

Check out the quick training guide below for tips on creating a workout routine.

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How do you train for mountain hunting?

Adding mountains to an already demanding task dramatically increases the difficulty.

The inclined surfaces of the mountainside put unusual strain on your legs and joints. Walks both uphill and downhill will require developing strength in some underused muscles. Maintaining your balance on an angled surface while carrying all your gear will too.

Mountain hunting also means you do everything at a high altitude. Higher altitudes have thinner air, making breathing more difficult, especially during strenuous times when you need more oxygen.

Prepare to hunt in the mountains by running hills or stadium stairs. A fast-paced workout on the stair-climber machine may also do the trick; however, it won’t work on your balance as well.

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A Quick Training Guide: When to Begin Getting in Shape for a Hunt

When you’re ready to begin, follow this quick training guide on how to prepare for your hunt.

Begin training for hunting season as early as possible. The longer you train, the easier it will be. The optimal time frame is three months before the hunt. This guide is based on a three-month buildup. However, any little bit of conditioning will help, so it’s never too late to start training.

Endurance and Stamina for Hunting


  • Wear a pack weighing five pounds starting week three.
  • For the first month, walk for about one hour, three days a week.


  • Turn your walk into a jog for month two.
  • Add five pounds to your pack starting week two of month two.


  • Start running in month three.
  • Add five pounds to your pack each week.

Strength and Balance

We broke these down into categories to keep it simple. Most of these exercises work out multiple body parts of the body.


  • Work out your legs three times a week. Rotate through each of these exercises.

Calf raises

  • Start with 25 reps on the calf raises.
  • Add five every other week.


  • Hike off-road, preferably in areas with inclines and declines.
  • Start by hiking for 30 minutes.
  • Add five minutes each week.

Leg press

  • Use lower weight and higher reps on the leg press.
  • Start at a weight where you can complete three sets of 10 while getting a moderate workout.
  • Add 10 pounds each month.


  • Work out your core three times a week. Rotate through each of these exercises.


  • Start with ten reps on the lunges.
  • Add five every three weeks.

Box Step-ups, step-downs

  • Start with ten reps.
  • Add five every three weeks.


  • Walk up and back down a set of stadium stairs (a regular staircase will do in a pinch).
  • Do three reps within 30 minutes with rest in between.
  • Add three reps each month without increasing the time limit.
  • Jog the stairs in month two.
  • Run the stairs in month three.


  • Work out your arms three times a week. Rotate through each of these exercises.


  • Start with two.
  • Add two each week.

Shoulder press

  • Start at a weight where you can complete three sets of 10 while getting a moderate workout.
  • Add 5 pounds each month.

Bench press

  • Start at a weight where you can complete three sets of 10 while getting a moderate workout.
  • Add 10 pounds each month.

Following this guide will help you get in shape for hunting season. Be sure to alternate your endurance workouts and your strength workout. Just do one or the other each day. However, on strength day, you should do one exercise from each category, legs, core, and arms.

For a more detailed regimen, check out this other 12-week training plan for hunters.

And remember, it’s always easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. Once you build up your stamina, adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and a regular workout routine.

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Put Your Stamina to the Test at West Canyon Ranch

The best way to stick to your hunting workouts is to give yourself a goal with a prize for completing it. Why not book yourself the ultimate mountain hunting excursion at West Canyon Ranch?

Enjoy high-altitude hunting across 4,000 acres of gorgeous Utah wilderness. Guided hunts at West Canyon Ranch can include luxury amenities, like meals made by our private chef. West Canyon Ranch will handle everything about your hunt, from the license and the lodging to the packaging and shipping.

Book the hunting trip of a lifetime at West Canyon Ranch and start training for it today.