Elk Hunting - Tips to face such a big challenge. Part I
If you are planning elk hunting for the first time, it's important to be ready for the biggest hunting challenge of your life.
Elks are big, elusive animals living in remote, usually high altitude areas surrounded by hard terrain, so if you wish to catch an elk it will be mandatory to be as strong and perseverant as you can be, otherwise elks will beat you much before the hunting starts.
No matter how much you prepare for it, elk hunting is a very demanding activity, however, if you follow the right tips, things might turn a little bit easier and your odds of success may increase a bit in your favor.
Now, let's see what you need to be ready for an elk hunting, and keep in mind that most of successful strategies begin much before the hunting season starts by fall.
1. Be in good shape
No matter how well trained you are, hiking for 6 or 8 miles a day in hard terrain is not an easy game, in fact, this demanding activity will demand the best of your endurance, and you must be ready to face it or there's a real risk to quit even before seeing an elk.
Being in good shape is not an option but an obligation. Routine exercises including aerobic training combined with weight lift are a good combination. Get sure to increase your endurance and strength as much as possible, at the end of the day you will need every single bit of energy and much more, so start training several months before.
2. Get used to lack of oxygen
It's not the same to hunt at sea level or just a few meters above it than 3.000 meters high in the mountains, where elks live. If you are not a local, altitude may - and will - play against you.
People who are not used to move on high altitudes will feel exhausted promptly and their physical performance will be beyond their standards, then it's necessary to properly acclimatize yourself before starting your hunt.
To do so it's possible to climb mountains or move during weekends to high areas above 2.500 meters, if available, and train to hike and make exercises up there. This way your body will get used to work with lower oxygen than usual.
Another good choice is to move towards the area you pretend to hunt on, a couple of weeks before hunting starts, this way your body will have time to adapt to the new situation, and once the hunt begins, you will have fewer problems with altitude.
3. Mental strength is a key
The ability to tolerate frustration, pain, and hopeless sense will be as valuable as physical endurance on your elk hunting adventure.
Elk hunting will ask the best of you and will punish as much as possible, so if you are not able to overcome the frustration of a whole day hiking on the worst possible conditions and terrain and see no single elk; if you are not ready to ignore muscle pain and cramps to wake up early in the morning to face a physical extenuating hunting without guarantees to at least see an elk, then you probably will quit faster than you think.
Hunting elks is like being ready to hit whatever mother nature throws us. If you have such this type of behavior, you are half the way to succeed in elk hunting.
As you see, there's a lot of work to do and we are not even near the field, so get ready to know on Part II what to do once you arrive at the hunting ground.