Is it necessary a good shape for hunting?
Hunting is a physically demanding activity requiring long hikes and being outdoors for hours. With this in mind, it's easy to think that all hunters are in good shape and take care of their fitness, but the truth is not all of them are as athletic as one may expect...
So, how is it possible?
Well, the answer to such a question is on the type of hunting, how often the person hunts and where does it.
It's not the same to hunt in a limited, private land than in public lands where distances might be greater and the amount of terrain to cover much bigger; so people hunting in public lands usually will have an increased physical demand than those hunting in private lands, however, some properties may be huge and demand from the hunter as much physical effort as a public land hunting expedition.
On the other hand, it is the type of hunting. Everything will depend on the game size and its habitats.
Some animals like wild boars are relatively easy to find and it's not necessary to walk for hours crossing difficult terrain but at the same time, wild boars are big animals to fight against and later, carry on the meat.
So, there's a considerable physical effort demanding a better shape than waterfowl hunters or rabbits hunters, where animals are considerably smaller and there's not an important energy expenditure skinning and field dressing the game.
In the case of wild goat hunting, elk, moose, and even deer, things change dramatically, not only because it's necessary to stalk the animal for hours and even days, but also because it will be necessary to cover considerable distances, many times on abrupt terrain, especially when you are behind a wild goat.
Under such circumstances, energy expenditure is considerably higher and a good physical shape remains paramount not only to complete the hunt but also to deal with all the weight from the meat.
Another variable to consider is how often a person hunts. It's not the same sport hunting during a given season than professional hunting (hunting guide, professional hunter for pest control), and it's even different for those hunting to live, such as people living in remote, isolated areas, depending on hunting to have enough meat.
So, there are many variables involved in the physical skills and strength of a given hunter, moreover, the same person may be subject to different conditions along the year, depending on the hunting season and year bag limit.
Certainly, a good shape will increase hunters' endurance and resistance, making possible longer expeditions and dealing with the hardest conditions, but if you are an occasional sport hunter, probably being in good physical shape will not make a big difference.
For those thinking about hunting to keep themselves in good shape, that's not a bad idea but it will be necessary constant activity dealing with the most challenging hunting expeditions to achieve and maintain an exceptional physical condition.