Sitka Mountain Gear
what kind of shape to be in for a hunt..
Contributors to this thread:
bearbaiter 24-Jul-15
trackman 24-Jul-15
SteveB 24-Jul-15
Mule Power 24-Jul-15
drycreek 24-Jul-15
Matt 24-Jul-15
Nick Muche 24-Jul-15
g5smoke21 24-Jul-15
Mule Power 25-Jul-15
FullCryHounds 25-Jul-15
Bou'bound 25-Jul-15
Ermine 25-Jul-15
deerhaven 25-Jul-15
Drop Tine 25-Jul-15
Owl 25-Jul-15
Matt 25-Jul-15
critrgitr 25-Jul-15
Owl 26-Jul-15
From: bearbaiter
looking for some info from some hunters who have previously went on these hunts. i have one booked for january in colorado and i want to be ready for it. just wanted some pointers on say for example workouts that helped or something you'd suggest.

From: trackman
I WAS A cat guide for many years I harvested 117 big cats the hunt can last for 20 min or 20 miles up and down

From: SteveB
Just did a hound hunt for Bear in BC. Get in as good a shape as you can....then get in even better shape. The better shape you are in, the more you will relax and enjoy it. It's a blast!

True, it can be quick, but don't count on it.

Stair climber and incline treadmill until you are ready to need oxygen then just a little farther :)

From: Mule Power
Lion hunting is lots of monotonous cruising around looking for a good track.... followed by a heck of a sprint. Take a really lightweight pack so you can bring along a sandwich and plenty of water. Lash your weapon to your pack because you have no use for it anyway until you get to the tree and that way you can have your hands free for some quick hiking.

You may want to consider a light set of walking sticks. Great for both up and down hill especially in snow.

Be prepared to take some video and LOTS of photos at the tree when you get there. Checking out the scene and deciding if it's a shooter or not is half the fun. Shooting is a bittersweet ending really. Smell your cat. It's a very unique smell and you'll never forget it. Then.... if you have the kahunas.... throw it over your shoulders and carry it out! Or at least take a picture like that and then tell us you carried it. lol :-) A shoulder harness deer drag comes in mighty handy. Your outfitter will have that covered but he'd be happy if you pulled one out and helped.

From: drycreek
Uphill........long and lean. Downhilll...............round.

I hunt downhill:)

From: Matt
Run 'til you puke a few times before you head out - that should help prepare you. You probably think I am kidding...

My lion hunt was the only hunt I've ever been on where I questioned why I paid for the experience - long nights with little sleep for days on end while looking for track, and then the mad 1 mile + run including a detour through a manzanita patch where I did't touch ground for ~15 yards and ripped every piece of clothing I was wearing to get to the tree.

From: Nick Muche
Keep the meat. It's excellent.

From: g5smoke21
They can be very easy or very tough. I went when i was 21 years old as a college graduation present for cat i shot was shot on day 1 yet went 11 miles...and that was off a fresh mule deer kill...thats alot of walking...i took my dad with me who was not in great shape at the time and he didnt make it far. Best advice is to get in shape and just do your best to stay in it

From: Mule Power
Ditto Nick. It's like pork. If I sat a pork loin and a lion filet next to each other you wouldn't know the difference.

On G5s post.... yes they can be easy sometimes. We have treed them only a couple hundred yards from the truck.

One time we turned out on two tracks together. They ran a long way up and eventually over the top... which was bad. But after awhile I could hear them again which meant they were back on our slope. Not 5 minutes later I looked just ahead of the truck to see a cat coming downhill and hit the tree about 7 feet up and scurry to the top. My buddy didn't see it so I said "Screw those dogs I'll tree that thing myself" And I walked over and started barking. He's like uh, what are you doing? I said "OK he's treed" When he walked over he about died laughing. So we waited for the dogs to show up and they looked at us like "How the heck did you 2 get here first????" It was a female so we let it walk. Treed 40 feet from the truck!

Life will be easier if your houndsman has GPS collars for the dogs. Also if there are more roads. Quite often you can drive to the next road over and have a shorter hike. Best case scenario is to drive above the tree and drop down to it. That's a dream hunt there.

Ditto what Mule Power said.

From: Bou'bound
Get in the best shape you can for your life. The hunt is secondary.

From: Ermine
Cat hunts can be rugged. Cats normally go thru the steepest and nastiest country.

From: deerhaven
I agree with Bou! Why wouldn't you be in the best physical condition you can be in for many reasons.

With that said it looks like you might be in flat land like I am. My advice is a lot of cardio and stairs, stairs, and more stairs.

Did I mention stairs?

From: Drop Tine
Get in the best shape you can and get out there a couple days ahead of the hunt if you can to get acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself.

If your in the mountains and gassed. Stop turn 180* and look at the view while you're catching your breath. Don't just stand there with your face planted into the hill side.

From: Owl
Don't overlook your feet. The 1st day of my hunt I hiked rim country ALL day trying to cut a track. At the end, I had blisters on both my heels and all my toes. As a flat lander, I could prep for every variable except steep grade and its effect on my feet.

From: Matt
"Don't overlook your feet. The 1st day of my hunt I hiked rim country ALL day trying to cut a track. At the end, I had blisters on both my heels and all my toes. As a flat lander, I could prep for every variable except steep grade and its effect on my feet."

You just didn't lean forward enough on the treadmill. ;-)

From: critrgitr

critrgitr's embedded Photo
critrgitr's embedded Photo
As said above, they can be anywhere from mild to wild. Get yourself in as good as shape as you can to make it easier when you make it out here. Work towards strengthening your ankles and knees as much as possible too. Good solid boots are a must. If there are good trees in the area you are heading to, the dogs will keep him up for quite a while. I've seen guys you wouldn't think could walk across a parking lot get to the tree to kill a cat. There's nothing like baying hounds to spur you on when it does happen. I'd also recommend practicing shooting up at a steep angle to simulate a cat high in the tree. Make sure to throw some snacks and extra water in your pack before you leave the truck. Cat hunts rarely go as planned. Good luck and have a fun trip.

From: Owl
Matt, I'm gonna mount the treadmill to the wall before I train for AZ again. lol

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