Health and Nutrition
Aside from being side by side shotgun enthusiasts, Doug and Jamie are also certified health and fitness trainers!
It's hard hunting upland birds. Hunting the prairies of Montana, the rocky deserts of Arizona, or pushing miles of CRP fields in Kansas all require us to be in good shape. On a desert quail hunt I average about 12 miles a day for about 3 days in a row. This is a tough 36 miles when you are carrying a six pound gun, ammo, a lot of water, food, and some basic dog supplies. You are wearing boots, and possibly chaps walking on loose rock and sand with cactus everywhere. You (and your dog) really have to be in good shape to even enjoy a hunt like this and I must say, it is safer too.
As a seasoned personal trainer, I would like to share a few basic things that an upland gunner should do to be in good shape for hunting. First, start with a good consistent cardio routine. My wife and I walk our bird dog, Emma, every day. We try for a brisk walk for 30-45 minutes each time. About 3 of those days we increase the walking time to a full hour and incorporate some jogging . Make an effort to allow your dog some off-leash running time so she builds endurance strength even in the off season. If I am going on a mountain-grouse hunt, I will start using the stepper at the gym 3 times a week for 3-4 weeks prior to the hunt. This will help me with climbing over logs, up hills, etc. Lose any excess weight. When hunting you do not want to carry any extra body weight. Not only is it tiring, it is very hard on your knees, hips and lower back. Stretch after your cardio! You want to stay limber. You must also keep your bird dog healthy, strong, and lean.
Eat healthy! Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. For example, a 200 lb man should drink 100 oz. of water per day. More may be needed if you are out in the sun. Remember, you are what you eat!
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