The Importance of Physical Preparation on Your Hunt:

Hunting areas, outfitters, and guides are often judged by high success rates and superior trophy quality…make no mistake, Yukon Stone Outfitters has both. To maintain these standards, it is well understood that clients must be proficient shooters and have the right equipment. However, what is often overlooked is the importance and impact of the clients’ physical preparation and general fitness on success rates and trophy quality. Being physically fit prior to your hunt is one of the most critical things you will do to improve your chances of success in the field as well as simply enjoying the experience of an extreme mountain hunt, while having the ability to stick it out for the duration of your trip. Whether you are hunting Sheep, Moose, Grizzly, or Caribou physical preparation matters to your success and our success.

We are often asked about physical preparation for horseback hunting versus backpack hunting and the answer is always the same… train for both the same way because you never know what you might encounter in the field. Our guides are professionals who will work within your capabilities, but understand that they come prepared for your hunt and so should you. If you have the opportunity to ride horses at home for a couple weeks prior to your hunt, it will get your butt, knees, and balance ready. Keep in mind, that even riding a horse for several hours will take a toll on you and horses won’t get you to the ridge tops to glass or to make a stalk. They will only get you so far and the rest is up to you with your own foot power. On horseback hunts, you should expect to carry a 35 lb pack for 5-6 miles a day up and down hill. While backpacking, expect 55 lbs for up to 10 miles in a day. Remember, that expensive gun or long range scope doesn't get you to your do.

This brand of hunting may be new to you or you may wish to learn more on how to prepare yourself and maximize your time and the results you achieve since everyone has busy lives. Here are a few suggestions and different levels that you can choose to prepare for your hunt without spending multiple hours every day in the gym.

  1. Buy some workout videos that get your heart rate up and work on your entire body and core. Good examples include:
  2. Engage a personal trainer. Having a customized program as well as people who will check in on you and hold you accountable for sticking to the program can work wonders. Al and Nancy Clark at Body Edge Fitness are great at doing this and they understand the training required for mountain hunting. They will coach you on specific exercises that will maximize your results for the time spent and they are masters of nutrition and can help get you ready for any goal. They work with a variety of people ranging from professional athletes to people who have suffered strokes and injuries (not to mention people who are just looking to have a great hunt) in order to customize a program to achieve particular goals. Check them out at and feel free to email and contact Al if you are interested in this type of preparation.
  3. Begin a regular exercise regimen which should include:
    • Walk with a weighted pack on your back at home for 30-60 minutes 4-5 times a week. Challenge yourself as it gets easier and put more weight in
    • As your hunt approaches, find a place to walk uphill, downhill, and sidehill with your weighted pack and try to do this for at least 60 minutes per session
    • Treadmills, Elliptical, Stair climbers. 20-40 min a day. Increase this to 60 minutes during the final three weeks prior to you hunt to help accelerate your readiness
None of us are as young as we used to be so please don't let the thought of all this scare you away from going mountain hunting. Embrace it and look forward to feeling great, looking great, and getting your trophy!