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Thread: Exercise for Moose Float Hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Exercise for Moose Float Hunt

    Wondering what type of exercise anyone would recommend to prepare for a float hunt for moose. I am 46 and have literally started swimming 2+ miles 4 - 5 days a week. I am in better then average shape, my biggest concern at this point is packing out a rear moose quarter from a moose not shot on the river, 150 +/- lbs will make for a challenge.

    A friend of mine has recommend Russian Kettlebells – anyone have experience with these – they look somewhat interesting for getting fit for “hunting expeditions”.

    FYI - this is my first time posting - I have been lurking for a while. Picking and choosing advice for a 2008 float hunt. There has been some great advice and I have found answers to almost all my questions about gear and don't expect anyone to post answers about their favorite hunting spot. Based on the advice, my hunting partner and I did a practice run with our gear during a canoe-in deer hunt in northern Minnesota - limited ourselves on weight, food, etc, even tested the our back packs carrying the 100 lbs of deer we quartered in the woods back to camp (I bought a Barney’s Pinnacle, he bought a Cabelas Outfitter – so far we are both happy.) Best hunting trip we have had because hunting life became really simple again and it has opened us up to endless areas with no other hunters

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    I'm a 58 yr old fat man with arthritis, a bad back, and a bad heart. I do a float trip everyother year. They are a lot easier than my other trips where we go in on ATVs. We have four rules. 1. Don't shoot it in the water. 2. Only shoot Moose on the banks, or near the river. 3. Shoot only shoulder shots. 4. Use a big enough gun to break it's shoulder so it can't get to the water. The rest is to just float and enjoy.
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Exercise

    Well every other day I snow blow the 100 yard driveway.

    Shoveled 2 feet of snow off of the roof last might.

    Split 5 face cord on Sat. and stacked 7 on Sunday.

    Chase 100 kids around all day for 7 hours in the woodshop.

    Tread mill, 30-50 minutes, 5-10 degrees, 23-3 mph every other night.

    Weights for about 10-15 minutes.

    Lift coffee cup for several minutes too.

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    SQUATS.... lot's of squats. Start very light, learn proper form and technique. Join a gym if you have to to find someone who knows what they are doing.

    I'm 47 years old and love my squats. They keep me strong all over.

    and then learn about and do a 20 rep squat routine. I have an old book called Brawn that outlines various body building routines that center on 20 rep squats. This type of routine builds strength and stamina like none other. But be prepared, it can be grueling!

    Here's quick blurp about 20 rep squats.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/irontamer5.htm
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    Default Bwana

    You sound like your already there with the swimming as much as I can tell. Having a good cardiovasular condition is the majority of the conditioning needed. The rest depends of the legs to carry the load and the balance to walk the packed moose quarter out. The right pack, boots and hunting gear make the rest of the job easier. Having the ability to walk as long as needed and sit and float for great lengths are about all you need with the idea of a float hunt unless your planning to hike up steep mountains for other animals on the hunt. Definitly try to keep the hunt within close proximity to the water source on the float as previously mentioned.

  6. #6
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Balance

    All the previous posts are great but they forgot one thing. The terrain is rough.

    If you find you have to do much packing after downing your moose (and I recommend that you don't), take time to cut yourself a walking stick. It should come about to your shoulder when used. It will stabilize your travels and could save a broken body part.

    Other than that, float hunting requires use of back and leg muscles (much like packing). A rowing machine is a good addition to all the other ideas.

  7. #7
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    Default Legs and Abs!

    Legs are very important, as SNYD says, not so much to bulk them up muscularity but to have them conditioned for hauling out meat/ gear etc. These are the work horses of your body, get them conditioned so they won't cramp up. very Importantly...The Abs! alot of people fail to realize how much you use your ab muscles for outdoor activity, I didn't realize this until I was assigned to a USAF Pararescue unit in Kuwait, they did a 30 minute Ab workout, after running a 5k everyday! Abs are used in everything! Rapelling, lifting, pushing and pulling and to include swimming if you have to...well thats my spill.....CK

  8. #8

    Default start hikin'

    In addition to the aforementioned.....throw a weighted pack on and go hiking where there are no trails. You can do all the swimming, exercising, lifting you want but until you actually do pack out a moose/elk whatever and put a load on you will not be in that particular "shape". Its kind of like playing basketball for a month straight thinking you are in great shape then playing tennis for a couple of hours and waking up sore you are using different muscle groups per activity. Plus it will get you outdoors as well.

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    If you have access to a stairmaster type machine, load up your pack with a decent amount of weight (don't overdo it!) and spend some time "climbing the stairs". This is one of the best ways to get ready for sheep/moose hunting that I have found and will also allow you to get VERY familiar with your pack.

    While you are exercising, pay attention to the squeaks and rattles in your pack and try to fix them prior to the hunt.
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    Pack a kids sled. I used one last season for the 1st time and I will never moose hunt with out one again! I've packed plenty of moose and I'm young & strong but if you pack long enough your going to hurt yourself or just wear yourself out. I'm considering getting Cabelas magnum deer sled, it's lighter, rolls up and from reviews I've read it's slicker than any politician alive. Well actually I think everyone should have the pleasure of packing a moose out preferably in the dark & rain. Everytime you eat some moose you'll have a greater appreciation for it. Good luck.

    KK

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    The K Kid did bring up a good idea. We do this as well and I forgot to mention it. Take along a kids sled. If your Moose goes down in the tussocks you'll break a leg trying to pack it out over them. With a kids sled you can drag it out a whole lot easier. Just reinforce the ropes, they tend to pull through the holes, so they need to be reinforced and sometimes rerouted. At the end of the float we always build a fire, while we are waiting for the plane out. Into this fire goes everything we don't want to fly out, such as holey socks, empty water bottles, broken paddles, items of clothing torn beyond repair, trash, and the sled.
    Gun Control means hitting your target.
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    I say stick to two things. Cardiovascular, which is good for you anyway and your core muscle groups. Legs, back, abs, shoulders, chest. You don't need a lot of fancy equipment. With a variety of dumbells, you can do all of this. I also agree that joining a gym is good if you can spare the time and money. The people there can really get you on your way.

  13. #13

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    This might sound dumb but get on a rowing machine and get those shoulders, arms, and legs in shape. Row in whatever clothes you'll be taking along, including waders, hip or chest. After rowing for 8-10 days you'll be glad you got a jump on things.

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    Default

    Thanks for the replies.

    Glad to hear about the kids sleds, we were wondering about the roll up type sleds used for deer, they are on clearance right now, I think we will grab at least one.

    I like seeing that the float trips allow for many levels of exertion. Knowing my partner and I we will probably go with high exertion and go off the river 400 yards or so if we are not having luck on the river and try to glass for moose - that is if what I been reading is true. That is why I am preparing myself mentally and physically to haul the meat.

    Rowing machine to get in shape for a float trip where you are using oars - seems kind of obvious, but I had not gone there, I may modify that and use and actual row boat instead, something about rowing and going no where does not work for me, I can also be fishing at the same time.

    Thanks again for the replies,

    Don Selby,

  15. #15

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    Coincidentally my usual hunting party is made up of two gym rats and two dinosaur outdoor exercizers. The latter always outlast and outperform the former. The difference seems to be a mix of body conditioning for irregular terrain and some kind of intangible sense for moving heavy loads in rough terrain. The guys who get their exercize outdoors just seem to have a whole lot more endurance and can pack so much more than the indoor exercizers. We're all about the same size, age and fitness, so I think doing the same kind of exercize away from the heated gym is playing some kind of role. In fact the gym rats can outperform the hillbillies, run circles around them literally, on regular terrain. But the hillbillies have the edge in spades when the terrain turns rough.

    I'd sure get out of the gym at all costs. Rain, snow, wind, cold interfere with your outdoor exercize plans? Nah. That's what you'll be dealing with on a hunt, so put on the right kind of clothing and get outdoors anyway.

  16. #16

    Default so true

    +1 BrownBear. Clean air and a heavy pack and rough terrain will go along way to getting you in the kind of shape you need to be in for an adventure.
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  17. #17
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Coincidentally my usual hunting party is made up of two gym rats and two dinosaur outdoor exercizers. The latter always outlast and outperform the former. The difference seems to be a mix of body conditioning for irregular terrain and some kind of intangible sense for moving heavy loads in rough terrain. The guys who get their exercize outdoors just seem to have a whole lot more endurance and can pack so much more than the indoor exercizers. We're all about the same size, age and fitness, so I think doing the same kind of exercize away from the heated gym is playing some kind of role. In fact the gym rats can outperform the hillbillies, run circles around them literally, on regular terrain. But the hillbillies have the edge in spades when the terrain turns rough.

    I'd sure get out of the gym at all costs. Rain, snow, wind, cold interfere with your outdoor exercize plans? Nah. That's what you'll be dealing with on a hunt, so put on the right kind of clothing and get outdoors anyway.

    I think the diffrence is that outdoors all of those little stabilizer mussels have to be used. If you use a rowing machine it has a path it follows. If you get out adn paddle/row the paddle wants to move in the path of least resistance, sideways, and you have to use those little mussles to keep it on track.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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    Default impressive

    That you are looking forward to the problems and trying to prevent them. Good on you for being willing to work a bit to make your trip come together. There is not an Alaskan born that does not appreciate a person who comes prepared to take care of themselves.
    Shape is important. No doubt about it. But keep in mind that choices are even more so. Being able to carry 150lbs is good, but realizing that it might be dangerous due to terrain or other environmental concerns is more so. Fallling down with that much weight and getting hurt, as remote as you might be, could become a deadly fight for survival. Rescue 911 is almost never right around the corner.
    Yes, get in shape. But be sure to look at all of the choices before you shoot your moose, and after it is down, take another look. You might decide that extra trips are better and safer.
    If I were doing what you are, I would take the advice to use stairmasters and/or hills for training. There is not much level and flat in AK. You will find that your knees come up higher no matter where you walk. Good luck to you and your partner.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    SQUATS.... lot's of squats. Start very light, learn proper form and technique. Join a gym if you have to to find someone who knows what they are doing.

    I'm 47 years old and love my squats. They keep me strong all over.

    and then learn about and do a 20 rep squat routine. I have an old book called Brawn that outlines various body building routines that center on 20 rep squats. This type of routine builds strength and stamina like none other. But be prepared, it can be grueling!

    Here's quick blurp about 20 rep squats.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/irontamer5.htm
    You sir are a sadist. lol
    And yes I have thrown up during a work out. Nothing better than squats.

  20. #20

    Thumbs up Well said!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    That you are looking forward to the problems and trying to prevent them. Good on you for being willing to work a bit to make your trip come together. There is not an Alaskan born that does not appreciate a person who comes prepared to take care of themselves.
    Shape is important. No doubt about it. But keep in mind that choices are even more so. Being able to carry 150lbs is good, but realizing that it might be dangerous due to terrain or other environmental concerns is more so. Fallling down with that much weight and getting hurt, as remote as you might be, could become a deadly fight for survival. Rescue 911 is almost never right around the corner.
    Yes, get in shape. But be sure to look at all of the choices before you shoot your moose, and after it is down, take another look. You might decide that extra trips are better and safer.
    If I were doing what you are, I would take the advice to use stairmasters and/or hills for training. There is not much level and flat in AK. You will find that your knees come up higher no matter where you walk. Good luck to you and your partner.
    Excellent explanation of what's probably happening. Used to be three gym rats and one hillbilly in our group, but a couple of years ago one saw the light. The change in his performance was immediately obvious.

    Outdoor workouts don't have to be a big deal if you build them into your year-round routine, then escalate them a bit starting a few months before the hunting season.

    At least three days a week I walk a half an hour into the hills from the house and a half hour back. Depending on weather, footing and enthusiasm that usually takes me about 2.5 miles one way over three ridges to a creek, then back home whether or not on the same route. One of my gym rat buddies (a good runner) made the trip with me last weekend and finished about a quarter mile back, and I wasn't hurrying.

    About three months before hunting season I stretch it to an hour out and an hour back, and a month before season I add a 25 pound bag of shot in a pack.

    Not a big deal at all, and realistically no more time than I'd be putting into a gym. But savings in gym fees basically buy me a new rifle a year, and there's no one that knows the country better within 5 miles of my house. And that REALLY pays off come deer season.

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