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Thread: Food for Sheep Hunters

  1. #1
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Question Food for Sheep Hunters

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    What do you take for food on your sheep hunts? Does anyone ever actually consume the 4000-4500 Cal/day that is recommended for intensive activity? What is your favorite high energy food?

    Here is my analysis of nutrition for sheep hunters. I have been on 5 Dall sheep hunts and I am already planning my next hunt for 2011. (cant go this year because I am in Iraq!) I am trying to reduce my pack weight and thought food was the best place to start.

    Accepted formula for food: 120-130 Calories per Ounce
    Fat: 20%-35% of Total Calories

    The vast majority of Mountain House items meets the Cal/oz threshold, but they also have too fat. Here is a list of top performers:
    Beef Stroganoff 130 Cal/oz and 35.9% Cal from fat
    Turkey Tetrazinni 130 Cal/oz and 34.3% Cal from fat
    Lasagna w/Meatsauce 130 Cal/oz and 32.7% Cal from fat
    Ice Cream Sandwich 150 Cal/oz and 35.3% Cal from fat

    I have an excel spreadsheet w/calculations of the entire Mtn House menu, PM me if you want a copy!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Targetman View Post
    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    What do you take for food on your sheep hunts? Does anyone ever actually consume the 4000-4500 Cal/day that is recommended for intensive activity? What is your favorite high energy food?

    Here is my analysis of nutrition for sheep hunters. I have been on 5 Dall sheep hunts and I am already planning my next hunt for 2011. (cant go this year because I am in Iraq!) I am trying to reduce my pack weight and thought food was the best place to start.

    Accepted formula for food: 120-130 Calories per Ounce
    Fat: 20%-35% of Total Calories

    The vast majority of Mountain House items meets the Cal/oz threshold, but they also have too fat. Here is a list of top performers:
    Beef Stroganoff 130 Cal/oz and 35.9% Cal from fat
    Turkey Tetrazinni 130 Cal/oz and 34.3% Cal from fat
    Lasagna w/Meatsauce 130 Cal/oz and 32.7% Cal from fat
    Ice Cream Sandwich 150 Cal/oz and 35.3% Cal from fat

    I have an excel spreadsheet w/calculations of the entire Mtn House menu, PM me if you want a copy!
    What is the cal per ounce of sheep ribs?

  3. #3
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Mountain house, Zatarain's Red beans and Rice, tortilla's, granola bars, etc.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Don't forget a block of cheddar cheese. Last hunt I packed in a couple of NY Steaks, first night out dinner was steak and swiss cheese wrapped in tortillas. Heaven on earth at 5000 feet.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
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    Butter and olive oil for an extra 900-1000 fat calories per day. Add 4tbs olive oil to mtn house for an extra 500 or so calories, Add a half cube butter to oatmeal/granola for another 400. I may try some kind of dehydrated butter this year. Not sure it has as many calories though.

    WW Bagels, peanut butter and honey mixed together is another good one.

  6. #6
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I try to take 1.5 to 2lbs a day. MH, cheese, jerky, snickers, peanut butter. Leave a small cache of food at the strip just in case. Like to add some fresh meat to my MH when possible. I also like to take a fresh steak and have it the first or second night. Lots of water.


    Steve

  7. #7

    Default Great Post!!

    This is a great thread/post. glad you got it started. I'm starting to look at my menu as well.
    Tony Russ' sheep hunting book has some great info on nutrition as well.

    He uses Cous Cous alot and adds it to his Mtn House. More calories to chase rams with!!

    Brian

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    Default salt, protein

    My biggest concerns would be the amount of salt and protein. Salt seems way out of proportion in most freeze dried stuff, and protein is not real strong. A million calories in carbs is not all that useful, and dehydrating is bad news. I am a fan of nuts (gorp, trail mix) and MetRx bars. Although nuts are not light, they have protein and good fat. MetRx bars are about the equivalent of a Mt House; a bit lighter, more compact, no cooking/fuel, & far less salt, if I recall, too. A glorified candy bar is not as emotionally satisfying as a "hot meal", but they fuel better, IMO.

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    Default Zatarains

    One item I always take along is Zatarains red beans and rice. You will find it in nearly any grocery store. It comes in dried form. I mix it together reducing the water by about 1/4 cup and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Then bring it to a boil on the stove for about five minutes. Then I put the lid on the pot and place the pot into an insulated pot cozy (see antigravitygear.com) for about 30 minutes.
    Add some cheese and maybe a tortilla or two and you have a great meal for two hungry sheep hunters with a little left over for lunch the next day.
    My system starts to rebel after two or three days of Mountain House.
    The Zatarains is good food and easy on the system.

  10. #10
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    All the above and smoked salmon!!! Best thing going in my opinion. Sure it is heavy but I eat it all with in the first few day of the hunt.

    I can only imagine what it is like to share a tent w/ pike after ending a hard day w/ a hot bowl of red beans!!

  11. #11
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Default more ideas

    I agree that with jklingel that the Mtn House meals do lack protein and have too much sodium. However, I typically only eat one MH per day (usually the 2-serving size) and supplement with my daily intake from the list of snacks below.

    Here are some more of my notes on my favorite snacks/food:

    Butter 140 Cal/oz (Snyd, they do make dehydrated butter commercially)
    olive oil 248 Cal/oz
    Peanut Butter 165 Cal/oz
    hot cocoa 106 Cal/oz
    Almonds 160 Cal/oz
    Success boil in the bag white rice 190 Cal/cup (cooked)
    pre-cooked bacon ~ 150 Cal/oz
    corn tortillas 70 Cal/tortilla
    sesame sticks (Snyders) 120 Cal/oz

    Take a bag of Success boil-in-the-bag rice, cook, add; butter, olive oil, Mtn House green beans, bacon, and/or sheep trimmings and you have one heck of a dinner!

    Olive oil ALWAYS goes on a sheep hunt with me, take the tenderloins/backstrap and cut into bite size pieces, saute in small amt of olive oil, consume until full!!!

  12. #12
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    The sodium is out of control on most freeze dried foods. They taste pretty darned good though when you're hungry!

  13. #13
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Why are you guys so concerned about calorie count????................just eat and go. Any thing you eat, is consumable fat which is burned up as energy...I take more than enough food, cache some at Base camp/air strip (cans of chili, crackers potatoe chips, uncooked rice etc. etc....) take your MH freeze dried, chocolate, salmon/beef jerkey, drink mix etc. etc. with you on spike camp.......thats how its done!!!

  14. #14
    Member ducks n' dogs's Avatar
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    MT House and Zat beans and rice are a staple on all my hunts however I find that after eating so much sodium my body starts to crave fresh veggies. I've started taking along a small bag of baby carrots and a green pepper with me as a little treat to myself. Its amazing how good a slice of cool crisp green pepper taste after eating so many salty carbs!

  15. #15
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    I start out with a gallon size bag of prepared saffron rice with some margarine and maybe some other spices. First few days I eat from that, then start on freeze drieds. That allows me to carry less freeze drieds, which are light but somewhat bulky if you carry 10 days worth.
    I have no idea how nutritious it is...just what works for me.
    Like Alaska_Lanche said...I try to treat myself with some fire-cooked sheep...man there's nothing better. BTW, I always leave a 12-pack at the drop off/pick up. That's some serious motivation to push on and get a sheep. Roast sheep over a campfire with a beer.....
    "We're all here cuz we're not all there"

  16. #16
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Default why I think it is important....

    I am a thin person, 5'10" @ 158lbs, and my metobolism is very high. Every time I go sheep hunting I lose 8-12 lbs, which is 1-2 lbs per day. Also, I have gotten sick on a couple of hunts, not sure the cause but it could be to lack of calories/food intake. It is typical of me to completely lose my appetite when carrying 40-45 lbs of stuff up a mountain and trekking in for several miles. Therefore, I see great benefit to proper planning of my meals. kahahawai's method probably wouldnt work for me, plus I would probably get sick again! So, I just thought if anyone else had issues with lack of appetite, then fully utilizing what little they did eat would maximize their nutritional benefit.

  17. #17
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    Targetman, I can lose 1-2 lbs a day myself sheep hunting and sometimes forget to eat enough during the day. I have since taken the "daily rations" approach. granola/powdered milk/half stick of butter in a zip lock, one for each day. Mtn house for each day for dinner along with enough olive oil in a bottle to add 4 tbs to each one. Food for throughout the day is packaged in daily rations, one package for each day. I make make sure I eat it all every day. I have a 3 liter bladder that I add gatoraide to and make sure I drink the whole thing throughout each day. Plus some water. I usually load up pretty good in the morning. So, plan your meals/daily intake, pack as much food as you can, use the daily ration approach and make yourself consume it all each day.

  18. #18

    Default food

    Quote Originally Posted by Targetman View Post
    I am a thin person, 5'10" @ 158lbs, and my metobolism is very high. Every time I go sheep hunting I lose 8-12 lbs, which is 1-2 lbs per day. Also, I have gotten sick on a couple of hunts, not sure the cause but it could be to lack of calories/food intake. It is typical of me to completely lose my appetite when carrying 40-45 lbs of stuff up a mountain and trekking in for several miles. Therefore, I see great benefit to proper planning of my meals. kahahawai's method probably wouldnt work for me, plus I would probably get sick again! So, I just thought if anyone else had issues with lack of appetite, then fully utilizing what little they did eat would maximize their nutritional benefit.
    I hear ya. I have the same problem. I think where you hunt, how late in the season, etc also dictates some of the food plan. I personally can't eat more than about 3500 calories/day, but need more than 2500/day or I just can't keep my energy. Even with 3500 cal/day, I still lose at least 5-7 lbs on a sheep/goat hunt. I like the Mountain house granola with blueberries-----good calorie count for breakfast. Sometimes I add a bit of whey protein to it as well. Then I eat a mid morning snack of clif bar with peanut butter on top (clif bars are a bit heavy, but seem to keep my digestive system moving). Jerky, macadamian nuts, maybe some dried fruit for the digestive system, and a chunk of chocolate bar for lunch. Often bring an 8 oz block of cheese and small sausage roll and ration a piece of each per day (a bit heavy, but you won't be packing it out and sure adds tons of energy especially in the cold). Then mountain house for dinner. I really like the olive oil addition you guys mentioned and will have to try that. Electrolyte drink mixes all day. My first sheep hunt we only had about 2000 cal/day per person. The last 3 days of the hunt brought severe cold/wind/snow. By the time we got picked up we had one bag of rice left and 1/2 the sheep we got. I lost 12 lbs and couldn't keep warm. I always bring enough food now.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Targetman View Post
    I am a thin person, 5'10" @ 158lbs, and my metobolism is very high. Every time I go sheep hunting I lose 8-12 lbs, which is 1-2 lbs per day. Also, I have gotten sick on a couple of hunts, not sure the cause but it could be to lack of calories/food intake. It is typical of me to completely lose my appetite when carrying 40-45 lbs of stuff up a mountain and trekking in for several miles. Therefore, I see great benefit to proper planning of my meals. kahahawai's method probably wouldnt work for me, plus I would probably get sick again! So, I just thought if anyone else had issues with lack of appetite, then fully utilizing what little they did eat would maximize their nutritional benefit.
    Well perhaps if you'd plump up a bit like me (5'9 160 ) you'd have some stored reserves. Seriously though lots of good ideas presented. Never tried the olive oil thing, but may give it a whirl. Usually do cliff bars, mountain house, almonds, gorp, and beef jerky. I have grown to like having LOTS of food on a trip 1.5-2 pounds often. When I am out hunting I am not on a weight loss program and am more concerned about performing physically like most here I imagine. An extra 3-4 pounds of food over the course of a week hunt isn't going to make you take a whole another day to get to where you wish to camp, but it could make you have to come out a couple days early if you DON'T bring it along.

  20. #20
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I can't help but think back to last year on kojak that we could have had fresh ptarmigan daily with a small 22 pistol. I keep looking at the little NAA mini 22's wondering what kind of range I could hit w/ em.

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