Any responses will probably make me feel bad, but how many bird, especially chukar, hunters work themselves or their dogs out to get in some kind of reasonable physical condition before the season starts?
I run about 12-15 miles a week. Lift 4-5 days a week. I just love working out, believe it or not it relaxes me. When in the gym, my mind is clear and try not to think about the days troubles. Besides, I love it when I am first at the top of the mountain
I think its always a good idea to prepare yourself before the season opens. But any exercise before season is more for my GSP than myself. I think you should always make sure your dog is in shape and ready for them darned birds. My biggest concern is trying to toughen her feet up.
Last year I took a friend on a Northern Nevada chukar hunt, who also owns a GSP. But he had not given his dog the proper condition during the summer months, and she wore three pads out before he ended up carrying her off the hill. We hunted behind my dog for another 4 hrs before returning to the truck.
I think conditioning yourself and your dog can make opening day enjoyable, or a complete wreck.
I'm not a runner, but like hiking around. The last several years I was up in Bridgeport ALOT at dog camp working dogs and hiking around. At 9000 ft the air is thin and you get into shape quick. I wasnt able to get up there at all this year. Actually instead I've put on 15-20 extra pounds this year. I also use scouting to get into hunting shape too. I've been out a few time now and my legs are feeling great. I plan on getting out at least once a week to look around until the season starts, besides for working the pups around here.
I don't have the luxury to get out of shape, my job requires it. But just the same I'm with you Vic, chukar hunting is what motivates me to stay as fit as possible. Here's a great workout to prepare for hunting season that you may already know about, walking with weights in your hands. I've been doing it for two years now, about 3 times a week; I started with just a one pound weight in each hand and now use a five pound. There's a simple routine I do, but suffice to say that a 30-40 minute walk on the ridgeline horse trail near my house and I get a great cardio workout. It's not all I do but it's very effective and you can do it anywhere, and it doesn't hurt your knee joints. The dog is running the whole time with me so he's getting his in too.
Another thing I do to condition the dog is have him pull me around the neighborhood on my skateboard. He is a 45 lb GSP, but man, he can pull. I'm up around 190 and he can pull me up a gradual hill, and if he sees a dove or a cat, hang on!
The one year I did work out was great. Grab the bag of deeks and march right up the side if the pond. I did a bunch of treadmill and it payed off.
This year I have lost 20 LBS. That should help, but I really should work on the legs.
I peobly wont.