We recently had a great podcast with Aron Synder from Kifaru International. Kifaru makes some of the best outdoor packs and gear on the planet. I bought my first Kifaru pack circa 2006 and have carried a Kifaru Marauder pack to six out of the seven continents on the planet traveling and teaching CrossFit Football seminars. And it still looks new.
Aron does a podcast called Kifarucast that has a great following of hunters and outdoorsmen. On the podcast, we got to hear the tales of a serious long-range wilderness hunter who is putting his body and skill to the test up to 200 days a year. There were no stories of four wheelers, expensive outfitters to carry his gear into the wilderness. No stories of precision rifles from long ranges to stay safe from dangerous animals. Aron packs into austere locations with a recurve bow and hunts the most dangerous animals in North America up close.
Scrolling through his instagram is like the trophy room in Ace Ventura When Nature Calls.
When the discussion turned towards training we got into the weeds talking about how to prioritize strength in your training program without having to sacrifice the capacity needed to go hard and go long.
It reminded me of three separate hunting occasions that allowed me to continue my training by being resourceful and having fun.
A few years ago, I was down in South Texas in January hunting deer on a big lease. I was in a blind at day break when a big mature doe stepped out of the brush about 200 yards away. It was a low pressure shot with the LMT MWS .308 with Nightforce optic I was shooting that day and I knocked her down where she stood. I walked down to check her out as the sun was coming up. I realized our host wasn’t going to back around to check on me for an hour or two so I was going to have to stay entertained. I picked her up on my shoulders and carried her back to the blind with my gun in hand. I put the gun down and decided I should get some conditioning in. I ended up doing six trips of 400 yards (200 yards out and 200 yards back) with the deer on my shoulders waiting on my ride for a pick up. It was pretty cold that morning but when our host picked me up I was stripped down to just pants and was breathing heavy like I had sprinted up Mount Everest.
The next time I decided to incorporate my training into hunting was at my property here in Texas. Texas has a hog problem and we shoot them every chance we get. At about midnight I got a notification from one of my trail cams a big hog was at my deer feeder. So I calmly got into position with my rifle and got a nice kill with the help of the green flood lights I have set up around the feeder. I have green lights set as a motion detector on my feeders so I know when I have late night visitors.
Not wanting to put the pig on my shoulders I decided I should drag him out of the pasture like a weighted sled. I ran up to the gym to get the belt and cord for the sled drags, hooked it around his legs and drug him out the pasture through the trees, across the creek and uphill into my neighbor’s unmanaged land on the far side of our creek.
I knew I wasn’t going to process him at midnight so I was more than happy to provide a peace offering for the local wildlife in the area. I drug him about over a mile and put him into a clearing and decided to come back and check on him. 36 hours later after watching the vultures circling for a day there was no trace of him other than a few patches of hair.
Texas is a savage place. Leave a carcass out and everything from coyotes to vultures to hogs and raccoons will show up to eat.
Just because you are hunting doesn’t mean you cannot continue to train and work on your fitness – you just need creativity.
My third example comes when putting my deadlift to the test while hunting in central California not too long ago. With each pig weighing over 300 pounds, it helps to have a solid deadlift to get them into the vehicle.
Hearing Aron’s stories of long range extreme hunting was inspiring and made me realize how much I would enjoy putting myself into something like that.
TRAINING: HAMR Program
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BLOG: HAMR – Holistic Athlete Movement Readiness Program by John Welbourn
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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.
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