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Hunt Preparation Guide

 AEI Guide and Outfitter
Colorado Big Game Hunting Guide Services
Preparing Yourself for the Hunting Experience

If you wish to be successful in killing an elk you must be willing to discipline yourself in preparation.

Colorado Big Game Hunting Outfitter Outfitters comment that many of their hunters arrive in poor physical condition; so poor, they are unable to hunt to their own satisfaction. This is as exasperating to the hunter as it is to the outfitter. If a hunter cannot walk up a steep slope or walk through timber to where elk are located, he won't stand much of a chance of seeing an elk. If because of heavy breathing you can't shoot straight, it'll be really frustrating. You must understand that if you go with a professional outfitter, you are not buying an elk, you are buying a hunt. It will be you who kills an elk. The reason outfitters get you away from other hunters, is the same reason elk are in remote areas; it is not because food is more plentiful but because of less human activity. Consequently, if you wish to kill an elk, you must be in good physical condition. Get your heart, lungs, & legs ready.

Getting Started
Any person over the age of 35, or one who has a family history of heart problems, should consult with their medical doctor before starting a conditioning program.

Colorado Big Game Hunting OutfitterGetting into Shape
After seeing your doctor and confirming you can begin a conditioning program, we recommend a program which can be accomplished 12 weeks prior to your hunt. This should assist you in getting where you need to be to see and elk. High-altitude elk hunting calls for two kinds of conditioning; endurance and strength with endurance, the latter being the most important.

Your Program
Trainers recommend any workout should be at least 15 minutes at a prescribed heart rate for a minimum of 3 times per week. To figure a prescribed heart rate you must first determine your maximum heart rate. This is done by taking 220 minus you age. If you are 45 yrs old, you take 220 - 45= 175. 175 then becomes your maximum heart rate. Fitness experts recommend that individuals exercise at a minimum of 60% of their maximum heart rate. For example 60% of 175 is figured as follows: 175 x .60 =105 heart beats per minute. One should exercise keeping their heart rate at or above 105 for the prescribed amount of time. Heartbeats can be found by taking your pulse for 10 seconds and then multiplying that number by 6.

The best types of exercise to get your heart rate to the prescribed percentage are walking briskly, jogging, swimming, stair climbing, and/or biking.


1) One hunter recommends carrying a dumb bell in alternating hands while working out on stairs, etc. in the last four weeks of your trailing to prepare you to carry your weapon.

2) Try working out in the footwear you will be hunting in, for the last 3-4 weeks before your hunt, to help eliminate sore feet.
Your Prescribed 12 Week Fitness Program
Stretch 10 min DAILY AM & PM
Wk1           15 min @ 60%           15 min @ 60%           15 min @ 60%     
Wk2           18 min @ 65%           18 min @ 65%           18 min @ 65%     
Wk3     20 min @ 70%     20 min @ 70%           20 min @ 70%           20 min @ 70%     
Wk4     25 min @ 70%     25 min @ 70%           25 min @ 70%           25 min @ 70%     
Wk5     30 min @ 70%     30 min @ 70%           30 min @ 70%           30 min @ 70%     
Wk6     35 min @ 75%     35 min @ 75%           35 min @ 75%           35 min @ 75%     
Wk7     45 min @ 75%     45 min @ 75%           45 min @ 75%           60 min @
conversational pace
Wk8     40 min @ 75%     40 min @ 75%           40 min @ 75%           
Climb steep hills or stairs 25 min @ 75%
Climb steep hills or stairs 30 min @ 75% with 10% of body weight in a backpack
Climb steep hills or stairs 35 min @ 75% with 20% of body weight in a backpack
Climb steep hills or stairs 45 min @ 75% with 30% of body weight in a backpack
You are now prepared to for your ultimate hunting experiment!