October 3, 2022

PRO TIP: Post-Season Restoration with @ElkShape


A long hunting season is behind us. Time to completely reset. The start of a new year is the perfect time to look back at the season, understand what you did well, and more importantly focus on what you can improve. After some reflection, focus on the areas that offer the most opportunity for improvement. It could simply be more scouting, research, shooting year-round and during the season. Maybe it was your food intake, your body composition, or level of fitness. Be honest with yourself.

Elk hunting weight training.

Speaking of being honest, was there any point in the season where you folded your cards? Perhaps there was a bugle just beyond your comfort zone that you didn’t pursue. Was there a morning where you were too tired to get out of your warm and cozy sleeping bag? Was there a shot you wish you didn't take or possibly a scenario that you wished you would have been more prepared for? Rather than dwelling on the past, simply identify these difficult moments that you don’t care to relive, and create a plan on how to be ready for those situations come next season.

“Focus on the areas that offer the most opportunity for improvement.”


Write down on paper what it is you’re going to accomplish. It needs to be the big goal(s) accompanied by a deadline. Then simply work backwards from a daily or weekly standpoint on what you can do to improve these weaknesses continually. I tell my athletes, “Slow and steady results last the longest.” Once you have them in writing, break down the small weekly goals that lead to the big goal, and you’re ready to start executing.

Let me give you an example on how this might work. Let’s say your goal is to be in better shape for 2021. Albeit vague, it’s a good start. Maybe we can attach a few benchmarks that complement that goal of being in better shape. Maybe that’s getting rid of 20 unwanted pounds between now and the next season. Could be running a 5K in under 30 minutes, 50 unbroken push-ups, or hiking with a loaded pack for 60 minutes without stopping.

Whatever makes the most sense for your goal, start breaking it down into weekly or daily chunks that you can chip away at. Start with a goal of 1 pound of fat loss per week. Knocking a few miles every other day and of course measuring the distance and time. Hit those handful of push-up sets each week and carve out time for some weighted rucks. All you have to do is put it in writing where you’ll see it, know that you’re doing this in the name of better hunting, and go execute.

One of my personal daily objectives year-round is to simply break a sweat. Sounds easy, but doing that every single day of the year can be hard with life going a million miles per hour. Make your small goals concise and realistic. If you miss a day, bounce right back the following day. This will undoubtedly increase your confidence which will lead to improved performance.

“High octane output requires high octane input.”


How many of us avid whitetail hunters eat convenient gas station food during season? Convenience breeds complacency. It is not convenient to eat whole foods or prepare meals. Same goes for working out in the morning before work or making time to shoot our weapons in the off-season. To get your best performance, put the best available ingredients into your body.

Wild game, veggies, fruits, and nuts should make up the bulk of your intake. High octane output requires high octane input. Look for real food found in nature. Simply eat a rainbow a day and avoid convenient processed or packaged foods.

Platter of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Here’s the hierarchy of foods that will sustain high octane energy needed to be active and crush your goals. Eat meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruits, little starch, and no sugar. Let me translate that into basic terms; eat real food and aim for a rainbow a day. The rainbow effect of real food is very apparent once you go grocery shopping. All the real food is located on the perimeters of the grocery aisles. This is where real food that has lots of vibrant color and can go bad if you don’t eat it soon.

What’s the expiration date of an apple? What’s the ingredients of an apple? Conversely, what’s the expiration date of a bag chips and what are those ingredients listed on the bag of chips? You know, that paragraph in small font of items I cannot pronounce let alone understand what they are. Processed foods will leave you with very little energy, low satiety, and possibly cause increased inflammation. Carefully consider what kind of fuel you put in your body as it pertains to your goals for the upcoming year.

Real food coupled with a little sweat equity can go a long way when it comes to accomplishing all your new goals for 2021. Let’s make this year better and it starts with post-season restoration.

Elk hunter hiking in snow covered mountains.


ElkShape has been a partner with Vortex Optics since 2010. Their brand is centered around helping elk hunters work through the elk hunting learning curve via their podcast, YouTube and Live ElkShape Camps. ElkShape hosts several ElkShape camps throughout the U.S. educating elk hunters on technical archery, elk behavior, elk calling, fitness, scouting and more. You can learn more by visiting their website | www.elkshape.com | “Separation is in the Preparation” | @ElkShape

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