Fitness vs. Accuracy

3forks

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Oct 4, 2014
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I would guess that most people can put on a 50 pound pack and get to where they need to go via a trail (albeit much more slowly than someone who is in shape or lives at altitude), but I don’t think that’s really too difficult.

But, I would bet both a fit person and unfit person will wear out pretty quickly and at a comparable rate if neither had been conditioning themselves for moving through jackstrawed timber, steep side hills, or generally in most of the conditions you find off trail.

Having great aerobic fitness and one dimensional strength isn’t going to help you much when your hip flexors are fried from walking a couple hundred yards through deadfall.

Same with accuracy… lots of people can shoot their bow or rifle well enough without a lot of consistent practice. However, trying to make a good shot on a steep angle, offhand, quartering, in the wind, etc. is going to be way more of a challenge if you never practice those shots.

Anyway, as it relates to this discussion and western or mountain type hunts, I don’t think fitness or accuracy is really anymore important than the other, and the more specifically you train for the variables you may encounter is the bigger differentiator when it comes to success.
 

Coveyleader

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Nov 27, 2013
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Shooting is very important, as a matter of fact for me, my shooting has let me down more over the course of my bowhunting exploits than finding and getting near game by a large margin. That’s on all species being considered not just elk. I’ve had some incredible runs on deer followed by some absolutely horrible “luck” .

I’d rather be better than average on Both shooting and fitness than the opposite.
 
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cnelk

cnelk

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If you hunt the same areas year after year and kill elk, you know what’s needed to find and kill an elk. Same goes If you’re hiking to a tree stand, waterhole etc and just sitting, the average fat ass American can do that.

If you’ve never been to an area, it can take work to find elk. That work means fitness or mental toughness how ever you want to call it it. “Some call ocean some call it the sea” either way, at that point finding them is much more important than shooting and that can take a toll.

Hmmm.
3 years ago I drew a Wyo Bighorn tag.
Killed a bull a mile from my truck.
Never hunted there before.

2 years ago I drew a LE unit in Colorado and also killed a bull within a mile of my vehicle.
Never hunted there before either.

I didn’t sit water, nor a tree stand or wallow.

Lucky I guess
 

Billy Goat

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Well how many people missed their first shot at an elk? Then onto 2nd, third....


I don't know but maybe one person who connected on their first shot with a bow, or rather connected and recovered. So I'd say shooting experience always helps, cause they were able to get a shot.


Tho I guess you can saw how many never got a shot cause they didn't cover enough ground. To me, it's not how much ground I cover, it's how well I cover it.
 

BBob

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Man I choose to be both as fit as I can and to shoot well but I’ve known a few that aren’t great shots and aren’t fit but can kill elk as well as or better than anyone. The difference is they really know how to hunt elk. So many ways to be successful at this game so I’m not sure there’s any real answer to this question except to find your own answer to the puzzle 🤷‍♂️
 

H2PVon

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Western PA
I think experience kills more elk than either one. I'd bet a lot of money that even IF I was in better shape AND could shoot better in the moment of truth than cnelk and we both go into an area he's coming out with an elk and I'm not.

However, given only these two choices I'm thinking being in shape might get you enough shots to eventually connect?
 

Coveyleader

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Hmmm.
3 years ago I drew a Wyo Bighorn tag.
Killed a bull a mile from my truck.
Never hunted there before.

2 years ago I drew a LE unit in Colorado and also killed a bull within a mile of my vehicle.
Never hunted there before either.

I didn’t sit water, nor a tree stand or wallow.

Lucky I guess
I’d say you’re a good elk hunter that made his own luck.
 
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