Y’all must be tougher than me

Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
2
Howdy,
Lurker for a while from Missouri. Long time hunter, mostly private land deer hunting and duck hunting. Moved to Missouri for work this year and decided to try my hand at public land hunting in the Ozarks with a backpack to get away from the crowd, with the goal of working up to hunting out west also.
I was successful on my first season this year and took a nice 8pt buck. But that 2 mile pack back to the truck over a couple Ozark ridges (which are small by western standards but large to this flatlander) were killer. My legs were sore for days. Makes me think a lot of guys must be tougher than me.
But it was one of the most rewarding hunts I’ve been on and the meat in my freezer looks like bars of gold. It’s given me the itch and im already planning a backpack turkey trip for the spring.

It’s a long intro post. But figured it was time to bite the bullet and post a FNG.
 

Clarence

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
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452
Welcome. Ozarks are legit man. Keep working and it will get easier. I can find hills in the east tough and steep, similar to the west. We just don't have that whole altitude thing, which is a thing for sure.

Sent from my SM-G981V using Tapatalk
 

Marbles

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May 16, 2020
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Anchorage, AK
Spend time in the hills and you will get use to them. I grew up in the Ozarks and always enjoyed taking level lander friends on runs. On a track they could own me, but in the hills I could always break them down.

Now that I don't run hills several days a week, I'm the one that ends up in the dirt.

That said, don't mistake fitness for toughness, the to do not always go together. While tough and fit is best, tough is normally more valuable when the metal meets the meat.
 

Michael54

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Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
740
I've never admitted how much it kicks my ass, but never denied it either. I think many of us have had that "oh f$#k" moment after the realization of where they are at compared to where they need to be with the meat sets in. Seems that animals also have a tendency of going exactly where you don't want them to go after being hit as well. I had a muley that to this day i swear his final eff you was him wheeling 180 degrees and charging down into a bottomless pit of suck before dying.......he's not the biggest but he's the one on my wall...
 

Haney

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Jul 17, 2020
Messages
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My first Whitetail buck almost killed me .I was young and thought I was in great shape , that 2 mile drag showed me I was wrong . The Adirondacks are not as high as some ranges , but they sure can be steep .
 

Dos Perros

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Jul 30, 2015
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Lenexa, KS
Welcome! Where in MO are you? Quite a few dudes from the region on here.

I don't like packing out animals either. Until I get to the truck at least. Then it was awesome.
 
OP
H
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
2
Welcome! Where in MO are you? Quite a few dudes from the region on here.

I don't like packing out animals either. Until I get to the truck at least. Then it was awesome.
In the St. Louis area. I’ve noticed a lot of folks from MO on here.
Oh yeah, after it was in the cooler it was awesome. It wasn’t my biggest buck but definitely one that I’m the most proud of.
 

jfs82

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Jan 13, 2019
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533
Very first day I ever hunted higher altitude being from sea level, I climbed about 1200 ft of elevation, sat down to get my water out, took a gulp, promptly threw up everywhere. It's not just you. I'm sore every time I come home from a few days out, but I like it, it's a remidner of the hard work and how much I enjoyed it.
 

stump06

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Joined
May 26, 2016
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207
It always sucks while your hiking and/or packing out but the day after I get done I'm always ready to go back.
 

CAD73

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Nov 18, 2020
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MA
Newbie here too, also in the east. There's plenty of steep ridges here in the Northeast but like others have said, we don't have the elevation that the West does. I put some miles on my boots this year hunting some steep terrain in VT, still-hunting whitetail. I'm not in the best shape of my life at 47, so I work up a sweat pretty quickly. That leads to my biggest problem...wetting out and then trying to sit when I find a great spot up top. Unfortunately I'm usually freezing in about 90 minutes after sitting down. Never used to carry a big pack with extra layers, but today the clothing tech has changed and so have whitetail hunters' tactics I think. I'm learning some tips from you West coast guys, and they are definitely applicable here in the east - just on a smaller scale.
 

TheGDog

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Jun 12, 2020
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OC, CA
Not necessarily tougher.. just willing to suffer even longer after the outing, due to the steep work sometimes involved.

And that's even with med support (Rx NSAIDS + OTC NSAIDS + TYLENOL #3's w codeine before hitting the road returning home), and a lot of setup changes to cope with the lumbar inflammation problem to minimize it. Like changing over to those FirstLite suspenders helped a big deal. Now during a sit I could undo my top button so my injury doesn't hurt from the squeezing by the waistband in the back, what with my lower belly goin' soft a little bit with age as well so thicker so pushing against the waistband so it tightens up in back on the injured area, but only when seated. So pop the button and I'm good. And when you get up its no problem 'cause that's how suspenders roll, hehe.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2020
Messages
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Some parts of the Ozarks will rival what you’ll see out west just a lot smaller scale. Good practice grounds for sure but it’s always fun to get kicked in the teeth by that elevation when you decide to head out west! Congrats on the success!
 

TheGDog

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Plus in time you get a noticeable improvement in stamina on the uphill and ability to withstand foot soreness on the downhill part after you've got a few years into it doing it, usually something like 6 miles each way each time you visit. One of the biggest tattle-tales is usually how fast you're drinking thru your water. Or how well you can figure out how much water you'll need. And then you notice you start to not need to eat as much when you return to your vehicle. Lots of little tattle tale signs, if you're paying attention, are letting you know if you're getting better at it and more fit. Especially after you address issues with your setup that were causing you pain due to some improper fitment multiplied by miles and miles. Or bad designs of products creating a seem or tab that curls up and pokes ya in a weird spot, rubbing you absolutely raw after miles, strange spots such as the dead-center of your back! Once you get gear squared away, to where you got that trust in it, you know the setup where it doesn't hurt you, or you don't sweat too much on the ascent, with extra clothes items to swap out with once you reach your climb. Clothing items to support your warmth once you're at your ambush spot and the sitting still has your body cooled back down and then the morning breezes then tend to find their way to your sweaty boot socks which'll give you a chill, so you'll need either an extra warm jacket up top to counter-act it... or you go light with extra warmth layers in the pack and maybe drape another thin jacket layer across your legs and feet while on the sit. And once you've got things sorted out to where you know what items you need to take with you to this area vs that area, versus which ones can be left home. You also start to do a lot less over-packing, so you're not carrying around tons of unneeded crap. The biggest contributor to how sore ya get is how much water ya gotta lug in with you. Because out here, you often don't have water available to you where you're going in to. It's hit or miss each year if there will be water at places, so ya can't trust that it'll be there. But yeah man... nothing can prepare you for hiking out the meat+head+hide+everything you packed in. So sometimes you decide to make 2 trips to lighten weight per trip. But some places are just too far away from the vehicle and too much energy each way, so can't expect to do 2 trips.
 

geewhiz

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Aug 6, 2020
Messages
220
No matter how you cut it, its a lot of work for anybody to pack an animal out of the hills, no matter where you are. Its a mental game every bit as much as it is a physical game.

And those guys that say they can bone out an entire bull and pack the whole thing out by themselves in one trip are full of crap.
 

TheGDog

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A Bull Elk out in one trip? with one dude? I'd have to think not possible unless he was using one of those single MTB-wheeled carts, or some kind if drag/sled/game-cart device.

And me personally, with those game-carts... I don't know how you get those into your spots. I always seem to have big 'ol long overgrown single-track uphill trails to bust thru mile after mile. Always figure it must be something they can do back east or something?
 

geewhiz

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Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
220
A Bull Elk out in one trip? with one dude? I'd have to think not possible unless he was using one of those single MTB-wheeled carts, or some kind if drag/sled/game-cart device.

And me personally, with those game-carts... I don't know how you get those into your spots. I always seem to have big 'ol long overgrown single-track uphill trails to bust thru mile after mile. Always figure it must be something they can do back east or something?
I wholeheartedly agree with you.

If I recall correctly there was a gentleman that posted on here this season (or maybe a different forum..?) who said him and his buddy both shot bulls and were able to get them out in one trip. Photos showed whole unskinned heads and all back at the truck. Cant say I buy that one, but maybe I misread the story.

Either way, realistically I'm good with one 60lb boned out elk quarter and a few bottles of water at a time if I'm going to by doing any kind of distance.
 
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