Hunting Fitness: An Honest Conversation with Yourself

15th January 2024|2 min

Self-reflection is a helpful way to realistically approach being physically ready for your hunting trips.  

As Josh Murray preps for this year’s Roar, he asks the question: “picture yourself in 3 months' time and think about what your Roar will look like?” 

It’s always good to have an honest conversation with yourself about how fit or unfit you think you are. From there you can figure out what your limitations might be in relation to hunting or just life in general. 

Personally, I don’t train like I used to, I am lucky to have an active job so can maintain some level fitness, but it’s always humbling to take myself for a run and see how far my fitness has dropped below what it once was. 

So, with that said, should we be committing ourselves to a week climbing around the mountains without giving our body some sort of warning of what is to come?  

Just like any other physical sport it's a good idea to get your body ready before the big game to avoid hurting yourself and I believe hunting is no different. 

Of course, not everybody’s Roar hunting looks the same because of things like access, ability and time; so different types of hunting have different physical demands.  

Fiordland 2023 Roar trip - “Big country requires some level of physical fitness to get yourself around,” Josh says.

Fiordland 2023 Roar trip - “Big country requires some level of physical fitness to get yourself around,” Josh says.

This Roar you might have a relatively easy private block with quad bike access, so you don’t have the same fitness requirements as the person crossing over the Southern Alps. But you might still want to know that you can drag 100kg animal out of the creek and 100m up to the track without blowing a gasket. 

I started writing this because I was asked if I had any “tips” for getting "Roar fit”. I thought "yeah of course" but because we all have different fitness requirements it does not actually have a one size fits all answer.  
What I would suggest is to picture yourself in 3 months' time and think about what your Roar will look like.  

Will you have a better, more enjoyable and hopefully successful time if you’re not dragging yourself up the hills, slowing down your mates and missing out on the shot at an animal because you can’t get yourself into a good firing position? 

Are you going to injure yourself because you can’t lift 50kg in the gym but you're going to try lift a 100kg stag onto the ute?  

Except for a rare few, most of us will be reading this after ‘a bit of time in a good paddock’ on the other side of Christmas holidays. So now is a good time to take yourself for a walk or a run, think about where you want your fitness to be in 3 months' time and make a plan.  
Put a backpack on, find a hill nearby and slowly increase the weight you are carrying each time you go until you match what you might be carrying in the hills, time yourself and monitor your improvement. It doesn’t cost and all it takes is some motivation and time. 

So good luck, hopefully I will take my own advice and will catch some of you up in the hills chasing stags in the months to come. 

Are you ROARfit? Download our Get #ROAR-fit Guide 2024 and complete the self-evaluation then get planning.  

Check out more handy Roar planning resources:  

  • Read how Otago hunter, Thomas Wardhaugh, gets Roar-fit 
  • Download Plan My Walk to plan an off-track hunt using the Custom Track builder. Then share the trip plan with your emergency contact. 
  • Explore our free resources, including videos, navigation and river safety support, and more real stories from hunters to help plan like a pro.