- 7 Tips for BIG Hunters
7 Tips for BIG Hunters
By: Jonathan Metcalf
When it comes to getting out on the mountain, or into nature, the struggle can be real for us big hunters. Whether you’re a tall or heavy-set, you’re a BIG hunter, which means you have your own set of challenges and obstacles to hurtle. Let’s take a minute to discuss seven tips that we could all use, to help negotiate our experience on our upcoming hunts!
1. Protect Your Feet
No better friend, no worst enemy when it comes to our feet on the mountain. Finding a boot with good ankle support, and appropriate for the terrain type you’re about to hunt is everything. You can be as tall as a giraffe or as heavy as a rhino and still get it done on your hunt, however without a good pair of boots you’re dead in the water. Little things like boot inserts and boots of the appropriate ankle height are the little factors that can keep you charging forward. Wet feet are also a killer, not just for tall or big hunters, but for pretty much anyone. Waterproof boots are high on the list of musts in our camp. Get boots on your feet, and get those suckers dialed in before your next adventure.
2. Train for Your Hunt
You don’t have to be Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk to be a good hunter, but you need to be capable. Capable has a variety of definitions when it comes to hunting so let’s simplify this a little for us big folks. Getting yourself ready for your upcoming hunt can make or break our hunt. Being able to push the envelope will help you be able to go the extra distance to get it done. Learning to train prior to the hunt, will also give you the edge on the unexpected circumstances that occur in the field. Training also creates discipline, and let’s face it, hunting requires disciplines. Getting out on a walk, with a pack and those new boots we discussed earlier is a great way to train and test out gear prior to your hunt. One opportunity a season is all a lot of hunters get, don’t be the one to miss it, because you weren’t physically and mentally ready.
3. Make the Necessary Adjustments
Now that you’re out there training and getting ready for your hunt, let’s talk about making adjustments. It’s important for a big hunter to constantly evaluate their gear and make adjustments to it. Hiking with a weighted pack is a great way to find out how your body handles weight and how your gear works for you. For a tall hunter it is very important to get that weight riding on the right portion of your body — your hips or your shoulders. Spending time with your gear in your intended environment or a simulation of it, is a must for big hunters.
4. Move Efficiently
Growing up we were told the story of the tortoise and the hair. Hunting is no different when it comes to completing our goals. Move through the woods at a sustainable pace. Working through a patch of timber at a fast pace, can cause you to miss a ton of stuff. Think like the animal you are hunting; think about how they navigate the wild. Elk and deer don’t sprint through an area randomly, they take their time and meticulously pick through their environment and study it deeply for any kinds of danger; or anything out of place. Mimic the animals and watch how fast you catch onto what you’ve been missing. A couple of suggestions to consider in being efficient as a tall or big hunter; let your glass walk for you and choose the path of least resistance. Utilizing optics can help you pick an area apart without ever setting foot on it, use that to your advantage.
5. Select Appropriate Gear for Your Body Type
Clothing options in todays age are nearly unlimited. Many different companies offer options in clothing for the big or tall hunter. Resources such as GoWild, which combines gear shopping with social media, can help you get outfitted for your hunt without breaking the bank. You and I were created equal; however, we were not built the same! Listen to your bodies needs, try out gear prior to the season and be sure it is something that benefits you and not handicaps you. Trial and error is your closest ally in the off season, be sure to take your time and select the appropriate gear for YOU.
6. Secret Weapons
One truly never knows what to expect on the mountain, do not get caught with your pants around your ankles. As a big and tall hunter, I have found a few “secret weapons” that help me stay on the mountain. Goldbond has saved my hunt on more than one occasion. Chaffing and swamp a$$ can bring your hunt to a complete stand still, literally. Big means big needs. Let that sink in for a minute. Tall and big hunters simply require more sometimes. More water, more food, more rest, extra socks, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Liquid IV, Luko tape and any sort of survival gear are excellent things to add to your arsenal. Stay ready in case of any sort of hurtle you may encounter.
7. Know Your Limits
This is one of the most important tips a big or tall hunter should take into consideration. You might be as strong as an ox, or as nimble as a gazelle, but you still have limits. Always remember you have to get out of wherever you get into. Proper preparation for your hunt in advance, can help minimize the risk of a life-threatening situation. The only person you have to prove anything to, is yourself. Set realistic goals, expectations and hunt within your means. Our bodies will communicate their needs, and warn us of failure; will you listen to it?
Regardless of what critter you are chasing, it’s important to be prepared. The above 7 tips are just some ideas to get the wheels turning in your brain. Big in no way means not capable; but it does come with a little extra. Get out there and get after it, be relentless, pursues greatness, stay vigilante and always… BE PREPARED