Preparation tips for every hunter
Hunting in the mountains, especially in high alpine altitudes, has a special appeal to it. The clean air, the far sight and the panoramic landscape make every hunting trip an extraordinary experience. But in order for such a trip to become a huge success, the right preparation is needed. Alpine hunting is not the same as hunting in the woods. It has certain pitfalls. Those can be easily avoided if you know what you are doing. ZEISS Hunting provides you with tips and tricks to make your adventure unforgettable.
The importance of exercise
It is never a good idea to go on a hiking trip when your physical fitness does not allow it. Normal hiking can already be exhausting, but carrying your hunting equipment with you while ascending into the mountains is definitely no picnic. The ascent should start in the early hours of the day, in order to avoid the stinging sun. To be well-prepared, your level of fitness needs to be up to a certain standard. The months before the alpine hunt should be filled with different exercise, such as running and cycling. Squats and stair climbing are particularly useful to adapt the knees to the ascent. After a certain physical fitness is achieved, try to exercise also with your hunting equipment, for example with your backpack.
Once you have managed the ascent and found a target, take all the time you need. If you are nervous and rushing to set up your rifle, the animals will most likely notice you and flee. That is why you should try to be as relaxed as possible and calmly assemble your rifle and your ZEISS riflescope. Always remember: As long as the game is not alarmed, you can take your time!
Only carry the bare necessities with you
Don’t take this suggestion too literally. Rather understand it as a reminder to not carry unnecessary things with you that might weigh you down. Any extra equipment will only make your backpack heavy. Although any professional backpack will do its job, a backpack with a light back frame will make the carrying of your equipment a lot easier. Be sure to pack functional clothing, a water-proof and wind-proof fleece jacket and an extra pair of socks – you never know when the weather in the mountains might change. Furthermore, a range finder, a camera, a cell phone, a headlamp and two litres of an isotonic drink should be included on your packing list. If your rifle is bothering you while carrying it, strap it onto your backpack with some rope.
The right equipment
… is the be-all and end-all of every hunt. A barrel cap belongs to every alpine hunt, as does a light pair of ZEISS binoculars with a 7-10x magnification. An alpenstock trekking pole may be also a good tool because it will give you support and stability on rough soil. However, when needing support on an uneven surface, the right pair of hiking boots may be your life insurance. The boots should be waterproof, provide you with lateral support and have a sole with enough traction for every type of ground. On rainy days and in winter a pair of gaiters may prove to be useful for keeping your feet and calves dry and warm.
Carry enough rifle cartridges
Nothing is as bothering as wanting to take the perfect shot and noticing that you have run out of rifle cartridges. You may miss a lot, especially when hunting chamois. Don’t be ashamed of carrying a whole box of cartridges with you.
Prevent strains at all means
Strains can be a real pain while hiking, but the good news is that they can be mitigated. Applying sports gel to thighs, knees and calves before descending the mountains will reduce the risk of overstraining those body parts. Other parts that are particularly sensitive to friction can be covered in ointment. An alpine hunt always includes long hikes. During these hikes, chewing gum will keep your mouth from going dry. If you feel powered out, eat dextrose. It gives you an energy boost for a short time.
Don’t be too proud to accept help
If your guide offers to carry your backpack or rifle, don’t be too proud to accept the offer. Since the guide knows the area and is used to the hike, they will not mind carrying half of the burden. If your body has become weak, it needs a long break. Short breaks will no longer suffice to regain the needed energy for the hike. Especially if you are carrying your killed game downhill, your equipment will become heavier by the minute. Therefore, it is okay to accept the offer to share the weight – it is not a sign of weakness.