Preparing for Fall

Show Notes

On this episode of The Western Rookie Podcast, Brian talks with Weston Paul about preparing for fall and another season of mountain hunting.

Weston Paul is part of the Mtn Tough – a Bozeman based coaching company that helps build fitness plans for outdoorsmen and women, guides, LEOs, and anyone that is interested in living healthy and getting the most out of their body. Brian and Weston talk about how much of a difference being in shape and prepared for hunting season can make on an elk hunt and the different styles of training that can help you get ready for September. To check out more from Weston and Mtn Tough, check out the links below.



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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] You're listening to the Western Rookie, a hunting podcast full of tips, tricks, and strategies from seasoned western hunters. There are plenty of opportunities out there. We just need to learn how to take on the challenges. Hunting is completely different up there. That person 26 became animals. You can fold their eyes.

We can fold their nose 300 yards back to the road, turned into three miles back the other way. It's always cool seeing new hunters go harvest an animal. I don't know what to expect. If there's anybody I want in the woods with me, it'll be you.

Welcome back to another episode of the Western Rookie Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Krebs, and I have Weston Paul with Mountain Tough Fitness in the studio today. He's in his studio. I'm in my studio, but we're gonna do a podcast because it's that time of the year to start really thinking about the fall.

As crazy as that sounds, it's time to start getting in shape, getting some weight on the pack, and getting [00:01:00] ready for another season out west. And with that, how are you doing today, Weston? I'm doing well. Thanks for having me on, Brian. And yeah, thanks to your audience for listening as well. It's fun to just make these connections too, wherever we are geographically.

It's yeah let's have a conversation. So thanks to the times we're in and being able to do this. Yeah, I'm not the podcast is doing incredibly well. But we're not to the point where we're flying guests in for episodes yet. This isn't Rogan. And so it's great to be able to just hop on a call.

Like I just mentioned, I'm heading to Canada in four hours. So how would that work if we had to do in person podcast today? It's thanks. Now hit the road. I gotta leave. No, it's all, it would be fun to fly people in and do that too, but I'm like, oh geez, who has the time? It comes down to it?

Yeah, the time. That would be hours and hours to like, organize, travel, pick 'em up from the airport, then you're probably gonna do something, you're not just gonna fly in for an hour and fly out, so you like, oh, now I gotta go to dinner. And [00:02:00] sure, if this was a full-time gig, that'd be great, but for very few of us talking as our full-time gig.

Yeah, definitely. So where are you guys located, by the way? We're located in Bozeman, Montana, so Southwest Montana. That's our headquarters for Mountain Tough Fitness Lab. Yeah, been out here. Mountain Tough. Started in 2016 and yeah. Dustin, who founded it, he is, he went to college here, grew up in Montana and shoot, I've been here I went to college in Montana too in 2001, date myself here, and then up to Bozeman in 2005, so yeah.

Wow. Yeah. Oh, wow. Just in that kind of, in the heart of there's, it seems like there's two cities where like all Western industry is in, and it's either Salt Lake City, Utah. Yeah. Or Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman definitely became a hub, but Salt Lake City is where, is the true hub, like an outdoor industry in general is like South Salt Lake City.

Then Bozeman's like the miniature version of that, [00:03:00] I would say. But yeah, just, yeah, not much. Not miniature for very long though. Bozeman is no. I feel like you guys are always on, like the fastest growing cities in America list we are. Like where I live in Belgrade, which is just outside of Bozeman, it's it is the fastest growing right now per some of those reports that are out there.

But it's still it's still small. In the relative scheme. It's like Bozeman itself is 50,000 people pretty much, but then the surrounding valley is like a hundred thousand maybe. But there's not like a lot of infrastructure here to honestly support a lot of people. It's like very, construction farm ranch, ag and then a bit of tourism.

But it's yeah, o overall it's hard to support a large population here. It's gonna take a lot of time before that happens but yeah. Yeah. 10% a year of a hundred thousand is much different than like 1% of LA It's a lot different. Yeah. When you look at Salt Lake or Yeah, other places too.

So I always [00:04:00] like to preface that. I'm like, yep, it's growing like a lot of places, too. It's like there's a lot of wonderful places. Wherever you are, there's some beauty in where you're at. And so embrace that. And then people find out about that and they wanna move and you're like I can't fault you for that.

I moved here. Yeah. Yeah. I think it's funny because people love I would love to live in Bozeman. It would be great you got everything in your back door. The fishing would probably be a little bit worse than Minnesota. Yeah, but that's, they're still fishing and the, the, like the fly fishing would be exponentially better.

Yep. And so we're just like open water fishermen. And but other than that, like for hunting, like what a better place to live than southwest Montana because then you have not only like the state with probably the most access for a hunter in terms of season length species, distribution, landscape types, public, but also you're right next to Wyoming and Idaho and not too far away from Colorado.

And [00:05:00] those are like the three options for like out-of-state hunts. Yeah. Is well including Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado are like the four core out-of-state options cuz the rest of them usually have some type of point game that takes so long to drop. Yep. So yeah, it's I mean it's the heart of it.

Like the greater yellow eco, greater Yellowstone ecosystem like Yellowstone National Park and everything that feeds. It's pretty incredible too. And it's, this has been going on, this has been going on since the dawn of time. Like when you think the elk herds moving through and migrating here and there.

Yes. We, as people have gotten in the way of 'em too by putting up fences and all that sort of stuff and putting pressure on 'em. But that is happening Oh, it's been several years ago, but my buddy and I were on a back country elk trip. We were packing up our camp one morning rolling up, I was rolling up the tent.

He was rolling up his sleeping bag, like literally like side by side. We're above Timberline, right? And we had this big rainstorm the night [00:06:00] before and I'm like, thunder and lightning and just like crazy downpour, just water rushing everywhere. And where we had set our tent up was good, but on either side of it, the water was just flowing and we're roll.

I'm rolling up the tent, he's rolling up his sleeping bag and he reaches down in between us and he picks up an arrowhead. And this is like way up in the mountains. It is so cool. I'm like, dude, this, we're up here archery hunting and this has been going on for a very long time. People have been up here archery hunting.

It is super, super special. So that is so cool. Yeah. My brothers. I would say it's probably his number one bucket list item at this point is to find an arrowhead, like his outdoor bucket list, obviously, yeah, watch my kids grow up and be successful. Okay. Yeah. But like when it comes to hunting and fishing he like putting that up there would be very, that's very high on his list is finding an arrowhead.

And so I that I once ordered a bag of flake arrowheads from Amazon [00:07:00] and I was gonna bring them out to our archery camp and just give them to everybody in our team and just be like, Hey, anytime you stop for lunch, just throw a couple out. Yes. And wait until he finds 'em. And so he is finds five or six of 'em over the course of the week and be like, this is the best trip ever.

And then driving back I'd have him like, Hey, can you reach in the glove box and get me a napkin? And he finds like the entire bag of Amazon arrowheads. That's amazing. Hey, it's hope. It's hope they didn't show up in time. I ordered him like the day before we left and they didn't show up in time. Yeah, now we probably heard the story that I, my plans and now it won't work, but, oh, I, so yeah. It would be cool. But yeah. Speaking of like the time that it's been through, have you found a lot of seashells up in places where Yeah. That are a long ways away from the ocean? Ocean? Oh, I like I'm a I'm not so much like a geology geek, but I love picking up rocks.

And it's funny, I got two boys as well, and they're like, like our [00:08:00] house, like the window wells are like lined with rocks that we pick up from here, there, and everywhere. And whenever I'm up high, I'm always looking for some sort of fossil or something and I'm, I end up my pockets are always full, especially coming back in archery season especially bringing stuff back.

And my boys are the same way. We're like, Constantly picking up stuff. So it's just, it's fun to be like, no way this was covered in water way up here. Yeah. I've always was for a long time I was like, is this because this used to be covered in water? Or are birds finding these in like streams and lakes nearby?

Yeah. And then bringing these up here. Yeah. And I'm like, I don't know. Which seems more realistic cuz I, some places you go, you see a lot of them. A lot of 'em, yeah. Like I, I feel covered in water and like I said, I'm not a geology guy, but one of my good buddies he's like mid sixties, he's a geology professor and we al hunt together every year.

Archery Al [00:09:00] Hunt. Too, and he is like over time, shared with me a lot of the terrain and what's conducive to elk habitat too, especially during the rut. And a lot of this stuff too that we're in these big valleys. So if you haven't come out west to hunt or you're thinking of coming out west to hunt, one of the coolest things in my opinion is when you get up high is just looking out into these big valleys that are out there and they look like deserts.

They look like they're completely flat. There's grass and stuff, but then it'll go into a river bottom. But you have to think however long ago that was all a big old glacier and the glacier was moving through and the river was like a hundred times as big or massive. Like we can't fathom it.

Like you're not going from one side of the river to the other. But all of this, the glaciers formed all of. The wonderful elk hunting ground like these MAs and where it rolls and it's all the terrain features, they want some flat ground, they wanna have[00:10:00] a little protection. And so all of those geologic pieces like come into play when you're up there elk hunting.

And it totally makes sense when you think about it. You're like, oh, like people had to travel across the ice, and were killing whatever wooly mammoth, let's say I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna butcher it. Cause I'm not like, I never took geology. I just buddies with this geology professor. But I'm like it absolutely makes sense.

And when you look out and you're like, whoa, like this has been going on for a very long time. I'm up here now in these mountains and these elk love this habitat because those glaciers. Pushed in the right type of soil, it produces like really good fruitful crop. So when it comes to the grasses and stuff that elk are eating up there up high, it's like they don't even need to leave some of these little places.

And you're like, oh yeah, that's when you find a shell or some sort of fossil and you're like, oh, this is the right place to be. This is the, this is definitely the right place to be when it comes to especially hunting elk in the rut. So anyway, oh [00:11:00] yeah, it is super cool to think back. So I grew up in central Minnesota in the lake country.

And we grew up on a lake and not, I'd say five years ago, one of my, one of the neighbor friends that also grew up on the lake, his dad lived on the lake, now he lives on the lake. He found he was fishing one day in his pontoon, or just cruising, I can't remember which. But he looks down, he is man, that really looks like an elk anr.

But it can't be like, this is central Minnesota. Yeah. But he is that stick looks so close to an elk handler. I'm gonna pick it up. And sure enough, he picks it up and then there's another one right next to it. And he, no way he picks 'em up like these are elk antler. Like the tips. The tips were degraded down.

I'd say each Hein was like the top half, the ivory part of it was all gone. But the rest of it was like petrified and it's perfect. It's like base, two fronts, a third, a fourth and a fifth. There's no deny and then there's a left and a right. There's no denying that these are elk angle.

There's some people like, oh, those look like sticks. It's [00:12:00] you don't even know what you're talking about if you think those are sticks. Oh man. And so that fired off all kinds of questions, like how long have they been there? And so it's the elk haven't been here for 400 years. Or whatever, since the settlers came across the west cuz they pushed all the elk out and Yep.

They used to love this type of the prairie and now they're out in the mountains because of the human pressure. But it's so cool to think about those elk handlers just sitting in the bottom of that lake for hundred years, just preserved maybe thousands of years. Yeah.

Preserved. I'm like that. That's true too. I was like, yeah, we're a prairie animal primarily too. And I'm like, you get to reading some of that stuff, some of that. Some of that historical like accounts and everything. You're like, man. Yeah. All the way from Minnesota, like however far the elk herds went, like our pressure just pushed 'em and pushed 'em.

Now they're in the mountains of southwest Montana too that's a great transition because you wouldn't need to be mountain tough and in shape if they were still a prairie animal. Like you. I'm like you [00:13:00] now that they're a mountain animal, you'd have to walk. I'm like, I am. I'm confident in that.

I grew up in South Dakota and and some of my good friends are had a ranch on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and it was crazy cuz some of the, not wild horses, but there were guys that would walk down horses, they would just keep 'em off of water Lakota guys and they would just keep 'em off of water and they'd keep pushing 'em.

And keep pushing 'em. Eventually that horse would give up and they'd. Put a halter on it and bring it home and it, it'd be theirs. And I'd heard that a lot too with wild horses. And when you think about that with elk, if you were on the prairie, it's like you could be successful of course, in ambush, but you could also put the pressure on 'em and just keep 'em off.

And keep 'em off. And keep 'em off. And eventually, so there's no fences. I'm like, you just walk a long ways when it comes down to it. Yeah. I was like, we're walking uphill now. But you'd still be walking a long ways. Yeah. And if they didn't ever accustom to human pressure and roads, it would be a [00:14:00] lot like antelope hunting.

Yeah. Where typical, A lot of places in America, you spend a majority of your time antelope hunting, driving and scouting. Like you drive to a knob, walk a hundred yards, glass drive to the next one. And so if that was elk hunting, that would, you would still want to be like, In good shape.

That's never gonna hurt you. But it's definitely keeping you you guys in business and having some good job security now that they are on the mountains, cuz it's drastically different, like you said, we gotta climb uphill to find them and then we gotta carry 'em downhill and we gotta descend.

Totally. Totally. Yeah. Yeah. That's the thing, like that uphill travel now that we do and that, I love and that people are looking to get that experience and gain that experience. You come out west, you hunt, you're looking forward to it. You know what to expect though because you've done it for a while if you hadn't done it.

It's it takes a few seasons to go, oh, like I need to be a little more prepared in this area. Yeah, especially I believe rifle hunting can really be what you make it. And if the better the [00:15:00] shape you're in, great. Because there's gonna be times where you need to. Boots, scoot and boogie over to the next ridge.

Yep. But where it becomes immediately obvious is archery hunting. Yeah. Yeah. Because you can spend all the time in the world getting to the spot, listening to the bugles, not breaking a sweat. But what happens is you start your calling set up and now he's gonna come in a hundred yards above you.

Yeah. Trying to catch the thermals. And now you need to run uphill 150 yards. Yep. And that a lot of people will be like, oh, it's only 150 yards. I run 150 yards all the time. It's sure enough, I'm sure you do. Yep. Try it uphill and then you try in black timber or deadfall even worse. Yeah. And see how long you last, because we did that last fall.

Yeah. Exact situation. We had a, we fired off a bugle. We heard a response and we're like, wow, that was really close. Like 300 yards. Let's make a plane like the you. You're probably the same when you hear that 300 yard bugle. You pull out your map first. [00:16:00] Yeah. And it's almost weird.

It's like there's an elk right there and you don't even move. You just pull out your map and you're starting to look like, let's make a plan. We did that and then he bugles again at one 50 and we're like, oh shit, he's moving. This bull's coming to us. And this was, there's only 10 seconds in between bugles yeah he's running.

And and he's gonna come in 80 yards above us. And so me and my brother take off. Like we both know right away uphill thermals, we gotta get higher. Yeah. We take off, go about 10 feet hit deadfall. We both trip like instantly all momentum stopped and now we're pinned, like the first cow is coming over the ridge and we didn't make it anywhere.

Oh yeah. And that's that moment too. And looking forward to that moment, there's so much anticipation. And when it doesn't happen, I'm like, You could go the rest of the trip and not have that circumstance arise again, right? Like that could be your one shot. And so to be, to make the most of it in every situation, the physical piece definitely comes into play.

You're [00:17:00] playing it smart, but your ability to navigate that quickly and then probably, take your backpack if it's 300 yards, I'm like, I take my backpack with me cuz I'm like I don't know what's going to happen. Cuz I may go over the next roller and then up the next one. And then pretty soon I'm, I've left my backpack.

So I'm like, I'm loaded. I'm going up all that stuff and I want to travel that quickly. So I have never once advocated for dropping your pack. I don't see a situation where you need to drop your pack. And it's exactly what you said. It's it's either so close that it's I will never forget where my pack is.

It's if it's that close, just keep it off. Yeah, totally. And then it's 300 yards. Oh, I could do it a lot faster without my pack. True. But you're probably, if you're in the speed game, you're probably not taking the time to drop a pin where your pack is. Like you said, things happen like rarely does the first instance of a setup play up.

You usually gotta move, you gotta work the bowl a little bit. All of a sudden you're like, sometimes you're four hours into this herd. Yes. And you're a [00:18:00] mile away. Yep. Yep. I'm like, I love that like diagonal travel, I love just pissing those, especially those herd bulls off. I'm like, oh, I like, it's gonna happen.

It's gonna happen. I'm gonna put enough pressure on you. And you travel so far in that, cause I'm like, That's the, that's what lights me up is I'm like, I'm out there and I'm just like, blood thirsty, I'm like, this is what we were meant to do. We're supposed to do this. So I'm just going and going.

I'm like I don't like to have to think about, yeah, my gear or my fitness. I just want to think about killing that bull. That's my ultimate goal. A lot of people, oh, I don't know, maybe I shouldn't say a lot of people. I feel like it's very easy to think, oh, I could handle that situation and come up with a good game plan and do all this, mental calculating of where I need to be, what the setup needs to be, what the bowl's saying.

Yeah. And it's yeah, you probably can, when you're like, when I'm sitting here talking to you, it all makes perfect [00:19:00] sense. Yep. But when I just got done running that 150 yards uphill, you just it's so crazy to see how long it takes you to like, think through a situation when you can't breathe.

Big time. Big time. Yeah. The, it's oxygen to your brain, like in your muscles trying to get it so your lungs are pumping and ultimately, like you end up in a, yeah, a brain fog, decision fatigue, like whatever it may be. When you wanna be sharp in that situation, you wanna be able to tap into those plays that you've played out in your head, or from videos that you watched, or stories that you've heard.

You wanna be able to tap into that and say this is my move. You, like you saying, I know I need to get higher because this bull's coming in. I don't want him to catch my thermal. Like, where's the edge of this next ridge so that my thermals are going up and off of it so that I can get there and then catch him while he's looking down.

I'm like those are the things. I don't know. You geek out on it. It's plays in a playbook when it comes down to it. If you're playing football, you wanna be able to execute on those plays and you [00:20:00] wanna have good oxygen to your brain too yeah. Yeah. I wanted to ask you quick, when you said you were, like, you're talking about paralleling a herd or a lot of people call it dog and a hurt, right?

Yep. You get a herd, you can if you're in the middle of the rut, it's, a lot of times it's pretty easy to keep tabs on a herd, right? They're pretty loud, the cows are loud, the bulls bugling. He might be chuckling trying to keep the herd together. If there's satellite bulls around, all of a sudden like chaos kicks off.

Like it's not, if you're close, it's easy to hear them. But my question was how fast, when you're doing that, how fast do you feel like that average herd is moving? Like for you to keep up at that parallel pace? Yeah. In like terms of like human speed, cuz it's not a nice slow, steady speed for a human.

It's like you got a boogie. Like you're, yeah. Every elk step, every step that they're gonna take in their stride is what, like three or four times hours. Like it's so much faster in their leisurely walking pace. And you think a bull picking up a couple cows, [00:21:00] a lead cow out front and a herd of however many, even if it's, 10 head they're gonna move so much faster than you think they're gonna move.

I've watched like my father-in-law, like when I started archery hunting, he came out to Montana cuz he hunted, he's from Michigan and he's hunted Colorado for forever and big whitetail guy and had a ton of elk experience. So I learned a lot from him. And we watched this bull, beautiful bull with his herd come up over a ridge and we glassed him and he was, yeah, still burned in my memory.

Just beautiful bull. And he picked his cows and pushed 'em and there were two guys behind and they actually dropped their packs and they booed after this bull, and you could see 'em. They were almost running these two guys after this herd and this herd never spooked. These guys did a good job.

My father-in-law looked right at 'em and he is They're never gonna catch up to 'em. And that's the truth. Like you're not going to catch up with 'em necessarily, but you're gonna stay on them [00:22:00] until they go in bed down. Cuz that's when your opportunity to really piss that herd bull off comes up.

So your ability to move with them is almost, it's not a jogging pace, but it's pretty dang brisk to be able to keep up and know where they're gonna go and then set up on 'em and let alone, if you get an opportunity that bull comes and picks a cow up, or you can have a roller or something and you can do that, like one lost cow, like one, one behind the herd, that he's gonna come up over that roller and he's gonna pick her up and you'll be right there.

That, that situation is, like I said, not a, it's not a sprint, but it's a pretty brisk walk. Typically you're gonna be running at a diagonal, so you're gonna be gaining a little bit of elevation. Most of the time, in my experience, you're gonna be gaining a little bit of elevation, paralleling them.

So you have to factor in that uphill travel. So you're gonna be pretty winded when you're just trying to make that move and keep up on that parallel. That's my experience. I'm like, and I like to be able to move in that, cuz I like to be [00:23:00] aggressive. I'm not a, I'm probably too aggressive sometimes.

I'm not a sit back and wait all day. I should probably be a little bit more patient, maybe not put as much pressure, but I've had good success too and put in that, getting that bull all pissed off. You'll hear it, you'll hear a lot of guys talk about it too, the bar fight scenario.

That scenario does come up and it does work, yeah. Yeah. If it's not broke, don't fix it by any means. And it sounds like it's not broke, but that's exactly what I wanted to talk about because. There's like you, you alluded to, there's a lot of different ways you can go about this.

You can, the most passive way that arguably has some pretty good success rates is sitting Yeah. The wallow water. Great funnels and saddles like to the point of a tree stem I'm committed to this tree. Yes. And there's a lot of people that have great success that would say that's the most passive option.

And then you get on the other side, which is probably, there's probably even room on the other side of what you do. On the aggressive side, you hear people [00:24:00] like Corey Jacobson. It's like I just run ridges and bugle my head off until someone wants to play. And I know I run by a lot of elk every day, but I don't care.

I just want the one that's pissed off today. And that's about as aggressive as you can get or like bombing in on a herd. Like I know this herd's beded in here. I'm gonna get into 50 yards. I might spook 'em, but if I don't, it's gonna be magic. If I play the wind correctly, if I play my thermals correctly and it does line, I'm like, you can sit there for an afternoon on a herd like that and you can wait Yeah.

Until that bull comes up and does his circle, quietly. Cuz that'll work too, but I'm like, yeah I tend, I'm probably to a fault. I'm like, I, it's just part of my personality. I'm like, I love to cover country, I love to travel. I'm, yeah, I'm totally on that level with Corey Jacobson. I'm like, let's go.

Let's go find another one. Yeah. And I think, but that's what makes it, that's what makes it September in a way, is that moving and getting close. That's when you hit the adrenaline. Yeah. That's when you're dogging herds and you're getting in [00:25:00] tight. That's when all the magic that people talk about, that's when it happens.

The magic isn't when a lone satellite comes in for a drink of water and you're sitting in a tree stand like, that's super cool. And I wouldn't turn that down. We've brought tree strands. It's like it's supposed to be super hot if they're not talking. Like we might have to resort to this cause we got one week to do it.

And you know that too. I'm like, that's yeah, that's in your quiver. I'm like, it works for sure. Yeah. If you got one week to do it, you gotta play by the Elks game. If you live in Bozeman like yourself, obviously you get more time, you get to pick and choose a little bit.

You still probably have a job and you gotta work. But we would all prefer that method. And the point that I wanna get to is that, to do that method, to get into that magic, you gotta move. You gotta be able to move. You gotta be able to, you gotta be able to, I don't know what you would call it. Like you said, speed walk uphill.

For long periods of time. Cuz it could be. Miles. Yeah. We've seen miles of a herd moving from their feed or whatever their early morning spot is to their bedding area. And you [00:26:00] can't, it's easy to hear 'em when you're close. It's not super easy to know where the herd went once they start getting out, a quarter half, depending on the terrain.

When they start getting that far away, all of a sudden you don't know where they went. Did they stop? Did they keep going? Are they bedded? Are they still up on their feet? You gotta be tight to 'em. So you gotta at least try to keep up with them and then you're moving. Yeah. Yeah. I mean that, that piece, just navigating to the country that you wanna be in so that you can set up and understand their patterns and say, you got a one week hunt, like you're gonna wanna get into that space and it's gonna be high elevation, like you're gonna be up there.

Don't be concerned about the elevation. Be concerned about your ability to get to that place and then have the energy to go and. And finish with a, like a really good hunt cuz just getting to the place that you want a glass from and understand where they're at. Sometimes you're going in blind, maybe you got some beta from some buddies, maybe you'd done it a year before.

But there's always these little factors that [00:27:00] come into play. But get there and feel good and be, then use all that energy that you have to focus on the hunt once you're there. You know what, regardless, I mean if you still have to huff a tree, stand up and get it in there. Use as little amount of time as possible.

Do it as fast as you can. Get it in there and then maximize your hunt. Cuz you wanna spend that time, you wanna be able to have those encounters and it takes a lot of those encounters to, to seal the deal. Yeah, I remember the first years that I was elk cunning. I. And really the first year we were up in Northwest Montana.

In some gnarly country. Big. And I remember it feels weird cuz I lived in Fargo at the time. And so you're driving across like the most boring flattest state in the union with the least to look at. Like it's on par with western Kansas. Yeah. There's nothing. And so it's flat and then you get into the Badlands and then you get into Eastern Montana and there's some rolling hills and some breaks and you're like, man, I'm so excited.

Like this is gonna be awesome. And then you get into [00:28:00] like big timber. Yep. Bozeman. And you starting to see foothills and black timber and you're like, man, I can just see a herd of elk walk. That's gonna be perfect. Then you start getting like past Helena in Missoula and you're like, uhoh, this is starting to look steep.

Yeah. Like I hope it goes back to that other stuff too. Drove. And it never does. No it doesn't. And so you get there and it's just steep. And I remember the first couple years, I always thought oh my, the hard part was gonna be getting where we wanted to go. It's gonna be getting up there and it's gonna be getting to that ridge.

That's the work. Yeah. The more I do it every year, the more I feel like that doesn't even count as work. Cuz the real work, I mean you can do that as slow as you want. You could start at yep, 3:00 AM 4:00 AM and spend three hours, take lots of breaks, hardly break a sweat, climb all this elevation, get where you want to be at sunup.

And that's not, that's fine. You can do that. But the real work starts when you're starting to work on elk because you're on their timeline. Yeah. And that's when you [00:29:00] gotta be able to run. That's when you gotta be able to, manage your breathing. Try to keep your heart rate under control. Know when that you need a break, know when you need to push.

That's when you're, that's when the real work starts. And it took me a couple years to think that way. Yeah. To think no, climbing the mountain's not the hard part. The hard part's gonna be when we find the elk. That's totally, that's what you need to train for. Yep. And it just shifted your perspective, or it shifted my perspective on what is a long ways.

Yeah. Yeah. Like the spot we went to last year, we would start at the bottom, we would park on the creek and we'd go all the way up to the peak and all the way back down hunting and it's that's no big deal. Yeah. Yeah. Just to hike. We do it slow, we hunt our way in on our way out and we get into elk.

We're not looking for ways to, like, how do we drive all the way up to the top type of thing. Because you just shift your perspective a little bit. Like you plan on, it's just, it seems like it's just your mindset. If you, yep. If your mindset's this isn't gonna be that bad, we're just gonna do it and then we're gonna get where we want to be and then we're gonna hunt and that's gonna be the part [00:30:00] where we need to go hard.

It seems like that was the big difference and it made all the difference in the world. Yeah. Yeah. I love that too, on just having that perspective, flipping that switch, like you said too, of saying yeah, I can go that distance. I can get up a little bit earlier. A big piece for me is having the energy in the tank to do that day in and day out, because even a 4:00 AM start, I'm like, if you hunt all day in archery season, you know you're gonna be back to camp by N nine.

Honestly. Have a little dinner, go to sleep, wake up again at. Three 30, have some breakfast and then start hiking. Like that energy in the tank is really to maximize those days, that's important to me. I'm like to get up and be like, all right, we gotta go again and not be like, oh, I'm a little tired.

It wasn't so good yesterday, so I'm just gonna sleep for another hour. I'm like no. Like I'm here on this hunt like I got this time. Even [00:31:00] though I live here, it's still, your time is precious. I don't get as many days as, a lot of people think too, it's yeah, you live there, you could go all the time.

I'm like, no, I do have to work. I have family. We got a lot of activities going on. I'm like, shoot, I wanna maximize those days. So when it comes to fitness, Flipping that perspective, like you were saying is really awesome. I'll always add too, just make sure that your training is conducive to you having the energy to get up and do it again.

And that's like your routine. What do you do day in and day out in your normal life that lends itself to your hunting scenario. And that's like getting up in the morning, getting your quiet time in, getting your workout in, be it having energy for your family, that sort of stuff. All of that pays dividends when you go out there and have that hunt too.

Like you, you'll see the correlation like from day in and day out life to what you do on that hunt. So I love that. Yeah. That's something I need to get better [00:32:00] at is like, when I, when it's a hunting day, I have no issue getting outta bed. There is a point, like you mentioned, when it, you're doing it for seven, eight days in a row where it starts to wa on you.

And so we are huge advocates for that midday nap. Yes. Yes. Oh, when there's nothing going on at 12 o'clock, get some sleep in. We've been burned a couple times. Me and my brother last fall, we're both sleeping at the same time and we got dive bombed by a cow and a calf. Totally. 20 yards. And so we're like, shoot, we should have fi we should have planned better, that's why Cause I would've shot a cow for sure. Yep. So then we started putting the decoy out for our midday naps and tried not to sleep at the same time. But that's a big one, is get that midday nap. Yeah. Because you're right I don't know what it is because like you look at the globe, like the time zone, it's different for us.

But it shouldn't, you wouldn't think like the days are longer. So I don't know if it's increased elevation that obviously does increase your day length or it's just, You're outdoors all day when very few of us are outdoors all day in our [00:33:00] daily life. Even if you work outside, that's maybe eight to five.

Then you go home and you're inside eating dinner and stuff, and you forget about those other five hours. Daylight. Yep. But it's like a long day when you, like you said a couple days before and, or a couple hours before and a couple hours after daylight very easily. You could hunt till dusk and now it's an hour and a half back to camp.

Yep. Yeah. 100%. I'm like, I totally, I'm like, that's put it back in the tank because in, in our normal life, the majority of the year, how often, especially with family and that sort of stuff, how often do you get to take a nap, yeah. That's, I never take a nap. I look forward to an archery season more than.

More than a lot of things is like a ridgeline nap. Hopefully in the sun, hopefully, but, or the shade, depending on the shade. Some days in the shade it's we need to find some shade. Yeah. Or snowing. But yeah to do that and empower up and just look at that so that you do have the energy to go into the next day.

Cuz even the factors that you don't take into consideration sometimes is like a [00:34:00] quiet day. Not seeing any animals, whiffing a shot or blowing a scenario will take energy at from you and then you bring that into the next day. It's no, I gotta reset. So make sure and get my, make sure and, get as good as sleep as I can.

Good food. Take that nap and come into the next day as ready for it as day one. Because that last day, even on some of these hunts, and I've watched it a lot, I'm like, And I've even, been, I've fallen prey to like being defeated like everybody does, like the majority of the time you're going to be.

But having that energy to like, to go into the hunt on the last day, the same as the first, is something that you'll always look back on and be like, man, I'm glad I did that. You'll never, yeah. It's I would love to see some good data on what day of a, what day of the planned hunt.

Did people kill on? I would say for it's, it would be very hard for [00:35:00] locals that just like hunt after work. Yeah. Or hunt on the weekends cause they planned the whole season. Yep. But for someone traveling for their hunt, we got nine days I would say. I would say that bell curve probably peaks. Like maybe last day or the day before, like last full day of hunting.

Cuz it, you get to a new spot, it's gonna take you a couple days just to figure out where the elk are. Then it's gonna take you a couple days to figure out that part of the mountain. And then hopefully you put it together. And it usually is like the last day. Now when I say good day, it's if I'm hunting by myself, I sh you know, I shot a bull in Colorado on a solo hunt.

I shot him on the last day cuz I left the day after that. Yeah. But it was like day five of a seven day season. I shot him on day five. It was towards the end. And like you said, you gotta have that energy towards the end. Perfect example. I think it was last podcast or the podcast before this one.

I had my buddy Bryce Bower on, we did a Montana meal, deer hunt. And we came down to the final hours of our planned hunt. Yeah. And we doubled up in the final hours, dude. Yep. I mean it [00:36:00] was like long and we were not seeing, like everyone, I dream of having a meal, deer hunt one day where I get to pick and choose my buck.

I've never had that. Every meal, deer hunt I've ever been on, I have shot the first legal buck I've seen. And it's usually not out of the gate opening day, it's like this was the only legal buck I saw, or it's like the only one on public, or and it all turned every one of 'em. It happened to be the biggest buck I saw.

Cause it was basically the only buck I saw, dude. And I'm dreaming of that hunt where you get to look at some and be like, nah, maybe not that one. Not yet. I'll remember where he is. I'll come back if I need to. I'm okay walking away from him. Yeah, that dream of that. And I never had it, but this one was a especially brutal cause we weren't even seeing dos, we weren't seeing little deer.

Yeah. And so finally last day, he shoots one right away in the morning we go get lunch, come back. I see. We see one in a great spot to stock. I shoot him. Yeah, we were off the mountain. Both animals quartered and packed out to the truck. It's southeast Montana. It's not that big of a pack. Yeah. We're still traveling, but we're, yeah, we're done at 3:00 PM and we went [00:37:00] to the bar for lunch to get a burger, so That's amazing.

It was, yeah. That last day, we woke up earlier and earlier every day cuz we were finding that we needed to travel farther and farther to find deer. Yeah. And so that last day was the longest day we woke up at, two hours earlier than we did the first day. And then I don't know if this is wise or not, we packed out two deer and then we drove straight home through the night.

Yeah, we got to camp, we got camp broken down about sunset, and we got to my house at 4:00 AM. Dude. So that's, that too is running, like that's the endorphin hit that you get from something like that. But being able to go into the last day and even get up earlier on the last day that's something that's, that makes a difference and a successful hunt, regardless of if you harvested anything.

Cause I'm like, I'll give everyone credit for going home empty handed, because that's a big thing. There's a lot of lessons in going home empty handed. Yeah. But knowing that you [00:38:00] didn't give up in any way, shape, or form is really valuable because you'll carry that, you'll carry that into the rest of your life the next year and you won't beat yourself up.

Cuz that's what happens when you don't get up early. Yeah, you're like, oh, why did I do that? Like, why'd I do that? And then you're talking to yourself and that's not a good situation either. Just just be conscious of it and try to make an effort to be like, yep, I'm gonna make sure.

And I'm gonna put this effort into it. And my input is my output, right? My input is my output. And so even if you don't harvest anything, I'm like, just enjoy the fact that you are out there. You gotta be outside all day long. You gotta spend time maybe with somebody, maybe solo, whatever it may be. And that's hunting people will say all the time too.

It's if you don't kill something, like what's the point? I'm like, shoot, no man. I'm like we are blessed to be out there. We're blessed to be able to get to do this and take that time and you'll learn more from not harvesting anything than you will [00:39:00] harvesting something anyway, yeah.

Yeah, I like that. I've always wanted to make a shirt that says something along the lines of, it's not gonna be tougher than regret or nothing hurts as much as regret. Totally. And I like to wear shirts that. I'm really trying to tell myself that. Yeah. And by wearing that shirt and showing everybody like, Hey, I'm the guy that's wearing this shirt.

I feel like just by wearing that shirt, it holds me accountable because people are like, you just quit on yourself in the gym, yet you're wearing this shirt that's as never give up or something. Yeah. It's like you can't, when you're wearing that shirt, you can't give up because every, you can't be a hypocrite.

And so that's why I've always wanted to wear a shirt like that, because it's true. Like when you sleep in on the last day and you're like, you know what, let's just go home. Yeah. Like instead of driving past all these little Nona towns in North Dakota talking about how great that last shot was and how we got to on the last day, you're just thinking about that last day.

You're thinking like, and if you run it down to the ninth inning and you [00:40:00] don't and you don't end up bringing anything home, which we've done many times. Yep. We've done both. I've we've gone home early, we retired, weren't seeing stuff weather's rolling in that sucks empty handed.

And then we've had the other side where we hunt it to the last inning and about 50% of the time we end up hitting a home run in the last inning and the other 50% of the time. You're just so satisfied that you gave it your all there's no question I left it all out there on that mountain and my cell phone, sometimes I lose my phone on these hunts too.

Yeah, I really do. Leave it all out on the mountain. If anyone hunts in southwest Montana and finds a galaxy Samsung phone, that was mine. Okay. Somebody probably will, but good hunting spot. So yeah. Good hunting spot. You got all my pins. Lucky you. That's awesome. But yeah, so I wanted to talk about, cuz that's what we've been talking about really, is mental toughness.

Yep. I think that can be independent. There's people, I've seen people that have enough mental toughness [00:41:00] apparently to overcome all of their physical preparedness. Yes. And it's amazing. And it's man, what if you were in amazing shape? Like you would be unstoppable, you'd be riding the herd bowl down the mountain, gathering the cows.

And then there's people that have incredible physical fitness. Yet the mental toughness just isn't there. You really need both You, I think you can make it farther on mental toughness than you can on physical toughness. Yep. If you have both, that's obviously great. And I think a lot of times your physical toughness.

Is like the first to go and then that causes the mental toughness to come with it. Almost if your feet get cold, your whole body's gonna be cold. Yep. If you can just keep your feet warm, you'll be fine. Totally. No, that's a great analogy too, cuz it's a, it's definitely a blend. Like we're really big at Mountain Tough.

We're really big on the mental toughness piece just because we know that produces really great results, whether it's in the field hunting day in and day out in your [00:42:00] life. We see it a lot with some of the military groups too that we work with. Their success is directly correlated to their mental fortitude.

And being able to execute on a mission. And so taking that and putting our own spin on it. Yeah, true fitness, we can help reiterate or even revive some of that mental toughness. Because arguably everyone has it. It's just how do you tap into it and or how do you retrain that mental toughness too?

So the combination is really valuable. Both the fitness piece plus the mental toughness. I'm like, we do, some of the stuff is just if you look back to middle school days, I'm 40, so we were doing a lot of wall sit when we were in middle school, grade school, right? We do that in some of our training programs.

You'll be doing wall sit again. And if you think back it's man, that was good for me. I didn't realize it at the time when I was a kid, but here I am as an adult and these are the things that I just needed. [00:43:00] I just need to light that fire underneath myself again. And now that I can comprehend it as an adult, I need to be able to take these steps and put this into place because it will 100% pay off in the field, but it'll pay off more in your day-to-day life.

For sure. Oh yeah. I definitely think mental toughness is like a, it's like a, it's a spectrum. Not to use a buzzword, but it is a spectrum, but it's not left, right center. It's like base and up from there. Like you, everyone's somewhere and I would say almost everyone's above zero, right? Yeah, absolutely.

Like you're somewhere you might not be like, Cameron Haynes mental tough and be able to do a 240 mile foot race in three days and that's fine. But you're not like negative, like everybody's got something to work with. Absolutely. And it's your comfort zone. It's, its what you've done in your life that you're comfortable with.

That's your mental toughness. Totally. And you and the, and you don't have to jump into the 240 mile race across the desert. You just do something you're [00:44:00] not quite comfortable with. If that's yep. I don't really like to run and I'm a raise my hand for that. I hate running. But it's I'm just gonna run a block around my house.

That's more than the walk that you usually do. So that's it's, whether it is planned or unplanned hard events, that's where you grow your mental toughness. Like you, you can do some hard stuff intentionally, for sure. You can do like a, you can do a marathon like, I'm planning for this, it's gonna suck.

And when I do it, I'm gonna, it'll adjust my perspective on what tough is. Or I can get into a situation where we killed a bull seven miles from the road, now we have no choice. We have to get this thing out. You're committed. Yes. Yeah. So whether it's planned or unplanned, both things will increase your mental toughness.

And then you, and then that's your new comfort zone. Yeah. Like I've, the first time we packed out an elk, it's that unknown. It's man, I don't know how this is gonna go. It could be really hard. And then you did it a couple times And then I packed out, the bowl behind me in this picture.

He was eight and a half and he [00:45:00] lived on grain in the North Dakota, Badlands, no wolves, no grizzlies. Yeah. And lots of corn fields. He was big. And I did a front and a rear in one trip. Totally easy peasy. Cause of the training. And now it's like I don't even, I wouldn't bat an eye to do a double pack out on a rag horn.

If you're doing like a mile back to the nearest road or trailhead and it's not like up and over ridges like, give me two, let's just get it done. This isn't that hard anymore. Yeah. I'm a good guy. That helps. No, but I'm like, those are the scenarios that you've gotten in and those are the things that you've learned that you can handle.

A cool thing to be able to do is like for someone who ha. Hasn't experienced that. It's that's why you, part of the reason why you do this podcast right, is to share those experiences that people will hear that and they'll learn something from it and they'll be one step ahead of where you were when you were in that situation.

So if you can share that, and like a lot of our training, our programming that we do, it's like we are just sharing this with you. [00:46:00] It's your 40 minutes of the day, maybe an hour of the day within your workout. And that is setting you up for success in these experiences that you're going to have, whether it's on a hunt or whether it's yeah, I'm like some sort of manual labor that's some that your buddy asked you to do and you hadn't done it for quite a while.

It's oh, so yeah, I'll go do it. Yeah, it's not hard, like little landscape. Your whole entire yard with you. I'm like, oh. Instead of going, oh, I'm gonna be really sore, that's gonna suck. Be like, yeah, let's do it. Yeah. Hey, I need to move my gun safe. Yeah. I need to move my gun safe.

I'm like, yeah, all I worry about is crush fingers and toes, but otherwise I'll be good. Yeah. Which we got some pretty cool stuff in the works, but I'm gonna be getting a Steelhead Outdoors gun safe. I don't know if you've heard of them yet. No, I know Randy Berg's got a couple there in Bozeman. They redesigned their gun safes.

It's a startup company here in Minnesota. I toured their shop. Phenomenal people. But the cool thing is it's all of the security. Yeah. All of the fire rating, everything. Yep. Looks [00:47:00] exactly the same as your, is your browning or your whatever gun safe you've got at home. Victory Liberty Champion. Yeah, except it, you can take it apart from the inside panel by panel.

Come on. And so you can move every panel yourself by yourself with a two wheel cart, like your average two wheel cart, no special stair climbing cart. The heaviest panels the door, it's 180 pounds. So you put that on a two wheel cart and just go, oh my gosh. Amazing. Yeah. So no more broken fingers and broken toes, and two cases of beer and a pizza to move your gun safe.

You can just do it yourself. So mine should be done here very soon. And then I think we're working on some cool stuff to, to partner with the podcast, so I was really excited about that. Oh, that's awesome. No, I totally look for sure. But it's the point is it's like your buddies that go, oh, yeah.

Versus the buddies like, sure. What time, when and where I'll be there. That's the kind of that preparedness that you speak of and. So that's what I was gonna ask you that now that we've been talking about it, we've really been, we've been really driving [00:48:00] home the point on the mental toughness.

Yep. Because it I assume we're on the same wavelength, like it is the most important part and the physical preparedness leads into that. I think it's a lot easier to wrap your head around physical fitness and preparedness. What do I need to do? So we'll touch on that after. But first, what do you guys do?

And it's probably not common, I really don't think it would be common because I don't see it or hear it, but if a guy walks in, he is I just wanna be tougher. And you're like, what do you mean? And you're like, just mentally tougher. I just wanna be tougher. Yeah. I wanna not be shy away from hard situations.

I wanna be able to handle stress better. I wanna be able to look at a bull four miles away on a ridge and be like, let's go get 'em. Versus oh man, that's a long ways away. Yeah. Yeah. And you're like, what do I do? What do I do to get tougher? What would you guys do in that situation? A client comes in and be like, I just wanna be tougher.

Where do I start? Yep. Let no, like that. Legitimately, that legitimately happens. And that's why too, we have the [00:49:00] app honestly, is because that happens enough that it's like, we need to provide this for more people. And the start of it is creating a habit. So whether it's a, just a small habit, a small change and getting in a routine with a plan, because having a plan is always gonna benefit you and know that the plan is always gonna change and it should change, right?

But having a plan in front of you is a path that you can follow. You don't have to. Think about that plan, you just go and do that plan. And that's an impor a really important step for anybody to take is I'm gonna go do this. If you're Cameron Haynes and you're like, I wanna run a 250 mile race, you better believe that there's a plan in place to go and run a 255, 250 mile race, right?

Like it takes a lot of running day in and day out. The plan is to run and have time on your feet, right? Yeah. But there's some people are really analytical about it. Some people go by feel. It depends on your [00:50:00] experience. So for someone saying, I want to get tougher I'm a big proponent of our mountain tough methodology because I've done it for a really long time.

I've known Dustin shoot since before we had kids. And And once he started Training Hunter specifically, I was at a point in my running career because I took the running path. I was like, that's where I wanna do that because I don't wanna be devastated when a bull goes over the ridge. Like legitimately.

I remember that bull too. And I'm, and going, that's too far. And I'm like, I never wanna do that again. So my path was, I want to go running, I wanna do ultra races. The Cameron Haynes influence, that sort of stuff. Yeah, I'm gonna do that. That's one end of the spectrum that is beneficial in some ways, but running, just running and getting on ultra marathon plan does not benefit you in the mountains hunting the way you think it will.

And that's why Dustin started Mountain Tough. And for me running, I was like, why in the world am I sucking wind [00:51:00] when I'm carrying a backpack now because I'm in the best shape of my life? Yeah. As we were talking about the blend of mental toughness and physical strength when it comes to physical preparedness and being tougher in the mountains, it's a blend of strength and endurance.

Like you as a mountain athlete, we'll call it, it's a blend of strength and endurance. Not gonna be the fastest runner, don't have to be the strongest guy in the gym, but there's a blend in there that works really well. And that blend for us is baked into our programming. And it truly does make people tougher because when you go out and you have that experience and you go, wow, I feel really good now.

You're like, I just put in that work. I packed out that bull and I'm ready tomorrow to pack a buddy's bull out. Cuz you double down, whatever. Those are all things that give you confidence because of your training that has made you tougher. So I'm like it. And the mental toughness piece is something that we [00:52:00] just subtly add in.

And we're just having you do some of those simple movements. The wall sits are, the easiest thing that I can relate to most people is like, why am I doing a wall set? I'm a grown adult. But all of a sudden your legs are burning. And if you were to flashback to you as a kid sitting on a wall for a minute, you could do it, right?

Like you could do it as a kid. What's wrong with me now that I'm a grown adult and I can't do this right? So I'm like, I just think back to my childhood self. I'm like, I was tougher than maybe a bit naive, but also I'm like in a line of kids and I'm not gonna be the first one off that wall. You better believe I'm not gonna be the first one off that wall cuz I'm, a kid and I'm competitive for whatever reason.

So that just in our programming, just those subtle little tricks that we've come up with and we've tested it here. We used to run public classes three, three classes a day, five days a week. Just testing on these groups of the programs that we have now within the app so that we can produce [00:53:00] a good product that helps you.

Like I said on the hunt, I'll say it again and again. It'll help you day in and day out too. So subtly through fitness and through sweating, you start becoming mentally tougher and then you start making the correlation. And if I were to tie that back to like my running career and I still love to run, but I also love to just feel good and move good and not have the aches and pains.

So strength is a really big portion for me. Still running, but like I spent a lot of time on the trails thinking I had to get a lot of miles in. And ultimately it made me mentally tougher. And I would say if I was to have a conversation with Cam Haynes or ask him a question, he'd say the same thing. It's made me mentally tougher by grinding out those miles.

That's not for everybody. That's not necessarily a reality with time and space or even the desire to want to go do it. Like you might wanna do a mobility routine or you might want to dial up the strength too, because that's something that's [00:54:00] more interesting to you, that helps you build a habit. And that keeps you coming back to it cuz you look forward to it.

Once you make a ha something a habit, you're like, you can't pry that from my cold dead fingers. Like I want to get up in the morning and do my morning routine and have my workout because I don't like the way I feel when I don't do it. Yeah, exactly. That's, and that's that mental toughness piece.

So I think you can concentrate it into a smaller amount of time. You might then out of having a program and having a routine find that, shoot, I do wanna go run a hundred miles sit, go do it. You'd be like, don't even question it. Go do it. Cuz you can or I want to go, I want to get into CrossFit, or I wanna, set this goal for myself.

Then I'm like, let it be a stepping stone and learn from those experiences and take 'em into other aspects of your life. Yeah, I like it that you talk about, it's like multidisciplinary fitness or [00:55:00] exercise to be a good elk hunter. And I think by doing that and following that, men that mountain tough regimen.

You're really forcing yourself. If you're gonna follow it, no one's forcing me to do anything. No. You're gonna follow it. You're forcing yourself to probably do exercise that isn't your wheelhouse. Like you talk like you're a runner and before you were a runner that wasn't in your wheelhouse either, so you did something you weren't comfortable with.

You got that toughness from the running. I'm the opposite. Like I'm the heavyweights guy. Yeah, give me barbells and plates and I'm never gonna grow my comfort zone cuz I'm already rooted there. Yeah, you're the F 18 that's gonna fly by and pass me up and go kill the elk. And then I'm like the B 51.


right. We're the opposite spectrums and so by only lifting weights, I'm not really getting any tougher mentally because I'm only doing what I love. Yep. If I were to go do that run, and even if I only got a mile or two in. That's gonna do more for my mental toughness than adding another set of plates on the barbell.

Yep. [00:56:00] And that's probably where you see the most gain in the mental toughness by following that program is doing all these different types of exercises that you don't wanna do. Yeah. That's why I love CrossFits cuz there's a whole bunch of shit in it that I don't wanna do. I don't like doing double unders.

I don't like doing wall balls. I hate running. Yeah. Like all this stuff I don't like doing yet. It's really it's the best one trick pony for getting ready for elk hunting cuz it, it does do everything. There's some long distance endurance, there's sprints. That's a huge one. We talked endurance and strength.

Yep. In both things there's conditioning, there's oxygen. Like you need to be able to breathe and get your heart rate back down. Yes. Cause you're gonna end up doing like wind sprints up a mountain. And that's probably what you saw is like, why am I not doing this? It's when you're doing your 26 mile run, you're probably just like this well oiled machine, all systems firing.

My heart rate's just cruising at one 20. I'm breathing through my nose, my, my potty weight. Yeah. And then all of a sudden you start doing that uphill and all of a sudden all these little red [00:57:00] alarms start going off, like heart rate spiking, oxygen's not going good. I can't breathe through my nose anymore.

I'm sucking wind. My ankles, my calves are burning and all of a sudden you start getting like system error after system error. It's so true. Yeah. That's that. That blend. I'm like, if you were to look at, I say it sometimes, I'm like, if you could pie chart you as a human being, how much strength do you want?

How much endurance do you want? How much fitness and how much mental toughness. Like you wanna have a blend of both of those. Yeah. And then from the fitness piece, that strength and endurance, like that's a lot of our programming is where you'll have that high intensity that, that cardio.

Because we know if you train under that for a certain duration, then all of a sudden you're gonna be able to calm your heart rate down and you're gonna be able to execute on that shot. And it happens over time. You're like, wow, I am calm in this situation so much faster than I thought I would be.

And that's because of your [00:58:00] training. That's that style of training. And then you're strong and you're mobile and the other circumstances so that you're not getting up super sore. And crawling outta bed, let alone your sleeping bag in the mountains and being like, oh wow. That pack really devastated me.

Oh I know my buddy might shoot one. I don't know how we're gonna get it out. Yeah, no wake up, go do it again. Exactly. Yeah. What do you think would be, if you could just give like a real short list, like two or three things that would be the most impactful for a flatlander like myself or anyone listening that's, die hard bow hunter, Midwest white tail, but they're going out west this year.

What are like a couple things that you think would have the most bang for their buck on getting ready for that Western hunt? Whether it's mental toughness, physical toughness with what they got, yeah. You don't have a mountain to use. I'll go right back to your legs. It's a gift to have 'em, you got lungs to but you.

Should do lunges, like [00:59:00] lunges are going to help everyone in the mountains regardless of where you live. You don't need a hill, y'all, you need is the space to walk like step forward, step back, do it again on the opposite leg. So whether forward or reverse lunges and if you wanna do 'em underweight, you can, but throw your backpack on and feel that shoulder burn, push yourself because it's amazing how frequently we don't do that movement.

I'll walk all day long, I can run, I can jog all of that, but to be able to have that. For sure quad burn and then engage your hamstrings and your glutes is really important. If you have a backpack on that's gonna help you understand like where your impingements are, especially in your hips.

So that's gonna go back to mobility. So I'm like, your lunges and your mobility are really important as a flatlander or anybody regardless. Those two there are just like you, you can't go wrong. And those are the ones you don't wanna do. Like you just, yeah, don't [01:00:00] wanna, you don't wanna do lunges, like you'd rather do pushups or burpees or whatever, but you can't go wrong with lunges.

And then that rucking, if you wanna put that weight on too, like it's really valuable. Okay. And if you can step up and step down off of something both like forward and back and laterally yeah, that's really helpful too, because that's what you are going to experience. You're gonna be walking up stuff and you're gonna be coming down.

So I would just say a lot of times, have a box, have a cooler, and step up over that. So that you are understanding the movement and the controlled step down too. Like you wanna be able to control that weight stepping down. Those would be the big ones. I'm like, anybody can do that.

You can put a routine, do you know, a hundred lunges and a hundred step-ups and you're gonna feel better. No doubt. So awesome. Yeah. There you have it. For anyone that's looking for I don't really want to get an expensive gym membership just to go out west. Yeah. What do I do from home?

I think everything you said, you could find a way to do it from home steps. [01:01:00] Most puzzles have steps. Most houses have space to do lunches. If you're gonna go out west, you're gonna find a pack go. Here's a quick tip for free. You can spend a hundred dollars on a 55 or a 45 pound plate. That you would find in a gym.

Yeah. Or you can go to your local farm and fleet, fleet Farm, whatever ag store and go into the livestock section and go buy a bag of barn lime. Yeah. Which is what the cows use for grit. So they don't slip on the cement. And that's six bucks for 50 pounds. Six bucks, and you just duct tape the heck of that duct tape the heck cut of that so it doesn't cut and rip and make a mess and throw it in your pack.

I got four of 'em in my garage right now. Throw it in your pack. I'm like, I'm Yeah. You have a rock sitting around somewhere. Throw it in your pack. Yeah, you, I'm like, yeah, it really is. But even something as simple as I'm gonna go to the hardware store and I'm gonna buy that bag or those, that two bags a lie.

That's a step in the right direction of saying, I'm gonna do that. Yeah. Because then I'm gonna go home and I'm gonna look at 'em when I'm not using 'em, I'm gonna be like, I should be using 'em. Yeah. And tho, those are the steps of [01:02:00] starting to make that a habit and starting to do that. There's one in my there's one in my mystery ranch all strapped in.

Right now it's sitting in my garage so I can just put that pack on and there's 50 pounds right off the bat. I know, totally. I'm like, don't make and make sure you duct tape 'em cuz if you don't, your zippers won't like it. Oh yeah. I duct taped. I just, I went all the way around. Yeah. Just to make sure.

And they've lasted, I've had these for four or five years now. That's sweet. So my $6 investment and it's the cheapest way and the easiest way to get weight there is, sure you can save milk jugs and fill 'em with water, but like the, it's so tight and compact and dense and it just is so simple to do.

I almost prefer it over a plate cuz it's also the shape of an elk quarter. Yep. It's lumpy. It's soft. It moves a little bit. Yeah. It's nice to figure your pack out too and figure out yep. Where does that need to be? How does it need to be adjusted? Yeah, it's really good.

The plate, I think would be like, not a bad, [01:03:00] you can't go wrong, but it's probably gonna give you an artificial perspective on how easy it is to balance weight cuz it's so close to your center of gravity where you want something to be out a little bit to know what it's gonna feel like. Cause that elk quarter's gonna be out there a little bit.

Yeah. It's dead weight too. Like It is. Yeah. It's dead weight. It is awkward too. Especially the bigger the bull, the more awkward that load's gonna get. It's like whether you bone it out or whether you take a quarter, like it's. Yeah. Awkward. So yeah. Yeah. Before before we wrap up here, Weston, I appreciate you coming on and I want to give you a chance to share the socials, the website, the app.

Give listeners a chance to connect with you guys and Mountain Tough anywhere you'd like to send them. And we will put the links to all of those places you mentioned in the show notes below for listeners. Yeah. Yeah, mountain Tough Fitness. Find us on the socials app, mountain Tough Fitness.

We are the fitness app, so you can go to mountain and you can check it [01:04:00] out and try it. Trial. If you're, if you do need that accountability and you're like, I want to, I wanna do that, I wanna make a habit out of it we're there to help you. We've got a lot of different programs for you to pick from, regardless of your fitness level.

We wanna work with you and help you in your journey. Ultimately, we wanna have it be a successful hunt, but we wanna help you in your day-to-day life more than anything too. So yeah, check out the app. You can always do a 14 day free trial, no, no risk at all. Just see what you think.

And then look up our podcast too. Mountain Tough Fitness. It's across all platforms. Give those a listen just like this one, it's like, hey, just sharing cool stories. It's fun to meet somebody and then have something in common, which is hunting, but there's so much more than that too.

Just trying to get people's stories out there and hopefully meet people where they're at too, and learn something from every circumstance we're in. Yeah. Awesome. There you have it folks. Go get connected and check out the Mountain Tough socials. The website. Get the app, go get [01:05:00] Mountain tough.

Yeah. Get ready for this fall. Get mountain tough. It's not too late, honestly. Yeah go do something. Do lunges. If nothing else do a hundred lunges a day and you'll be in good shape. But if you wanna get on a program and help carry it through right into hunting season, and then after we, we got you covered when it comes to that.

Awesome. Thanks for being here again, Weston, and thank you for listening, folks. All right. Appreciate it all. Let me hit pause here.