, Muskogee, OK

July 4, 2013

It’s not too early to get in hunting shape

By John Kilgore
Phoenix Outdoors Columnist

— I recently read an article about a middle-aged fellow who for years had yearned to go after and harvest a Dall sheep.

His hunt had him searching Alaska’s Wrangle Mountain range for the quarry. After saving his hard earned coin for the trip, he found out that once there, he was not in adequate physical condition to make the most of his plans.

If he had gotten off his duff and prepared himself in advance, he wouldn’t have come home with $10,000 less in his bank account and a lot of misery to boot.

Hunters spend money on equipment, a good deal of time selecting the area to hunt and, don’t forget, the effort in booking the outfitting guide to make the expedition a great experience.

But how much time do we spend getting ourselves in shape to track that trophy deer or haul out that quarter of an elk on our back?

I used my eye-hand coordination to log in to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources earlier in the week and discovered that I had drawn a deer tag to hunt there this fall.

I’ve got a feeling that setting up a tree-stand or blind and finding a buck will require a little more stamina than that

When I was twenty-something, being in shape wasn’t a problem. Now, somewhere in my middle fifties, yes, it’s the middle of my body that keeps giving me trouble.

I gave up my big bowl of Blue Bell ice cream every evening and that pared 10 pounds off my frame like magic. I just wish that magic tasted as good as Blue Bell Black Walnut or Chocolate Chip.

Having a beautiful place to walk, I’ve just got to put down the remote and go do it. Funny thing about the remote, I don’t have to hang on to it quite so strenuously now that our son is away at college.

Of course, before beginning any exercise program or eating plan, you should consult your physician.

With that being said, the next item on the list was to take advantage of all the fresh items at Arnold’s in Muskogee and also John Harrison’s Fruit Stand just south of Willey Road in Fort Gibson.

We’ve been stocking up on the area’s sweet corn, green beans, new potatoes, tomatoes, and watermelon.

Just as we are always sure to take the right clothing for the climate and habitation, I am hoping to take a healthier me along this year. I need every advantage I can get.

John Kilgore’s outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at