Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

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allaboutshooting
 
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Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby allaboutshooting » June 27th, 2009, 5:26 am

I was reading another post about using calls and came across a subject that is not discussed much, fatigue. Rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd start another one to open a discussion on it.

I began NWTF style still target shooting roughly 10 years ago. That involves shooting 3" turkey loads, from a sitting position, with no rest, at a 3" target 40 yards away. You get the full impact of the shell each time you shoot. Back then, we might shoot all day long and shoot 50+ full power magnum loads at a shoot. At the end of the day, I was literally "punchy", like a fighter who had gone one too many rounds. I had trouble concentrating and coordination diminished. I've witnessed that in many other shooters as well.

I think this relates to all of us who hunt and shoot. At the end of a long turkey hunt or after 3-4 days or more of getting up before dawn and walking hills and trails, I know my reflexes are not what they were when I started the hunt.

Question. Have you experienced this? How does a long session at the patterning board, a long hunt or several days of hunting effect you? More importantly, how do you counteract these effects?

We learn from each other and maybe someone out there has an answer that can help us all.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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mark hay
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby mark hay » June 27th, 2009, 7:20 am

There are only three things that really have an adverse effect on me when it comes to turkey hunting . Heat , hard kicking guns or loads , and a bad back and neck . The days when it starts out cold then suddenly warms up to the point that I need to shed some outer garments really take the spring out of my step . The turkey loads , even in 2 3/4 inch can and do have enough recoil to cause severe pain in my neck , which sometimes turns into a migrain headache . I left the 3 inch stuff 5 years ago due to this problem , and now I'm  seriously considering giving up the 2 3/4 turkey loads for something in the low brass , 1 oz . category and have just aquired a .410 for at least my next turkey kill .
 My wore out back and neck cause the greatest problem in the game of turkey hunting . It is a very rare occasion for me to be able to sit still at a tree for more than an hour . Add to that discomfort the possibility of firing a 1 5/8 oz. magnum load at a gobbler and I'll be in pain for days sometimes . That 1 5/8 oz. load is in essence a 710 grain bullet . I have shot the 45-70 with a 520 grain bullet , but it was pushed by blackpowder . It is a kitten compared to a 12 ga. turkey load .
Right after I bought my double I was very fortunate to find the shells that it patterns the best with . Since then I have shot it very little at still targets . Also I will stay on my feet , leaning on a tree , or sometimes sitting up off the ground on a log to avoid having to put up with the back pain , and shooting from a sitting position.
 I prefer to be on my feet and leaning into the shot in order to absorb the recoil better . I realize it is not the NORMAL position of the set up for turkey hunting , but then who can say that I'm NORMAL ?
 
 Good topic Clark
 

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Bobbyparks
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby Bobbyparks » June 27th, 2009, 7:35 am

Clark,

I don't shoot much so in terms of shooting competetively and tolls taken over time ,I can't offer any feed back.

I can say if I start patterning a gun and shooting much I have to fight the tendanecy to jerk the trigger.

I have been on many 3 days hunts that were physically draining. I'm usually good the first day, wear out by lunch the second and get a second wind on the third. I also take Advil / Ibuprofen etc.

I often will pick areas and just set up for the second afternoon and avoid extensive walking. This along with the Advil /Ibuprofen treatments seems to help put some legs back under me.

I've basically learned to hunt smarter, travel lighter,pace myself, and prepare both gear wize and physically for a hunt. I eat a lot of trail mix when I'm out as well which I believe has helped with energy.

I have found that no matter how tired I may become that adrenalin provides the strength to rise to the actual shooting occasion and the energy to make that last move on a bird.

One last thing I'd mention about preparation for a hunt. Even though I try and walk hills and prepare for a trip, I still get winded. The difference is that I recover and get my wind back in a couple of minutes versus 5-10. It makes difference.

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby allaboutshooting » June 27th, 2009, 8:45 am

Hey Mark,

Adapt and improvise! I think we must do more of that all the time, not only in hunting situations but in all of life. My older brother once told me just to find something that worked for me and not to worry about anything else. It sounds like you've done that and I appreciate your sharing it with all of us.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby allaboutshooting » June 27th, 2009, 8:47 am

Hey Bobby,

Hunting smarter. We all sure need to do that. Being light and quick is something that I've been trying to work on for the last several years. Just a few shells, my gun, camo and a couple of calls seems to work just fine for me.

I appreciate your response.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

nhtrkybstr
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby nhtrkybstr » June 27th, 2009, 12:38 pm

Great topic, Clark!

When I first bought my Mossberg 535 tactical turkey, I was stunned by the recoil. I shot it 3 times to sight it in, and by the third shot, I was flinching. I still shot the gun and killed a turkey that year with it.

This year, I put a red dot scope on it, and the gun shredded the scope in 12 rounds. Panicking, with the season only 2 weeks away, I went to my gunshop, and my friend who owns the shop, put a tube scope with steel rings on the beast.

This helped in another way. The heavier scope and rings substantially took the sting out of the gun. I am now able to shoot her and enjoy the experience instead of dreading it.

As far as being able to deal with the rigors of the season, I turn to cycling. Clark, as you know, cycling helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the back due to the angle that you maintain for hours of saddle time. The cardiovascular benifits extend further, by allowing me to walk and hike harder, and not making distance into woods a deterring factor.

I hope this gives people some ideas.

Mike
You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby allaboutshooting » June 27th, 2009, 5:56 pm

Hey Mike,

You've pointed out a great solution to help "tame the beast" in all of our guns, a little added weight. In the quest to get lighter and lighter shotguns, we've paid the price in increased recoil and along with that, the tendency to flinch. The tightening of muscles that we experience when we anticipate getting kicked has to use a lot of our energy and fatigue us.

I appreciate the reference to cycling and other aerobic kinds of exercise. Our sport calls for a lot of stamina and that type of exercise certainly helps. Stretching and loosening of our muscles is something that's very easy to forget and any exercise that helps in that area has to help with our overall fitness.

Great ideas and suggestions.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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trkynut54
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby trkynut54 » June 29th, 2009, 2:56 am

Hi Clark, I was shooting my 835 yesterday. I just recently got a Tru Glo shotgun scope on it, plus I bought or rather traded a 22 for another 835 with a 28" barrel. That barrel is now on my turkey gun. I wanted to see if I could get a better pattern with 3" shells, rather than take a beating with the 3 1/2 inch shells.  I was shooting Federal Premium 3", 2oz 6 shot.


It shot good out to 40 yards with the 3" shells. I didn't take pics or count bb's in a circle, I guess i'm still old fashioned using the regular turkey targets, but ended up with 22 bb's in the kill areas. I'm satisfied with that.

But with all that shooting I did I still ended up with a bruised shoulder, I guess I bruise easy. As far as fatigued yes I was I shot dang near 2 boxes of shells. Maybe that's why my bones hurt this morning. I'm not a youngster anymore.


As far as getting fatigued in turkey season it usually doesn't hit me until in the afternoon. While i'm out chasing those longbeards during the morning hours i'm too pumped to even think about it. I push myself to my limits then. I ended up gaining 4 lbs of extra muscle this year running around like a maniac which also got me in better shape than when I started. Now since the season closed I gained more fat around my mid section. [:@]
Don't hunt harder hunt smarter

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby allaboutshooting » June 29th, 2009, 3:50 am

Hey Stanley,

I like the 835 but it sure can be a kicker, can't it? Recoil will just wear us out. That longer barrel should help with that and you should get less muzzle whip and make it easier on your cheek as well.

You reminded me of another fatigue factor, noise. I sometimes forget that. I found out a few years ago that when I shot at the bench, if I'd use plugs and muffs, I did not get as much noise and did not get as tired. It's like being in some very loud place, even if you don't perform strenuous exercise, you can still come out and feel tired.

As you pointed out, adrenaline can certainly keep us going when we're excited about the chase and the hunt, at least for some time. Getting rid of fat, for us men, especially around the middle, and adding muscle also helps our stamina. It's the "after hunt" or "winter" syndrome of regaining the fat that seems to get to all of us, at least to some extent.

There was an excellent post on T&TH several months ago about getting into better physical shape and maintaining a level of fitness. I know that could help all of us with the fatigue factor.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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trkynut54
 
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RE: Shooter/Hunter Fatigue

Postby trkynut54 » June 29th, 2009, 4:54 am

I don't worry about the noise factor anymore I wear Miracle Ear hearing aids. When I shoot it muffles the shot, or if it does bother me I just turn them off. Nothing like having built in ear plugs. [:D]
Don't hunt harder hunt smarter

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