If you're like me, you hunt hard for several weeks during the tracking season. If we end up with tracking snow, I may hunt for 30 days over 6 weeks. Averaging somewhere between 5-10 miles per day means that the stress on my legs accumulates, my body gets fatigued and my mind can lose its edge. As the season begins to wind down, I feel it. As I get older, this is only more noticeable. While the best remedy is a good training regimen ahead of the season, there are things that can be done to keep you in the game throughout the season as well as help you recover after the season is over.
Hydrate, Sleep, and Good Food
It is hard to rank what is more important during the season, hydration or sleep. So I rank them equally. Getting plenty of fluid into your body before, during, and after the tracking day is essential for how you will hunt the next day. Water taken on around meal times is the best way to stay hydrated. If you're going to chug a lot of fluid to play catch up, it is best to do so utilizing some sort of recovery or sports drink. Cramping, headaches, and an elevated heart rate are signs of dehydration. You should be urinating a light colored fluid every 2-4 hours. If your output is dark or you urinate infrequently during the day, you should probably up that fluid intake. For the resting side of the equation, sleep is essential. We trackers are often up early, so going to bed early is essential. Sleep allows the body to heal from the rigors of the day. It is essential for your brain as well- the stress of being intensely focused for most of the day can weigh heavily on your mind. Try to get 6-8 hours of sleep at a minimum.