Western Preparation | Update

12 Jun

My current sleep schedule is averaging somewhere around 4 hours a night. I am trying to fit being a father and husband, working out, home owner responsibilities, shooting my bow, remodeling, blog upkeep, writing articles for magazines, and work into the 20 hours that I’m awake. Now that I’ve written it out… holy shit! My next article might be about how I am addicted to cocaine My daughter is in her terrible twos and my son has a mixture of colic and attachment issues. I am looking forward to the day I can get a vasectomy. But enough about the boring stuff…


I’ll be honest, the last six weeks have proven to be a challenge when it comes to finding time to work out. I was on a really good roll, then my son was born. I also suffered a minor lower back injury and had to seek treatment to get it back in to place. The good news is that I always make it a point to work out, even if it’s only 20 minutes or over my lunch break. I have continued to focus on my legs and can actually feel them getting stronger. Squatting, leg press, and dead lifts are definitely helping.  But I am slacking in the cardio department and that is just as, if not more, important that the weights. The plan moving forward is to increase the cardio and weighted pack walks. This will get my body used to the extra weight even there is no terrain to simulate what I will actually be hunting in.

My diet, well… I have drastically reduced the the amount of ice cream I consume and have made it a point to choose fruits and veggies over sugar and carbs. My goal was to lose 30 lbs… that’s not going to happen. I just need to make sure that the body I do have is in the best shape possible.


Since my last post on this topic I have been able to slowly pick up the gear I will need for this trip. I have already picked up my sleeping bag and cooking stove. The next items on my list to purchase is a first aid kit, water purification system and additional bladder, and wool socks. I have a friend who used to be big into backpacking and he is letting me use his tent. It will cost me one case of Coors Light. That will allow me to push off that purchase until next year.


Purchased this target earlier this week. Hope it helps!

Purchased this target earlier in the week. As you can tell by the arrow placement, I have a lot of shooting to do.


The Hunt

We are still in the process of narrowing down what zone we will be hunting in. As soon as we get that figured out I will begin studying maps, planning routs, and looking for possible camp sites. We are using every resource we have available to find out the best place to hunt. Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but, I’m not concerned  with shooting a giant mule deer. I would rather have more kill opportunities on this first western hunt as opposed to looking for a deer with a big rack. But again, the experience is what I’m going for.

I have started shooting my bow on a regular basis and can feel my muscle memory and stabilization improving. But there’s a small problem, last night while I was shooting my kisser button flew off my string and my peep sight is rotating as I draw back. I’ll be taking it in to the local archery shop and having them take a look at it. The last thing I need to be worrying about while making a stalk on a deer is whether or not my peep sight will be aligned correctly. Best to get it taken care sooner rather than later.

Because in Idaho it is illegal to shoot mechanical broadheads I had to pick up some fixed heads. They don’t seem to be flying any different at 20 or 30 yards but I’ll have to watch the arrow flight carefully when I step out to 50 and 60.

There is still a lot to do between now and then to prepare. There is gear to buy, calories to burn, and improvements to my archery skills that need to be made. This will keep me focused on for a while. Or until I pull my trail camera cards for the first time this weekend. Then, all bets are off!

Thanks for reading,

Dan (DFW)

7 Responses to “Western Preparation | Update”

  1. Mark Klein June 14, 2015 at 3:01 am #

    Hang in there dan. It will get better. After all it can’t get much worse !! Good luck on your trip . Also good choice on the slick tricks!!! You won’t be disappointed .

  2. Charles Byrum June 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    If at all possible you might want to find a gym that offers spin classes. The squats and dead lifts do help build strength but you have a greater chance of pulling a muscle or hurting your back then you would riding a stationary bicycle. I know that the spin classes always helped me the most when hunting the mountains in my home state of California. Its great cardio and really strengthens the legs. I prefer the classes over trying to do it myself just because of that extra push that I would get trying to keep up and out perform others in the class. The biggest problem might be finding a class here in Iowa. I know there is nothing close to where I live. Just thought I would throw this out there for ya. Good luck with everything and thinks for letting us follow along on your adventure.

    • Dan Johnson June 15, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      Thanks for the input, I’ll look in to it.

      • Mike H June 24, 2015 at 12:37 am #

        I bet riding hills on any bike would work pretty well. As for losing the weight, legs are a big muscle group, so you could be putting on some muscle weight there.

        As for the kids, my wife and I went to rotating nights instead of taking turns during the night. Sometimes it’s impossible so go back to sleep when you are switching in the middle of the night.

  3. Josh Kirchner June 16, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

    You are on the right track Dan! Just keep it up! Anything that you can do today to help you tomorrow is a good thing! If I may, I would like to recommend a book to you two. It is called Bowhunting Open Country Mule Deer by Dwight Schuh. This is an EXCELLENT resource.

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