[Transcript] – How To Get Into Hunting, Build Hunting Fitness, The Most Challenging Hunts & More!

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Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/02/how-to-get-into-hunting/

[00:10] Oat Mega Bars by Onnit

[01:15] Fitlife Organifi Green Juice Powder

[02:15] Four Sigmatic Foods

[03:47] Introduction to this Episode

[07:47] About Marc Warnke

[8:56] What’s The Story of GotHunts or Outdoors International

[09:42] How Marc Became a Hunting Guide

[12:39] The Most Thrilling Place in the World to Hunt

[13:37] How To Find a Place to Hunt

[25:09] How To “get into” Hunting

[33:36] How Marc Was Hard When It Comes To Hunting and Fitness

[38:04] The Biggest Fitness “holes” When Beginning Hunting

[46:48] Why Persistence Hunting Is The Next Big Thing in Hunting Fitness

[56:30] The Best Kind of Hunting and Hunts To Go To Challenge Your Fitness

[1:11:00] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield.  Last week I did this big crazy 48 plus hour event called the Spartan Agoge, and during that I ate 20 yeah, count ‘em 20 Oat Mega Bars.  What’s an Oat Mega Bar?  Well, Oat Mega is a special bar.  It’s got grass-fed whey in it, it’s got chickory root fiber, organic dark chocolate, gluten-free oats, organic brown rice, responsibly-cut fish oil, yes, it’s a bar that has fish oil on it, but it doesn’t taste fishy, don’t worry.

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And then finally, there’s something that because I’ve been a bit sleep-deprived lately.  I will admit I’ve been charging pretty hard this week, and I know my immune system is right on the edge.  So every morning, into my coffee I’ve been dumping 1 packet of chaga.  Dual extracted chaga which means it’s been extracted with water to activate all the water soluble components, and then it’s been extracted with alcohol to extract all the alcohol non-water soluble components, and then they’ve added eleuthero mint, and rose hips to this stuff.  It’s amazing.  It’s made by this company called Four Sigmatic Foods.

They do all sorts of stuff, mushroom coffee, and reishi ,and cordyceps, but this chaga stuff is like my go-to for my morning cup of coffee.  And you can get a discount on anything from Four Sigmatic Foods including this chaga mushroom extract, when you go to foursigmafoods.com, that’s f-o-u-r sigma foods dot com slash greenfield.  When you go to foursigmafoods.com/greenfield, use coupon code ‘Ben Greenfield’ for a 15% savings.  That’s foursigmafoods.com/greenfield, use coupon code ‘Ben Greenfield’ for a 15% off.  So enjoy all these goodies that I’ve just hooked you up with.  And now, let’s talk hunting with my buddy, Mark Warnke.  Let’s do this.              

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:

“If you eat meat, you’re one of two things.  You’re either the murderer or you’re the accomplice, and you have the same responsibility.”  “If you don’t choose to participate in acknowledging that inner part of you that wants to hunt, then celebrate that high too.  I guess that’s what I ask; celebrate rather than condemn, remain curious rather than judgmental.”  “I absolutely believe that the reverence that shows up from that, and the confusing display of that reverence.  My son’s confusion, he didn’t know whether to be happy, sad, or glad, and he probably experienced all in 3.2 seconds. ”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield here, and actually if you’ve been paying attention to the Ben Greenfield Instagram page lately over at Instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness, you might have noticed that I just returned from a big Axis Deer Hunt down in Texas, and before that I was hunting white tail deer here in my home state of Washington.  Before that I was down in the mountains of Colorado doing an elk hunt down there, and you may also have heard me talk before about this whole ‘Train to Hunt’ thing.  How I spent this summer competing in ‘Train to Hunt’ bow hunting, and meat packing, and obstacle course competing.  And now, I’ve got my eyes set on everything from safari hunting in Africa, to moose and bear hunting in British Colombia.  It’s just a passion of mine that I didn’t grow up doing but that I’m very interested in, and it’s really becoming a part of my life these days.

We had a podcast episode called “Are Hunters the Fittest People in the World?”.  And in that episode I interviewed ‘Train to Hunt’ founder Kenton Clairmont.  Then we also had an episode called “How to Build Primal Fitness and Endurance by Hunting: An Interview with a Bowhunting Triathlete”, in which you learned how an Ironman triathlon competitor combines hunting with training for endurance sports.  And I’ll link to all these previous podcasts if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gothunts that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/gothunts.  But with the growing popularity of sports like Train to Hunt, and all hunting, and even seemingly a growing interest in the ancestral practice of persistence hunting which we may get a chance to talk about today.

I figured it was high time to introduce you to the guy who has not only organized a couple of the hunts that I just mentioned that I’ve been on, but also a guy who’s one of the world’s leading authorities on finding good places to hunt, on building hunting fitness, on creating challenging hunting scenarios, and much more.  So if you wanna tap in to the primal practice of challenging your body in the wilderness, and hunting, and gathering your own tasty meat, even if you’re like me, and you didn’t grow up hunting, this episode is gonna be a pretty cool listen for you.

My guest is Mark Warnke.  Mark is a friend of mine.  He’s the owner of gothunts.com and Outdoors International.  He’s a hunting consultant.  He’s a family man.  He’s an avid bow hunter, a mule deer fanatic.  A fly fisherman.  He’s a best-selling author of a few different books that we’ll link to in the show notes.  And Mark has global hunting experience with outfitters in Canada, and Africa, and New Zealand, and all over the world.  He understands what makes a quality hunt.  He knows how to find challenging hunts.  He’s competed right beside me in these Train to Hunt competitions so he knows how to build hunting fitness and he’s a wealth of information when it comes to all things hunting.  So Mark, welcome to the show.                       

Marc:  So glad to be here, Ben.  Sounds I’m excited. 

Ben: Awesome.  And you and I just recently got hanging out down in Texas for about 5 days down there in Texas hill country.  It was quite a blast when we got to talking, we decided it would be kind’a cool to have you in the show, and talk about some of this stuff and one of the first things I wanna ask you Mark is, how you got into all these like what’s the story of GotHunts or is it GotHunts or is it Outdoors International?  What’s the difference between those?

Marc:  Well, our company name’s Outdoors International and our URL, our website is gothunts.com, and because it’s kind of you know, you really need to really pronunciate that clearly for people to get it all spelled.  It’s g-o-t-h-u-n-t-s, so gothunts kind of like the slogan gotmelt.  But anyways, so that’s the URL, and of course you can find this at outdoors international, and blah, blah, blah, all that stuff too.  So you can find this and have everyone to look for us there, but that’s the story behind it.  And I guess the answer to your question is how did it all start?

Honestly, it all started as I am an 8-year old bumbling behind my dad, and having him I still remember, walking up the hill and cracking a shot off at a deer which he missed, and being intrigued to see that whole process to him, and then taking what he taught me which was kind of what I would say, and in a very respectful way with my father, was that he was a not a fair weather hunter, but just a hunter who didn’t take it to the next level and being fanatical like I did.  And I just kind of took what he taught with me, and ran with that once I kinda got out underneath that home umbrella.

And I remember one time my dad said to me, “Mark what are you gonna do?”  I mean, it was almost out of disappointment with me in my mid-twenties.  “What are you gonna do?”  And I said well, “I’m planning on making a name for myself someday in the hunting and fishing world and this is a part of that process.”  Well, I’d take 6 months off a year for fifteen years and all I did was bore hunt and fly fish the world, and dad still over there tapping his foot on the table saying, “when are you gonna do something when you grow up”? And now Gothunts Outdoors International’s the manifestation of that.

So that’s kind of the roots of it, is that I’m just a fanatical hunter.  And so, quick answer too is also that at a young age at 22, I got sober and I figured out quicker than most people that drinking didn’t work for me, and I kinda gave up drinking, and I took up hunting to the next level, you know.  In some ways you trade addictions, and I did that to that whole next level that then taught what that excellence on all the parameters are?  What that top 5% that you have to spend hours and days, and weeks and months, in the woods to truly figure out that top 5%, and I figured out during those years.

The US wasn’t enough, I needed other countries, and I used hunting as an excuse to experience other cultures.  It’s one of the true blessings as you genuinely get to know people across a camp fire, and hiking in the woods, and sweating, and eating mountain house at high elevation.  That’s how you get to know somebody.  Every other way that you kind of experienced places in the world is through being a tourist.

Ben:  Yeah. 

Marc:  And you never genuinely get to know somebody.  It’s probably like you, I mean, you get to genuinely know cultures because you’re puking your guts out running alongside a guy from another country, and that’s the point.  You know what I mean?

Ben:  Exactly, yeah.  Swimming through stagnant water in Thailand and contracting amoebas that hits you halfway through the marathon in a triathlon, and caused you to crap your pants.  It’s really a good way to experience the world and all it has to offer.  

Marc: (laughs) Right. 

Ben:  So speaking of experience in the world market, and in terms of adventures and all these places you’ve seen over the years, not just hunting in the United States, but also internationally.  What’s one of the more thrilling places that you’ve been to hunt?      

Marc:  Huh, you know for so many misunderstood reasons, Africa.  I love Africa for the hunting, but I love it more for the culture.  It’s just an amazing place to go to to experience in a real way, in a sweating, working hard, crawling through the brush, getting bloody, getting dirty, wiping your butt in the woods with a tracker who literally cooks off of charcoal, poops in a hole, and has a house with no doors or windows on it if he has a house.  Who greets you with genuineness and a service mindedness, and happiness and contentedness, with life.  That is an example to me of what a weak, sissy, shmuck I am, and what I complain about.      

Ben:   That’s awesome.  So how do you even find a place like when you say you wanna hunt in Africa?  What’s the process?  How do you actually find a place to hunt over there and make a connection?  Like if somebody’s listening, and in a minute here I actually wanna ask you about the newbie who maybe just wants to learn to hunt in their own backyard.  Take somebody’s listening in and they want to embark upon an adventure like that, like how do you actually find a place that you can trust where you know you’re not gonna die out in the African wilderness?     

Marc:  Okay, so an answer to Africa, Africa especially South Africa, I describe it as America with roads and shanty towns and people walking down the side of the freeway  with big things on top of their head, right?  So it’s Africa, but it’s not like how people imagine kind of the scary or the disorganized part of Africa that you’re gonna find further north.  The other thing is that you’re out of the malaria zone being on the southern tip, and so, that’s kind of convenient not to have to take the nauseous drugs that you have to to be north up there.

Now, I’m not running down north of there because that’s an experience people should have to, it’s just I usually like to kinda stick their toe in the pool before I throw ém in the water, and their toe in the pool is South Africa.  South Africa is extremely affordable.  It’s most affordable place in the world to hunt right now, and the ratio of the rand to the dollar is currently sixteen to one.

Ben:  Wow.                

Marc:  So never before like I’ve ever seen in is it more affordable than to hunt in South Africa right now.  So like, you can go down there for a 5-animal, 7-day all-inclusive sneaking around on these huge  concessions for like 650 bucks which that’s the price of one single elk hunt in Colorado for the same thing, right?  And tickets over there right now are dirt (censored) cheap, I mean it’s like 120 bucks to get there, so Africa is a really cool place on a cultural level, and it’s also a very target-rich environment which you’re gonna relate to in Texas, right.

If I take a new hunter, and so I’m gonna intertwine both of your questions with that.  If I’m gonna take a new hunter and I’m gonna try to teach him how to be successful with archery tackle, and I don’t advice that new people start off with the bow.  I don’t.  Everybody has kind of this judgment of rifle hunting which isn’t fair.  It’s still hard, but they have kind of this natural judgment of rifle hunting that makes them think the only ethical way to harvest game is with the bow, and I would tell them it’s almost irresponsible to have your first hunt be a bow hunt because who are we talking about here, who’s important it’s not you, it’s not me, it’s the animal.  He deserves an ethical harvest and they’re gonna be pooping in their pants with a bow at 20 yards and do stupid things.               

Ben:  Yeah.  

Marc:  It’s too hard to control emotion, I mean you saw it, I mean it’s kind of some of those highest orders of exercise in trying to quell emotion to help you to make good decisions.  That fever that shows up in that moment.  That fight or flight is very basic human stuff.     

Ben:  Oh yeah.  Absolutely, I mean, we were even doing a lot of like blind hunting down there and a couple scenarios, and in Texas a lot of people may not realize this.  I didn’t realize it until we went down there, but they’ve introducing different species since like the 10930’s into Texas, and there’s all these crazy species you’d never see anywhere else.  Like that axis deer that I shot which is widely concerted to be one of the tastiest game meats on the face of the planet.

I can’t wait to get the tenderloins and the back strap and everything else back up here to my house so I can start cooking this winter, but also for example a black buck, another really kinda cool looking creature came about 90 yards from me during that hunt, and it was pretty much every bone in my body holding back to take a shot at that with my bow, because I’m not confident that I can hit an animal in the vitals at ninety yards and make an ethical shot.  So yeah, it can be tricky when things are kinda few and far between like that, but what you’re saying is in Africa it’s similar or there’s a plethora of animals?    

Marc:  Well, so yes.  Animal density is something that they can kind of be in control of, and I think this is something that your listening audience needs to understand in a way that I think.  So 7% of people in America hunt.  Ten percent I believe will never thumbs up what we do.  There’s people on one end or the other very polarized.  We’re very biased as a group to what we do, and the top is very biased towards anti-hunting.  The middle 80% is who I’m interested in having here a clear message about what a true genuine hunter is.  And a true genuine hunter has concern first for the animal, right and a lover of animals.

And that’s what people misunderstand about hunters is that, and I know, I get it that it’s a paradox.  How can I be an animal lover that when I sell one of my goats, and I know this is gonna sound silly, but when I sell my 2 goats Duke and Mooch my 2 favorite pack goats.  When I sell Duke and Mooch I’m gonna cry because I love them. They’re animals that I’ve grown very, very close to, and I don’t cry when I sell them because they’re not the right fit for my string and it’s heartbreaking for me.  That person that has that level of love for a goat, then can go out and jump up and down and yell yahoo! When I kill this beautiful and a majestic, amazing, god-sent, pure white, mountain goat at 9,000 feet.  I get that that’s a paradox.  I get that it doesn’t make sense for the people that don’t understand, and that middle 80%, we need them to understand too because at least half of those guys are either are a hunter or a gatherer.  And if they are a gatherer by nature, I believe then they have the same accountability because they now have to know a hunter that’s gonna bring them meat, and they’re just as accountable, right.

They were said so well by that guy on a reality TV show about such as living in Alaska, and he says it so well.  He says, if you eat meat you’re one of two things; you’re either the murdered or you’re the accomplice, and you have the same responsibility and it’s true.  Yet in today’s society especially here in America we’re, at least 3 generations away, we’re only 3.  We had to know somebody personally that would kill something for us to survive.  Just 3 generations ago, and now we’re clear to the point where on my Facebook I will get people who will say ludicrous things like, why don’t you go to the store and get meat?  Why don’t you just go do that and leave those animals alone?  Really?  No animal got left alone. (laughs)

Ben:  Right. 

Marc:  You know, we are omnivores and you and I choose to harvest our own meat.  So I apologize I got in a bit of a rant there, but it’s so important the middle 80%, if you don’t choose to participate in acknowledging that inner part of you that wants to hunt, then celebrate that I do.  I guess it’s what I ask, right?  Celebrate rather than condemn.  Remain curious rather than judgmental.  And those are those aspects that keep us all curious me, curious about them too, right, and may make me look something differently as a result of curiosity rather than judgment.

So, in answer to the original question is that new hunter, that new hunter needs to experience the harvest of life to the dinner table, so they can have a genuine appreciation for even that steak that they order at Sizzler will never be looked at the same way again if they choose to do that, and you are an example of that unexpressed hunter that’s kind of been percolating for years, and now all of a sudden you’re in that right position where you’re being essentially in some ways tutored to let that blossom flower.  You know what I mean?

Ben:  Yeah, totally.  And I know there’s probably people like wanting to jump into the podcast right now screaming about diets are individuality, and how some people do thrive on a less omnivorous diet right, like vegans versus meat eaters.  And I know you and I had a little bit of a discussion about this when we’re driving back to the Austin airport back from the hunt in Texas.  And one thing I was talking about is yeah, there can be some people that actually do better on less meat, and that just comes down to genetics.

So, for example you get some people who genetically don’t make enough of something called methyl.  It’s called methyl, and those people have to be very, very careful with the high amount of what’s called folate intake from dark leafy greens and vegetables, and stuff like that because they actually don’t do well with a high folate diet.  It actually can wreak some havoc metabolically, and those people are called under metholators.  You can get that genetically tested, and an under metholator actually feels really, really crappy unless they have meat in their diet or at least fish, but you’re gonna have a lot higher levels of methyl donors and methyl groups in like steak, and beef, and wild game, and stuff like that, but then you also do have some people who are what are called over metholators.

They thrive on folates ‘coz they have a bunch of methyl already in their system and folate which you get from like vegetables and stuff like that.  It’s actually a very powerful demetholating agent, meaning that it helps with all these very, very high levels of methyl in the diet, and some of that’s very, very large part of it is genetic base.  What it comes down to is if you’re listening in yeah, there may be certain people who do better with meat,  there may be certain people who don’t need as much meat and do better with a high intake of vegetables, and frankly in America for example, we’re a big melting pot, it varies quite a bit.

But to return to your original point, Mark, yeah, I think a lot of people who have not tapped in to that primal ancestral practice of getting out there, and rather than relying upon someone else killing and harvesting meat for them.  Going out and scratching that primal itch of getting their own meat.  I know when I started doing it, it was a completely different feeling.  Everything from the sense of responsibility to a deeper sense of an ethical feeling for the planet.  A deeper sense of gratitude for the meal that you were eating.  A deeper sense of interest in preparing that meal well when you’ve actually gone through all the labor of harvesting that animal yourself.  Yes it’s night and day.

Marc:  Uhhmm.  Uhhmm.

Ben:  For people who want to get into hunting, Mark ‘coz some people listening are like, yeah, I’d love to hunt but I’m you know, whatever.  I’m like Ben, and I didn’t grow up doing it, right, like my parents didn’t hunt, maybe I live in the city etcetera, etcetera.  Where do you recommend people start if they’re listening in, they just wanna get in to hunting?

Marc:  Right.  Well, then I’ll liken that to my experience with Tucker, right.  So my son that was on the hunt with us in Texas.  And so, I’m gonna counsel you to go into what I would call it a fairly target-rich environment, a heavily dense population animals with a lot of critters.  We’re gonna talk about your physical ability because these hunts can be everything from a ten to a one on physical condition necessity.  And at the same time kinda budget in, and all the other things that are gonna go in.  And what I’m gonna end up doing is matching you up with the right outfit or for the right experience.

And very often based on budget, you know, two first really good hunts are elk and deer out west because I think it has the physical condition component to it especially to your listening audience because their mountainous hunts.  It has a covering country and a real deal feel where you’re in expansive areas where free ranging game is, and yet we can still kinda semi-control the success rate by putting a rifle in your hands and training you well, and having you be in what I would call a target-rich environment because I don’t think people could prepare themselves for the necessity of controlling emotion until you’re there, and that happens through rote muscle memory, right?  Through the ability to practice enough to where when you’re pooping in your pants, and it’s time to go you’re still making good decisions, right?  When I say pooping in your pants, I guess I mean when I mean is that fight or flight stuff comes up so much.  I remember Jake my first son after he harvested his first animal said to me, he goes, “Dad, why am I shaking?”  He had never quivered before in elation, excitement, any of those different things, and he had to sit down ‘coz he felt unsteady.  It was really confusing to his little 7-year old brain to understand why that was.  Well, it was his first dose of adrenalin.

Ben:  Yeah, it’s a different form of adrenalin though.  I think because you know, I’ve competed in crazy events, right, like and I’ve crossed the finish line of crazy events, and I’ve done some pretty big adrenaline rush type of activities especially in the obstacle racing, and adventure sports world, and it is a totally different feeling bombing down the slope on your mountain bike versus actually harvesting an animal. I think it hits something more primal when it comes to, perhaps there’s even like I don’t want to get all woo woo, but almost like a spiritual dimension, right, where you know, there is kind of like, and I won’t deny this, the loss of a life involved with something like hunting and for you to be responsible for or take part in that, it triggers something different.

Marc:  Oh there definitely is.  I think to disacknowledge energy flow among living things is to be ignorant, right.  It exists, right.  The energy flow among living things definitely exists, and to think that when you’re snuffing that life out in that, there’s not some type of energetic flow and consequence, and things to acknowledge in what’s going on.  I absolutely believe that the reverence that shows up from that in the confusing display of that reverence, right I mean.  My son’s confusion, he didn’t know whether to be happy, sad, or glad, and he probably experienced all in 3.2 seconds, right?

Ben:  Yeah.

Marc:  And I can say the same thing of myself even though I’ve harvested, I’m approaching a hundred.  I don’t count, I’m just throwing that number out there, it could be 70, it could be 125, I’ve no idea but I’m approaching around a hundred animals in my life that I’ve harvested with my bow.  All of which I’ve eaten.  It is one of those things that is kinda still as scary, and as emotional, and as everything so much so that I still make stupid decisions, and miss animals ‘coz I’m so rattled by it all, right.  And it’s just that I’ve trained myself so well with shooting on a daily basis every day that when I’m rattled, I’m still making smart choices.

Ben:  Right. 

Marc:  By muscle memory, so to get back to your, what did new people do?  They call me, because the cool part is with exploration of what their intent is.  What’s your purpose? Is your purpose to gather meat?  Is your purpose to have an adventure while you’re gathering meat?  Is your purpose to celebrate? And this is one that’ll just dig some of your listeners in the gut, but it’s real.  To celebrate your animal by putting a memory on the wall which is the skin, and its head, and its antlers which has been very customary for human beings for centuries.

And now all of a sudden we think it’s wrong in some ways, and I don’t get it, but I get it.  So whatever that goal is for you, I’m gonna help you to achieve that goal by matching you up with the right personality with someone in the world, or here in the United States, and guys need to know hunts kinda really start out, I guess it pig hunt which is a hunt that people commonly would go to as a first stab, and I get that, but pigs are loud diers.

Ben:  Uhmm.

Marc:  Do you know what I mean?

Ben:  Yeah 

Marc:  And it’s not necessarily something I would want a gentle hearted, new hunter to experience their first time is that the animal that they’re killing make noise.  There’s just something that’s more shocking about that.

Ben:  Yeah.  Yeah.

Marc:  You know, I mean it’s something screams when you stick, it feels a lot more real and it’s a lot more emotional, so I don’t know, if I’d always pick that as people’s first.  A deer kinda dies quietly, and it runs off and it’s kind of a quieter serene thing even though it’s just as “bloodletting and violent as the other.”  But in the same token we’re gonna explore that and we’re gonna look at what you want, and what you’re looking for, and I’m gonna have those options for you both domestically and internationally, and really you need to plan on kind of the cheapest hunt we’re gonna talk about.  It’s gonna cost about a thousand bucks.  The average is gonna be probably 4 to 5,000 bucks and the sky is the limit, I mean.

Ben:  Yeah.  Well, I didn’t use a guide when I learned to hunt.  I didn’t even use a mentor, right like, I told a lot of people to find somebody, like a family friend or someone who has experience hunting, and just go approach them and talk to them about, perhaps accompanying them or them accompanying you.  You know, the way I learned how to do it though, I bought a gun and I watched Youtube videos.  That is how I learned, and literally like the first animal I feel dressed was with the video and a knife out in the forest, and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would love that a human being right there with me, and had it been a little bit more controlled setting and learn a little, but some people I’ll be honest, a thousand bucks.

Some folks may wanna figure out a different way, but what I can tell you is that the way that I did it is not necessarily the way that I would recommend people learn to hunt because I fought an uphill battle learning, and since I started kinda hanging out with Mark and go on some of his hunts it’s a lot nicer when you have like a guide, and somebody who knows the area.  Somebody who can help teach you the ropes.  It’s not as though you’re sitting back on a couch and somebody is hunting for you.  It’s just as hard.  You just have a lot more knowledge right there to help you out.

Marc:  Yeah.

Ben:  And by the way, for folks listening in ‘coz I know we’re gonna get this.  Mark and I don’t have a financial affiliation.  He’s just a friend.  I don’t have an affiliate link for GotHunts or anything like that.  I’m not trying to get you guys to pay for hunts to put money in my pocket.  Mark is just somebody who has been a wealth of knowledge for me personally, and I wanted to get him on the show to talk to you guys a little bit about hunting.

And Mark, you have delve quite a bit into the world of fitness.  I think at one point we were at a TraintoHunt competition, we were having lunch afterwards, and you were saying that you spent several years immersed in some pretty hard living when it came to like challenging your fitness, and sleep deprivation, and everything like that.  I forget what the actual work was that you we’re involved with, but can you expound on that a little like how you became kinda hard as the case maybe when it comes to fitness?

Marc:  Well, so it’s all gonna root back to kind of my alcoholic ways, right?  So having an addictive personality means that I only really know two points on a pendulum.  It’s either on or off.  It’s either one or ten, and because I only know ten for me whatever’s worth doing is worth doing to an excess.  If anything I’ve had to temper that stuff, so if I’m not burning, then I’m not doing.

And so, for me on a fitness level and on a physical level, my thing was way back when I was really getting into hunting at the next level and I was fresh, and I was raw.  I was spending 6 days a week hunting birds.  So I was a hard core chukar hunter.  And chukars are a bird that lives in the mountains, and I had multiple dogs, and the reason I had multiple dogs if they hunted with me every day, I couldn’t keep weight on them, they would get too thin.  I would get too thin.  I mean, I was doing you know, anywhere from 8 to 15 miles in Chukar country which is Steve Gnarly rocky stuff for 6 days a week.  I only let myself have 1 day off a week because I was that adamant about learning them to the next level, and needless to say, my freezer was full of chukar, and I learned at in my young twenties what I was capable of, and how much country I could really see on a daily basis.  So that was some of it in early stuff.

I was collegiate athlete and played football and baseball.  Neither of ‘em that great at the collegiate level.  I was in division 3, I was nothing special, but I was there because I had work ethic.  I had heart, right.  If you wanna know what makes me a successful hunter, it’s that I give up later than other people do.  I give up (laughs).  I don’t give up.  And so, because I’m there when Mother Nature chooses to give me that opportunity instead of the other guy who’s given up and gone home, I’m that guy that used to really embrace.  In fact, I didn’t think I was having fun unless I was getting my (censored) kicked out there.  If I wasn’t burning shoe leather, and I wasn’t losing weight, and I wasn’t absolutely flummoxed and uncomfortable, and all those other things that we can get into on these massive expanses of public land we have here in Idaho, then I didn’t think I was hunting.  I get my (censored word) kicked I didn’t think I was hunting.              

Ben:  That’s what I thought too when it came to like physical fitness right, I always wanted to spot and stock elk, or chase deer through white tail country out here, and I realized there’s a whole different mental round to hunting too when a couple of weeks ago we were in Texas at 1 day I spent a good 8 hours.  There were probably almost 40 hours just over those 5 days just standing still.

I had one day where there was just 8 hours sitting there, teeth chattering on the frozen tundra with the wind chill of about 19 which adds up when you’re not able to move, and you’re just sitting there staring.  Staring and looking for the animal for 8 hours in a row, like you wanna talk about moving meditation, and transcendental meditation, and box breathing, and all these things that people do for 30 minutes or 45 minutes, or an hour at a time where there are these silent meditation retreats.  Try hunting either, like tree stand or blind hunting in a cold harsh environment, and there’s a whole different level of mental fitness there too.

Marc:  There is.  It takes a super hard core.  I mean, we western hunters love to throw the tree stand hunters in the Midwest and the east, and under the bus because all they do is sit in a tree.  Holy buckets!

Ben:  It’s hard.  I used to do that too.

Marc:  It’s hard sell.

Ben:  I used to scoff at tree stand hunting until I did it, and I realized why.  You gotta be mentally alert and aware like eyes, ears, sight, smell, everything, and you also have to be able to withstand the elements for as long as you’re out there.  Yeah, it’s a whole different ball of wax.

Now, in terms of when you’re out guiding folks, you obviously get a lot of people who come to you for hunts.  What are the biggest holes that you see in the fitness of people who show up who want to get their first elk or their first deer, and they aren’t necessarily wanting to stand hunt or blind hunt, but they wanna get out there in the hills.  What do you see as the biggest weaknesses?

 Marc:  Well, it’s multi-day capability, right?  Everybody can go out, and go burn hard for one day.  The question is what kind of shape you are getting up on day 4, yay!  Because that’s a nutritional, that’s a spiritual, that’s an emotional, then that’s’ a mental battle, but physically if you’re battling at physical too, I mean, it’s hard to stay nourished at high elevation and be burning as many calories as you do per day, and getting your ass kicked emotionally because you’re failing.  All kind of those different things that play in.

The one thing that a lot of people that are not from the West don’t get is just a simple elevation difference.  They understand it but they don’t understand ‘til they’re on the side of a shell slope at 9,000 feet completely out of breath on day 2 saying, I don’t know if I can do this tomorrow.       

Ben: Right.  That’s a really good point.  It’s easy for people to conceptualize, maybe getting on a treadmill, walking uphill for a couple of hours with their pack on, or going for a long hike with all their equipment, but that was one of the first things I encountered in that Colorado hunt was I can do this all day long but then you throw the unknown and the day after day in there.  You know, we’re on like day 4, I didn’t plan on this, but we wound up sleeping under a tarp at 13,000 feet because that was where the elk at, and not back at our camp, and that’s after a couple of miles of hiking at really, really high elevation.

And then you gotta be ready to open your eyes at 5am, sneak out and spend another 4 hours on foot, sleep-deprived with whatever water and food you might have access to, and you start to throw all those unknown variables into the equation, I think that’s what gets to most people.  It’s not necessarily the fitness, but all the other little things that happen that throw you for a loop, and then you throw those in day after day if you really truly are going out on a multi-day hunt.

Marc:  Uhmm.  Yeah, well and some of the guys and the gals in your audience right now that are listening still with really perked up ears are probably the same people that are experiencing that second hand, your quarterback through the reality TV show industry right now that seems to really be fascinated with hunters, and sustenance levels and those sort of things and survivalist.  And what I would say to them is the same thing to you if you actually pay attention to those people on those shows, they almost in all, end up crying.  Now why?  They’re not sissies.  These are tough people who are being injected into an environment.

What I tell clients to be ready for, and what I tell myself to be ready for, and this is something that I think is worthy of diving in a little bit deeper ‘coz I have some questions for you here.  I’ve really gone in to this whole fat, high-fat intake diet, and I wanted to ask you earlier how that related to the metholates, and all that different stuff, but I have become starved of fat because I eat it all the time now, right.  And because I eat it all the time, it seems like my body keeps asking for more.

And I’m thin and I’m lean and my diastolic, and all that other stuff that I probably shouldn’t talk about ‘coz I’m not really an authority on it, but both my levels are below a hundred.  I’m as fit as fiddle, right, and at the same time I eat a ton of fat and a ton of animal fat, and one of the things that I guess I don’t want to get off to much on a rabbit hole, but this year’s the first year where I ever took and it’s because I had the goats with me.  I have 300 pounds in goat power now that can haul in good food, right?  You experienced…

Ben:  And that you can milk while you’re out there, right?

Marc:  Right.  And I’m milking my 1 goat as well.  We get about a half-gallon a day which is the perfect food.  So, with all that stuff and now being able to experience the back country in high elevation chasing bulls, what I noticed is the same thing that I noticed that it’s a fall down for my clients is the same thing for me on all levels.  Mentally, spiritually, physically, nutritionally, I am becoming more fragile everyday I’m there.  And when I say I’m fragile it means I’m fragile to be wanting to give up.  I can’t take it anymore part of it.  It’s less fun than it is fun now.

And now it’s about goal sets and it’s about resiliency, it’s about mindfulness of why I’m there, and what I’m trying to achieve is the only reason I’m still staying there.  If I just wanted to have fun and be comfortable, I would’ve left probably on day 2 on most trips.  There is work to this.  It is hard what we do, and in the way that I choose to do it on a personal level, but one of the best ways, Ben and here where my question is, that I’ve ever found to be less fragile is that I’m now cooking this big one pot meals.  So I do these meals with root vegetables.

I always have a complex carb in there like a rice, or a quinoa, or something like that, and then root vegetables like potatoes and onions, and beets and then I do a whole cube, and when I say a cube, that is the big giant Kerrygold butter, and then a fatty meat, and then seasonings.  And that’s my one pot and we cook up about literally like a 2 gallon pot of that.  And that’s the daily meal.  We cook it at about eleven, we survive up until then, off to some breakfast and some strategies there.  But that high fat intake made me less fragile by day 6 than I’ve been before, and I’m totally curious to ask you as to why that might be?  Is it just purely that my body isn’t harvesting off of itself?  What is it?             

Ben:  It’s a couple of things, first of all yeah, with the basic calorie intake of that macronutrients considerations aside, like how much fat, how much protein, how much carb is in it?  You simply are getting more calories.  That’s one part of it, but when you’re shifting towards the higher fat intake, and especially when you’re shifting towards not snacking and grazing on a lot of these traditional hunter foods, right? Chips and trail mixes, and chocolates, and sweets that I know a lot of hunters will take out there with them.  You’re shifting your body into burning those fatty acids and generating ketones.  A preferential fuel for your brain, for your liver, and your diaphragm, and your heart, and some of these muscles that are really involved quite heavily with endurance performance, and you get to the point where your body can go for longer and longer periods of time because you build greater and greater density with what are called mitochondria as you teach your body how to burn ketones.

And if you look at for example persistence hunting, like going after an animal for 4 to 6 hours only to have a great deal of evidence.  In African communities for example, that they would do this with just water, or at the idea of being that an upright human with the ability to sweat via the skin, and the ability to carry their own water can eventually outlast an animal over the course of 4, 5 or 6 hours especially on the African plains where the topography isn’t changing too much you know, have a ton of up and down, the idea is that you can actually train your body to thrive in those type of scenarios.

The other thing that’s happening is when you’re not frequently snacking, and when you’re not eating a lot of like high glycemic index foods that spike your blood sugar really readily, you’re not creating as many free radicals which cause joint inflammation, muscle inflammation, blood sugar fluctuations that cause like a hypo-glycemic drop after you’ve gotten your energy levels up so yeah, there’s a lot of really cool things that happen when you become fat adapted, when you become able to go for long periods of time, and this whole idea Mark, of persistence hunting, I think it could be the next big thing in the realm of hunting fitness.

You know, people going out and going after animals, fit people going after animals perhaps with a bow, I know it’s not legal in most States, but perhaps even with something else like a spear, or an [0:46:48.9] ______, or one of these other tools that are considered a little bit more primal ancestral hunting device.  But going for long periods of time and actually having it be a little bit more of a fitness competition between you and the animal you’re going after, rather than taking it with a compound bow at 60 yards, or a rifle at a thousand yards, and really turning it into more of a chase.  But ultimately, the long answer to your question, it’s a variety of things, like the ketone production, the fat adaptation in the mitochondrial density, the lack of carbohydrates that produce that free radical inflammatory response, and then also just the fact that you’re getting even more calories too.

Marc:  Hmmm.  Wow.  Well, thank you for answering that question, and I guess I can tell you that at those extra elevations and that kind of level of energy and effort, normally most seasons during elk seasons I’ll lose anywhere from ten to thirteen pounds kinda seems to be my track.  And this year, I actually successfully not only maintained weight but gained a few pounds during elk season which for me was crazy.  I was blown away with how hard I worked out there that I was able to do that, but more importantly I was still mentally strong.  The biggest breakdown for me is that I miss my kids.  So, in about day 4 or 5 is where I start wanting to be back home again.       

Ben:  When you can’t Skype because you don’t have reception or wifi.

Marc:  Right yeah.  But just the presence of it, the lying next to my wife, the getting up in the morning and having a cup of coffee and see them come out with their rubbing eyes, ‘coz I work at home, I get the luxury of getting to get up with my kids, and go to bed with my kids every day.  I don’t travel a lot for a living.  It’s hunting season that takes me away, and that’s a need, it’s not a want.     

Ben:  Yeah.  I just read the biography of Frederick Russell Burnham, it’s called “A Splendid Savage”, and it’s about this guy who was a scout for the United States against like for example, the Apache Indians, and then he eventually branched out, and he began not only guiding and doing hunts and stuff in Africa, but also fighting in the war in Africa, and then he eventually wound up in Alaska helping with US, like gold mining and stuff up there.  These guys like these back in the day, so to speak, they would be gone from their families for months at a time.

I was telling my wife about this book, she’s like, what did his wife do?  I’m like, that’s just the way that they did it back then.  They come back home, see their new baby, give their baby a kiss, be with them for a few days, then leave for until Christmas.  We live in a little bit more cuddled environment these days I think ‘coz like fathers and husbands were kind of like expected to be at home with the family all the time, but I think again, my apologies to the girls listening in, I’m not saying this to be sexist but I think in a certain way men seem to be a little bit hard wired to go out and slay dragons, and just leave for long periods of time from their wife and their children, and I’m personally getting less guilty about that as I age.  I love my wife and my kids, but I also understand that it’s okay to be away for long periods of time.      

Marc:  Uhm man, alright.  I hear you there.  There’s actually a book out that I’m intrigued to read that talks that’s documented of separation couple, you know.  The longevity of relationships based on intermittent separations, I don’t mean separation like I wanna separate, but there is the absence that makes the heart grow fonder, and a satelliting out from an interdependent relationship that I think is really real.  And I think it ties in, I mean, my wife and I struggle to exercise together yet we’re both health and wellness kinda nerds in how we eat and how we exercise, but her modality is so different than mine.  She can understand me and I can understand her.

The only place we come together, and this has been huge for me, and Ben, I felt there’s such a disconnect in you and me and when we talk about the acknowledgment of age, and I’m really excited for you to get in your mid-forties, and for me to be at my age and for us to have that conversation right, because I think there’s part of you that doesn’t relate to kinda what shows up in your body, and I think you’re so freaking smart and you’re so diligent.  And for those of you guys that think that are listening that Ben doesn’t live this lifestyle that he preaches 24/7, he absolutely does even in hunting camp.  I think that your brilliance with what you do makes you believe that you’re not gonna have this many issues that other people do, and I’ll acknowledge that you might be right, but I still think you’ll experience fragility and fragility is shocking.         

Ben:  Well, I’m gonna take that to the next level and tell you that, and I know we had a pretty long conversation about this called, How to Hunt Until You’re 80, and I’ll link to that episode because Mark has a podcast, and I was on it and we talked about this a little bit.  And this is something I didn’t really talk about, but I am already experiencing that.  I have discovered that unless when I get up in the morning and I’m thirty four years old.  When I get up in the morning unless I spend ten minutes on the lacrosse ball, the deep tissue massage ball, the foam roller, and then doing traction with these resistance bands that I literally have hanging in my living room, my body hurts during the day.  It just does from what I’m doing every day, and I’ve discovered that type of practice that I never had even think about doing when I was 20, now makes a night and day difference in the way I feel all day long when I get up and do that type of thing.

Like alcohol is another perfect example, right like I’m wrecked if I have more than a couple of glasses of wine or beer or mixed drinks now in the evening.  I’m the nightly glass of wine kind of guy, but I’m completely wrecked now.  My body  is simply changed maybe it’s because I eat and live a lot healthier than I did when I was in college drinking a lot, but at the same time, yeah I mean, like I’m starting to experience some of the stuff that you’ve talked to me about a hunting camp, and that I know that you’ve experienced it as a fit hunter, but yeah, I’m curious too to see whether or not my obsession with longevity and anti-aging and taking care of the body manifest itself in less aches and pains, or if I just get as wrecked as everybody else when I age?

Marc:  Well, not only that I mean, you have a level of commitment to the strategies to get up and do that every morning.  I know I need to do that, but the biggest problem with I guess I would call myself kinda as an author out there defined an outlier, and that is not because I’m cool or because I’m better than or any of (censored), that I just don’t know one member, and we’re back to the one or ten thing, right.  I’m an outlier because all I know is that ten, and as an outlier stretching doesn’t feel like progress, yoga doesn’t feel like progress, rolling on a ball doesn’t feel like progress, it feels like maintenance.

And maintenance sucks (censored word) I hate maintenance, but I have to be so mindful of it today.  I mean, so that’s gonna be my point with Sue and I, is the only place we meet is at maintenance and we meet, and yoga now is a twice a week thing for me like religion because it just gets all the stuff that I’m not willing to do a lot of other times, and it’s one of the workouts I look the most forward to now is yoga.  Sounds silly but I do.

Ben:  Yeah, I’m still at the point where it has to be productive for me.  So like even when I’m doing that stuff I just described in the morning, I am listening to an audio book or a podcast…

Marc:  (laughs)

Ben:  I’ve got my elevation training mask on.  I’m doing little sets of burpees and squats in between to keep my heart rate up, so yeah, I’m still at the point where my yoga that I gotta do it like super-duper hot in the sauna while I’m getting the heat shock protein production.  I’m still trying to maximize productivity with all these things ‘coz I agree you get bored when you’re just on the roller and then, like I’m not getting fitter doing this.     

Marc:  (laughs) Yeah, well so, yes I’m glad you could liken it to that, but that’s kind of the mutuality with Sue and I is that we meet there.  That’s where we meet, and that’s where to your previous conversation is I still believe in interdependent relationship.  And you know, I don’t think you have to be sexist because she’s off doing her own thing that society could define whatever it is, while I’m doing my own thing, but then we can still come back, high five, kiss and be a teammate ship in trying to go through the battle of raising children, and just the time constraints in this world that we set ourselves up for.

Ben:  Yeah, my wife doesn’t hunt.  She fishes steelhead with her dad and her brother and she kills chickens.  She takes care of the homestead, the goats, the chickens and she prepares a lot of wild game.  And I remember one time I got home from a vacation since we’ve probably already driven away a lot of our vegan and vegetarian listeners, I guess I can’t do any further damage saying this.

Marc:  (laughs)

Ben:  There was an entire pig with all of its body sections just spread around the garage ‘coz she was butchering a pig to make bacon, and pork stomach, and basically doing the tail, the snout thing with the pig because she wanted to learn how to do that, but yeah, I mean she’s got her own interests, I’ve got mine but they tend to complement each other pretty nicely.

So I’ve got a question for you, Mark, ‘coz I wanted to be sure to get this in for our listeners because I know a lot of people who are listening in that they do wanna challenge themselves,  maybe they’re not just getting into hunting, maybe they’re already hunters, but they wanna take things to the next level.  Let’s have some fun now.  If you were to kinda like think of some of the more challenging hunts that people could go on, of fit listeners maybe don’t like Spartan races and obstacle races, like I don’t wanna take this fitness and tap into something a little bit more primal, a little bit more ancestral, go harvest my own meat, but really challenge myself doing so.  What are some of the hunts you’d recommend?

Marc:  So let me ask you then and is the world my oyster and…

Ben:  The world is your freaking oyster, and yeah, throw a few options out there both budget-friendly and then also dream scenario. 

Marc:  Okay.  So, I think on a challenging physical level going through the process of getting good enough and committed enough to be able to hunt elk with a bow is still one of the coolest hunts in the world for multiple reasons, because not only is it the majority of elk that are gonna get killed with archery are quite miniscule that is gonna be happening from 8,500 to 10,500.  It’s a September hunt, its warm, and the animals live at high elevation, they’re rudding, which means they’re on the move all day.  And the big component the separates it from the rest in terms of an amazing god-like experience is to hear a bull bugle in the woods.  It’s just magic.  It’s magic.

And if you can get to the next level where you now talk animal which is all my favorite hunting turkeys, ducks, geese, elk, anything that I can talk to in their language, and it responds to me is magic, right.  So to call a bull in to close range and have him respond to what I’m trying to communicate to him and the years it’s taken to figure out how to talk elk is magic.  So not only does it have the physical component, it also has that physical chest match component because an elk is a featsome bitch, and trying to get in front of him in between his calves or get it to right elevation strategically to position, you are going to have your ass kicked physically in terms of trying to cover the terrain that it’s gonna take to harvest that bull, and then you take it to the next level in that you can talk his language.  It’s just an amazing thing.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s crazy.  That’s something I’m trying to learn right now is how to call elk and I’m again going to probably the uphill battle in a way with Youtube, and my elk calls, and my diaphragms but it’s… (chuckles).

Marc:  (chuckles)

Ben:  I’m slowly learning.  Another good reason to go out with a guide.  Anyways though, so an elk hunt, that would be like Colorado or something like that?   

Marc:  Yeah, Colorado.  I like Colorado because if for the people wanting to challenge themselves physically, that’s a 9 to 12,000 feet equation.  Idaho is gonna be a little more mild terrain ‘coz we have some lower elevation here, and the tallest mountain is twelve seven.  There’s over the counter tags.  I have a couple of more moderate archery hunts out here, and just for you to know these hunts that were talking about in that four to five thousand dollar categories that they are budgetarily minded, but still high level on the intrigue and the part that’s important for your listeners to know is that yeah, you can go buy a tag and a license in any western state over the counter, and go chase bulls with the general public.  You’re just gonna struggle for years trying to figure it out and that’s okay.

That’s how I did it.  That’s how you can do it too, but I think you speed up your process when you take on a mentor, or you kind of take on a paid helper, right.  You take on somebody that you’re gonna learn from to go through that experience I think is an important component, and I can help you guys with that, but the other side of it if we start talking about one of the hunts that I’ll never forget, that’s still not crazy priced is a mountain goat hunt.  And hunting for mountain goats in British Colombia or Alaska can really be an amazing experience because you are dealing with elevation game and the climbs and the difficulty of that.  You’re fighting the alders you know, physically it’s (laughs).

I don’t know if I told you the story that there was a cook in a British Colombia camp who had more one liners than anyone I’ve ever talked to anywhere.  This guy could pull out a one liner for everything, and he described the alders in Canada, we were talking about it, and for those of you who don’t know, this is like this thick tangled web of the thickest most gnarliest brush that when it’s wet they’re super slippery on top of it, and they’re about fifteen feet tall, and you’re trying to get through literally a half mile of these because there’s an alder band in BC that you have to penetrate through to get up to the high alpine.   And so, the only way through ém is lots of times avalanche shoots or creek bottoms or whatever, they’re almost impenetrable.  Anyway, we got into one and couldn’t get out and that happens, and the cook when debriefing it when we got back said, you know, getting into the alders, you just need to know that you’re there, and you’re gonna be there, and you need to change your attitude ‘coz he goes, it’s like wiping your (censored word) with a wheel.  It’s never ending. (laughs) And I thought that was so funny.  It’s so well said.  Wiping your (censored word) with a wheel, it’s never ending yeah.

So anyway, mountain goat hunting is amazing ‘coz not only do you have that physical climb component, you have this amazing majestic animal that lives at high elevation and it’s not very dense.  You gotta cover a lot of country to find one, and then the last part is once you get up there, there’s a saying in the goat world that mountain goat hunting starts where sheep hunting stops.  And they’re right.  Mountain goats live in country that you are right to go after them and were risking death.  Not kinda, not sorta.  I was in a position where I said to myself three different times when I was on that hunt if I keep going, I’m choosing to risk death to keep going.  Now you’re next question may be, Mark did you decide to move forward?  My answer was no.                       

Ben:    Do you mean death from falling?

Marc: Death from falling, yeah.

Ben:  That’s one thing that’s hard for me, like heights where I’m not roped in, and again I never used to have this feeling when I was single and yeah, now that I have kids even in triathlons when I’m bombing down a slope.  I am more cautious now.  I descend more like a grandma ‘coz I think of my kids, and I’ve got life insurance out the wazoo and I’ve covered myself, and I’ve made sure my family’s gonna be taken cared of if I die, but there’s like this weird thought that goes into your head when you’re in a scenario like that where your kids’ faces flash across ahead.  It’s weird, like for those of you guys or gals who don’t have kids, and your adrenalin seekers, it changes when after you’ve had children.  I agree.

Marc:  It does.  I think it’s irresponsible to put your life knowingly in jeopardy and being a parent.

Ben:  Yeah, unless you’re saving your family.  Unless you’re getting that goat ‘coz your kids are starving.

Marc:  Right.  So I backed out of three different scenarios that I wasn’t willing to continue on, and we ended up succeeding in the long run, but I made it more difficult by it having. So there was that component and believe me I pushed it, right, I mean there were other times where I was like oooh, I’m right on the razor edge of this, but that was part of the intrigue, and the fun, and excitement, and that country is just unbelievable out there.  At those kind of elevations there’s so many times where you’re the first one who stood in that bull before, and there’s just the cool factor in that.  So I would tell you that mountain goat hunting was an amazing hunt and I would tell you that elk is an amazing hunt.  So there’s lots of cool stuff too; Red Stag in the roar in New Zealand, that’s amazing country that’s the adventure capital of the world.  The Kiwis love Americans, it’s a fabulous place to visit.  And then there’s always Dangerous Game in Africa, Cape Buffalo is pretty hard.

Ben:  Yeah, dude.  I wanna do Dangerous Game in Africa.  I’m much more prone to do that than I am to be elevated at heights without a rope.  I don’t mind an animal charging at me if I’m armed.     

Marc:  (laughs) Right.  Yeah, yeah.  So that’s got that component too, and so I think those are need to be on people’s bucket list. Moose in Alaska, I think brown bears in Alaska are really amazing critter and then you know, we really need to think about our conservation piece.  I mean, if you can go to some of these [1:05:25.5] ______ countries and chase around eye backs at those kind of countries.  Those are such desperately poor countries, your money goes there and makes a difference in so many hundreds of lives just with one trip that it’s unbelievable.  So there’s that side of this too.

Don’t forget as travelling hunters, we’re blessing a lot of countries that have no other revenue sources, and we’re giving an animal a monetary value which keeps the indigenous population from killing them all.  Right now, in poor old Zimbabwe, you have this mass poisoning of elephants going on right now because of the whole seize of the lion thing that has now pulled hunters out of Africa, and made them scared to go there, and now all of a sudden the indigenous populations are wiping the elephants out because they don’t have any monetary value anymore.

Ben:    Yeah, I heard about that.

Marc:  It’s really a bum deal.

Ben:  Plus the lions are dying now too because now that people aren’t going in to hunt the lions, the farmers and ranchers are just killing them.

Marc:  Yeah, if for any of your listeners who wanna prove that to themselves and not trust me, or you, or anything, there’s a Ted Talk that’s out there, and that Ted Talk talks about and if you just goggle the Botswana lions, and the Ted Talk you’ll see a pro-lion advocate talk for 20 minutes on how we need to keep lion hunting there ‘coz it’s the only way they stay.

Ben:   I heard about that one, and I’m going to link to that one in the show notes.  I’ve been taking some notes.  So for those of you listening in, I’ll link to Marc’s website in the show notes, the previous hunting podcast we’ve done, that Splendid Savage book I mentioned, the podcast I did with Marc, this video Marc just referenced, whole bunch of other stuff.  So the URL for that if you wanna check it out is bengreenfieldfitness.com/gothuntsbengreenfieldfitness.com/gothunts, and when you go there you can also leave a comment or question for me or Mark, and we’ll hop on and hopefully point you in the right direction.  But if you’re listening in and you want to go out hunt with a guide, try out one of these hunts that Marc just talked about.  I highly recommend that you do it.  It’s a ton of fun, an awesome new thing to learn, a really cool way to tap into a whole different primal ancestral feeling, like we just kinda described in this episode, and Marc, I wanna thank you for coming on the show today and sharing all those stuff with us.

Mark:  Oh, it’s my super pleasure.  It’s my super pleasure.  I really enjoyed it.  Hey, Ben one more quick thing.  I think it’s important that the listeners understand that the one thing I’m gonna ask of all of you is that we all have individual goals, and some of them in this context is kinda exercising our inner predator.  In that, I would ask you to look beyond yourself and look at the duty to the animal as well first, in not only how we approach the project of you learning that, but we need to be conscientious that we have a duty and a responsibility and a reverence to God’s creation that allows us to eat of their flesh and remember that that’s what this is about.  Can we enjoy the process, hell yes!  That’s what it is, but in the same token, we have a duty and a responsibility to the animal of ethical harvest and all those other things while we’re going about it.     

Ben:  Yeah, it’s totally true.  Thanks for including that too, Marc.  It’s a super important point.  So I think that’s a perfect place to end this episode.  So again, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gothunts to get access to a lot of the resources that we just talked about, and Marc, I wanna thank you for coming on the show.

Mark:  Oh, thanks for having me.  I appreciate you, Ben.

Ben:  Alright cool.  Folks, this is Ben Greenfield and Marc Warnke from GotHunts, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com, have a healthy week.

Hey, it’s Ben.  I hope you stuck around ‘coz I got one last thing for you that will help us make this show better and it’s a survey.  Don’t you just love surveys?  So this survey will take about 3 minutes of your time, plus you get all the instant gratification and the amazing karma that comes with knowing that you helped to support the show.  So here’s how you can take this quick, quick, quick I promise quick.  Did I say quick survey?  You go to podcastone.com, that’s podcast o-n-e dot com, and when you go to podcastone.com, you’ll see right there where you can take a survey that will help me make this show better.  So enjoy your surveying.

You've been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.



If you’ve been paying attention to the BenGreenfieldFitness Instagram page lately, you may know that I’ve just returned from a big axis deer hunt in Texas. Before that, I was hunting whitetail deer in Washington and elk in Colorado.

I spent the summer competing in TrainToHunt bowhunting, meatpacking and obstacle course competition, I won the Idaho TrainToHunt, and now I’ve got my eyes on safari hunting in Africa and moose and bear hunting in British Columbia.

In the podcast episode “Are Hunters The Fittest People In The World?” I interview TrainToHunt founder Kenton Clairmont, and in the episode “How To Build Primal Fitness And Endurance By Hunting: An Interview With A Bowhunting Triathlete“, you learn how an Ironman triathlon competitor combines hunting with endurance sports.

With the growing popularity of sports like TrainToHunt, bowhunting, and even a growing interest in the ancestral practice of persistence hunting, I figured it was high time to introduce you to the guy who has organized a couple of the hunts I’ve been on, and who is one of the world’s leading authorities on finding good hunts, building hunting fitness and much more.

So if you want to tap into the primal practice of challenging your body in the wilderness and hunting and gathering your own tasty meat, then this episode is for you.

My guest Marc Warnke is owner of GotHunts a hunting consultant, family man, avid bow hunter, mule deer fanatic, fly fisherman and best selling author.

Marc has had global hunting experience with outfitters in Canada, Africa and New Zealand. He understands what makes a quality hunt, how to find challenging hunts and (as a fellow TrainToHunt competitor) how to build the ultimate hunting fitness.

-How Marc became a hunting guide…

-The most thrilling place in the world to hunt…

-How to “get into” hunting, even if you didn’t grow up with it…

-The biggest fitness “holes” you’re going to face when you begin hunting…

-Why persistence hunting may be the next big thing in hunting fitness…

-The best kind of hunting and hunts to go on if you really want to challenge your fitness…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:


How To Hunt ‘Till You’re 80 podcast

The Splendid Savage book






Ask Ben a Podcast Question

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