Dying to hunt up north

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Dying to hunt up north

Altitude and overexertion can be fatal for lowland hunters
Steve Coop, left, of Little Rock, Ark., watches David Klawitter, a hunting guide for Over the Hill Outfitters east of Durango, tie down his raincoat as they get ready to pack into the high country for an elk hunt. When asked about the altitude and what kind of shape he is in, Coop said: “I swim on a regular basis, and there is a mountain outside of town that I climb one to two times a week. I got up here on Thursday, so I feel pretty good.”
Wrangler Steve Rodriguez with Over the Hill Outfitters loads horses into a trailer on Friday to pack up to Missionary Ridge for an elk hunt.

Dying to hunt up north

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Steve Coop, left, of Little Rock, Ark., watches David Klawitter, a hunting guide for Over the Hill Outfitters east of Durango, tie down his raincoat as they get ready to pack into the high country for an elk hunt. When asked about the altitude and what kind of shape he is in, Coop said: “I swim on a regular basis, and there is a mountain outside of town that I climb one to two times a week. I got up here on Thursday, so I feel pretty good.”
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Wrangler Steve Rodriguez with Over the Hill Outfitters loads horses into a trailer on Friday to pack up to Missionary Ridge for an elk hunt.
Play it safe

Doctor interviewed for this story recommended these precautions for avoiding illness or heart attack in the high country:
People 50 years old or older, people with a heart condition or with a family history of heart disease, diabetics and overweight people should have a stress test by their physician.
Physical conditioning should start early by walking briskly for 30 minutes five days a week, the doctors said.
“Some hunters become athletes only at this time of year,” said, Paul Gibson, director of the emergency department at Mercy Regional Medical Center.
Once in the hills, hunters should first acclimatize themselves to the altitude, know their limitations and recognize symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches or indigestion and chest, abdominal or shoulder pain.
Smart hunters carry nitroglycerin, avoid big meals before doing strenuous exercise, stay hydrated and wear a heart monitor, they said.
“If your heart rate exceeds 70 percent of your maximum (220 minus your age which is an accepted formula), stop doing what you’re doing,” Stephen Lipnik, an interventional cardiologist at Mercy.

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