AustinCo makes a good point about Colorado and elevation. People coming from sea level or lower elevations would be better off arriving a week early and acclimating at one of the front range areas before heading straight for the high country.
I really appreciate all the advice. We are getting to our area next Wednesday and I will be sure to take it easy and not get sick. The water tip is a good one - we are booze-free (in camp) and little or no sodas so we should be ok there.
You know, there is always a first time for everything. As long as I don't hurt anyone or myself, this should be the first of many trips-of-a-lifetime
sluggo: Given the lateness of the year that you say you will be hunting, it is very possible your buddies are inviting you to a low altitude elk hunt. Early in the season elk are on their summer range, high in the mountains where the terrain is very steep. Late in the season elk migrate from summer range to winter range, where winter range is lower and where the terrain is less steep. This should make it easier on you. At lower elevations and less steep terrain sometimes there is access via ATVs and even 4WD vehicles to your hunting areas.
While this is besides the point for your question and this impending hunt, in the longer view why don't you lose that weight and get into shape as an on-going project? This will improve your life expectancy and give you a better quality of life. I'm 50 years old and more or less have to continuously mind what I eat and keep in training to control my weight. I allow myself the occasional self-indulgences and escapes from the conditioning grind, but generally I keep on the path. Just a suggestion for thought.
Don't worry about your weight/ shape this year...water under the bridge. Next year after you have had a taste of elk hunting you'll have all the right reasons to get in shape. I'm in good shape and can walk most of my huntin buds into the ground, yet when I'm in the woods I cover less ground then they do. Remember the faster you move the less you see moving around you and the more critters pick you up. Above all enjoy your hunt while enjoying God's country.
Winter is tough on whitetails, that is an accepted fact.
You can help the quality of your herd by providing winter plots - that are not necessarily designed as kill plots.
Having what I call green plots - that the deer can browse in when most of the other food is gone, can greatly benefit the deer herd when they need it most.
Come December - at least in our area of the south - most of the mast is gone, all of the crops were long harvested and this green browse can really make the difference for...