5 Healthy Benefits of Hunting
by Robert O. Brown, M.A, P.T.A
Anyone who has ever had to quarter out a moose and pack it back to camp knows that there is a degree of physical fitness and stamina that is required to do the job adequately. I have often heard people grumble about doing such an activity but the reward, I feel far outweighs the cost. Hunting in fact is a very healthy sport. In my preparations for this year’s hunt I assembled a list of the top 5 health benefits of hunting.
1. Social interaction with friends and family: Many folks I know were taught to hunt by a family member, in my case it was my dad. I have always felt that this was very good bonding time. Since then I have gone hunting with many good friends and family. This is an integral part to one’s social well-being and emotional health.
2. Physically challenging with purposeful direction: Preparing for a successful hunting trip takes energy and effort. This preparation is far healthier than that of a sedentary lifestyle and is part of active living and a healthy lifestyle.
3. Exercise: When hunting, I carry my grandfather’s 1917 .30/06, and just to carry the rifle itself is a bit of a workout. Most rifles with all the extra stuff we put on them weigh on average about 10-12 pounds, which isn’t a bad workout when carried for six or eight hours. Add a game pack with food, spotting scope, rain gear and more, and then you are looking at a very good workout for the day.
4. Nutrition: Although many people enjoy going hunting just to be out in nature and enjoy the people they go with, the primary goal is to be successful and fill the freezer for winter. Growing up, my household was 50% subsistence. At the time I had no idea that this was actually a very healthy diet. Game meat is low fat and 100% organic. Hard to beat that.
5. Mental benefits: Hunting improves mental discipline. My experience has taught me that hunting is just as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. Some expert marksmen feel shooting is 90% mental. Further one has to implement concentration, multiple problem solving skills and creative thinking to be successful. Fortunately being in nature also has mind clearing properties and many receive a therapeutic/relaxed feeling when hunting. This is a good counter to the hustle and bustle of life.