For many outdoorsmen and women, hunting is much more than just a weekend pastime. Hunters are passionate about what they do and spending time outdoors in the fresh air is only the beginning of the many physical, social and emotional benefits of the sport.
More times than not, hunting almost always involves some type of physical exercise — sometimes a little and sometimes a lot. Whether you’re climbing the ladder to your stand, trekking through the woods or setting and checking traps, you’re bound to do your body good regardless of the type of hunt in which you partake. Since most hunting seasons occur during the fall months, hunting offers a great fresh air transition from the pool-side season to the cooler months.
On top of the direct physical benefits your body gains from hunting, the nutritional benefits are incomparable. Whether you hunt large game like deer and elk or smaller game like pheasant or rabbit, you enable yourself to harvest clean, lean meat. Many hunted animals are low in fat, lacking in hormones and preservatives, and much easier on your wallet than store-bought meats.
With harvesting and preparing your own meat comes a peace of mind you won’t find at a grocery store. When you provide your family with hunted game, you can rest assured that you know where the meat came from and that it’s as clean as it comes.
Hunting in groups is another great way to enjoy the outdoors. Clubs and organized group hunts are great ways to socialize while participating in something you love. The excitement of a group of hunters releasing their barking dogs for the first morning’s hunt or a row of shot-gun ready shooters lining a field for a Labor Day dove hunt presents a sense of camaraderie unlike anything else.
Parents who take their children hunting allow themselves to create teachable moments. Parent-child hunting not only prepares and teaches children hunting rules and safety, but is a wonderful way to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Couples who hunt together also allow for connection on a completely different level. Supporting each other, rooting for one another and sharing the excitement of a kill are all great ways for couples to partake in the sport of hunting while strengthening relationships.
Mental and Emotional Benefits
While hunting is often thought of as a very physical and active, the sport does wonders for a hunter’s mental and emotional health. The preparation, participation and post-hunting experiences are seldom fast processes. Hunters must learn to be patient in order to excel at their sport, often a virtue learned along the way.
Passionate about their sport, hunters prepare months in advance planting food plots, setting up trail cameras and getting ready for the season ahead. But, preparation is not the only part of hunting requiring patience. Sitting silent and motionless for hours waiting for a deer to slowly make its way to your corn pile may sound miserable to some, but not to those who love to hunt.
In addition, time in the wilderness allows for times of thought and reflection. Whether you’re pondering life as the sun rises through the trees or simply appreciating nature in its rawest form, spending time out there is good for your soul.
Hunting benefits your health in so many ways — So get out there and get your game!