Healthy Hunting

Have Your Best Season Yet

The thrill of the hunt in the lowcountry is well underway!  South Carolina deer hunting season starts in early August and doesn’t end until the beginning of January. It’s the season hunters commune with nature and bring home a feast to their families. They also sweat, swat, and get up before sun-up.  Still, it’s the most wonderful time of their year and there’s some simple ways to make it even more enjoyable.

Hunting is physically demanding.  Remaining perfectly still in a shooting stance while aiming a gun at the target exercises core muscles. When the abdominal muscles are weak, the lower back holds additional pressure and weight from simple daily tasks like walking. Just to carry the rifle itself is a workout. Most rifles weigh an average of 12.5 pounds, which is extra challenging if it is held for up for six or eight hours.  The most common complaint is back and neck pain.  Doing stretches, core strengthening exercises, and visiting a chiropractor are all great ways to prepare for the hunt. Proper spine alignment will also improve mental clarity, increase flexibility, alleviate headaches, and strengthen the immune system.

Hunters may not realize, when out in the field, they burn more calories than usual.  When you’re physically active, the best types of foods will be those that have a high protein count along with fats and carbohydrates.  Avoid foods that contain empty calories such as those with high sugar or starch content because the sugar may give you a rush, but your energy levels will soon be depleted. You need solid nutrition that makes the fuel your body requires for giving you energy. Jerky will give you a supply of fat and protein for more energy.  Trail mix is an excellent source of nutritious calories. It contains nuts and fruit which offer extra nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids found in the nuts. Drink plenty of water the day before and be sure to pack along enough water for the hunt itself.

Most deer hunters purchase commercially made cover scents and lures that can be expensive. There’s an easier, cheaper, natural way to go about it.  All you need is a quality essential oil.  Mix your essential oil with a carrier oil (Coconut, Jojoba, etc.). Apply to your clothes, skin, or handkerchief.  Enjoy the bonus benefit because essential oils serve as a bug deterrent as well.  Some of the best options for cover scents include Cedarwood, Cypress, Arborvitae, and Siberian Fir. The best lure is Fennel because it smells like anise which attracts deer.

We live in a society quite unable to relax.  Surveys show that the top reason hunters hunt is to get outdoors and connect with nature.  In the woods, there is no rush, no schedule, and no deadlines. Nature moves at its own pace. This is very therapeutic and counterbalances the busy-ness that most people feel in their day-to-day lives.  Expect lower blood pressure, less anxiety, and better sleep.

This hunting season may your freezer stay full and your stories (mostly) true.  May you be deerly blessed!

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