Hunting provides a powerful connection to nature. It also offers a healthier lifestyle and generates millions of dollars for economies across the globe. As you gear up for the fall hunting season, Global Rescue experts and Safe Travel partners share six benefits of hunting.
1) Benefits Your Body
Hunters are always on the move. They are physically active before the hunt while scouting, during the hunt and after the hunt while transporting game. Hunting requires walking, bending, stretching, balancing, climbing, pulling and hauling. Of course, that means you should evaluate your physical stamina before planning a hunt.
In order to know how to get in shape for a hunt, or an entire hunting season, a hunter must consider all of the physical requirements for the type of hunting they are doing. For example, an elk hunt in Idaho requires the hunter to be in extremely good shape.
“If somebody knows they are going to be logging a lot of miles per day tracking game, then they must be physically prepared to do so,” said Adam Bardwell, supervisor of medical operations at Global Rescue. “Physical preparation should not be overlooked by somebody who is planning on trekking through the mountains.”
Different terrain will need different skills.
“For long hunts in rough terrain, hunters should prepare by creating similar physical conditions,” said Bardwell. “This can be achieved by putting a pack on with the similar weight and incrementally increasing mileage, weight and terrain difficulty.”
If a hunter will be utilizing tree stands, climbers or climbing sticks, then it’s important to have enough physical stamina to be able to climb and then accurately and safely engage the animal.
“Ensuring a hunter has sufficient upper body strength after climbing a tree will improve safety and accuracy,” said Bardwell. “Pull-ups, dips, core workouts, just to name a few, will help.”
2) Benefits Your Brain
Hunters also get a mental workout. They study hunting rules, regulations and guidelines that can change yearly. They need to be able to read a compass and control their breathing and nerves while aiming.
“Marksmanship is a core fundamental of hunting,” said Bardwell. “Shooting, whether bow or rifle, is hard. In order to properly prepare to ensure a successful hunt, a hunter must practice for that moment.
Hunters will not always have an ideal situation to take a shot. They might be uncomfortable, wet, tired, cold, hungry or nervous. Understanding how these variables will affect the accuracy of their shot and training on those scenarios is vitally important. Knowing how to control their body’s sympathetic response prior to engaging a target can and should be practiced.
3) Offers a Way to Enjoy Nature
“Ethical hunting is probably the most effective way of learning about the outdoors, animal behavior and survival,” said Chris du Plooy, owner of Chris du Plooy Safaris. “It also gives you respect for what nature can provide and how to preserve it for future generations.”
Then there are mental health benefits for just being outdoors. Nature is a natural antidepressant with a vitamin D infusion from sunshine. Nature is quiet and peaceful. It also provides a break from the daily stresses of everyday life.
4) Provides Time with Family and Friends
“There are so many things that I enjoy about hunting, but I would say the most important thing for me is the time spent with friends or family,” said Jeremy Conn, co-owner and co-operator of Deadhorse Outfitters and a Global Rescue Safe Travel Partner. “As my children get older, taking them out and allowing them the opportunity to experience nature at its best has become some of my favorite times hunting. All of my kids don’t hunt but every one of them understand the importance of hunting and also enjoy being out in the woods with me.”
Said du Plooy, who is also a Global Rescue Safe Travel partner, “Even if no hunting is done on a hunting trip, the time you spend with your family outdoors is priceless in terms of teaching, learning and sharing about nature and to secure the preservation of it for future generations.”
5) Supports Conservation Efforts
State wildlife agencies could not survive without hunters’ financial contributions. In 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed $1 billion — raised by license sales and excise taxes on hunting equipment — to state wildlife agencies in 2021 through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
According to John Prosak of No Fly Zone Waterfowl Outfitters and Sturgeon River Ranch, to have an ecosystem healthy enough to produce large, mature trophy animals, you need enough space, food, habitat and immature animals.
“Hunters spend billions of dollars worldwide conserving animal habitats to provide the necessary ecosystems to grow trophy animals,” said Prosak, whose business offers waterfowl hunting in the heart of Saskatchewan’s flyway and horseback riding excursions into Prince Albert National Park. “This is for the greater good of all animals because these healthy ecosystems provide food and shelter for much more than just sport animals.”
Hunting also keeps animal populations in check. Consider an overabundance of deer, eating away at particular trees in the forest. Losing trees, in turn, reduces the songbird population.
All those deer present extra homes for ticks, which easily jump to humans and spread Lyme disease. An overabundance also causes problems for motorists. Every year, there are about 1.5 million deer-related car accidents around the world. Hunting provides an opportunity to keep the herd under control. Most hunting licenses allow the harvest of one deer per season.
6) Healthy, Lean Meat
Wild meat is free-range, fat-free, antibiotic- and hormone-free and high in protein. Venison, for example, has less cholesterol than chicken, less saturated fat than salmon and costs less than a quarter of beef. It is ethically raised and killed.
“A hunter learns about, tracks and ultimately kills an animal,” Bardwell said. “They can share their hard work with their family in the form of a meal, which is pretty cool.”
Safari Club International highly recommends purchasing a Global Rescue membership prior to your next trip. Single trip, annual and family options are available. Click here for more information or call (617) 459-4200 and mention you’re a Safari Club International member.