Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are you fit to go hunting?

© By Othmar Vohringer

As an outdoor writer I am supplied with a lot of statistics from Canada and even more from America. One of the statistics I look forward to every year is the Recreational Accident Statistic.

I am pleased to see that hunting ranks as usual very low in the overall accident statistic, lower then rollerblading and even basketball. What I am not pleased about is that the number one hunter accident is still connected to treestand hunting. I would have thought that by now every hunter uses a safety harness (supplied with every treestand) when hunting from a stand or climbing in and out of one.

The next most common hunter accident is guess what? It's not firearm related. It’s heart attacks. Heart attacks not only affect the aging hunter population but more often the younger hunters aged between 30 and 40. The reason, so the statistic, is poor physical condition. What's the main cause for heart attacks during hunting? Dragging a downed deer out of the bush is number one. Second place is setting up treestands. After a hunter shoots a deer, especially a big buck, ranks on third place.

Hunting, like any sport, requires physical fitness unless you're road hunter and even then you have to load the downed animal onto your truck. (For the non Canadian. In Canada we call a hunter driving along the back roads until he spots a deer a road hunter. These hunters usually only leave the vehicle to shoot at a deer.)

To keep fit I hike a lot and as hunting season approaches I hike even more, mostly in full hunting gear, loading my backpack with stones to add weight.

What are you doing to stay in physical hunting shape? Do you hike? Lift weights? Hit the gym? Discuss it here.

This blog post has been brought to you by Othmar Vohringer Outdoors

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