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A primal release in modern times. Let’s talk about hunting.

by | Sep 8, 2022 | Hobbies

Hunting is one of humanity’s oldest traditions. Before the softening factor of modern convenience, it was a necessity. If you wanted that body and brain-strengthening protein that meat provides, you had to chase it, kill it and bring it back home. It wasn’t a matter of sport or recreation—it was a matter of survival.

Looking back at the pandemic we all have gone through it’s easy to see why hunting is immediately viable. Supply lines were disrupted. Food processing plants and farms were left inoperable, and food suddenly didn’t seem so available. 2020 saw a sharp uptick in new and returning interest in hunting.

Renewed large-scale participation in this discipline, one as old as our species, is definitely a net positive for our society and specifically for men who possess or who are at risk of gaining comorbidities associated with declining wellness and a loss of virility. Let’s examine how just in case you need more than a “because I say so.”

Hunting leads to quantifiable increases in health and wellness.

Being outside, in general, is good for you. We need exposure to the sunshine, the UV radiation, to produce a sufficient amount of Vitamin D. During the pandemic, many of those individuals that suffered the worst symptoms were shown to be Vitamin D deficient. This vitamin, which is factually a protein, is vital to normal immune function, for good bone and joint health, reduces inflammation and can even result in a reduction in cancer cell growth—AND if that’s not enough, according to The National Library of Medicine, successful hunting increases testosterone and cortisol which both play a part in the body’s recovery process.

Improve your chemistry.

As your brain is the organ that consumes the most energy in your body and regulates pretty much every single process in your body, it might be important to note the net positive benefits hunting can have on grey matter, the outermost layer of your brain. Not only does the process of hunting reduce heart rate and blood pressure over time, reducing the chance of stroke and other catastrophic cerebral events, but hunters are also shown to have more dopamine in their system than those who do not. Dopamine, essentially, is the chemical that makes us feel good, rewarded and fulfilled. Plainly said, hunting is a natural antidepressant.

You’ve got to move it, move it. 

Moving around is good for you. Being sedentary results in a lot of breakdowns, weight gain and a host of other factors that will greatly reduce your quality of life and overall life expectancy. I don’t mean to be grim, but if you don’t use your life, you’ll lose your life … sooner.  

Hunting comes with a host of related activities and training that will over time build your aerobic capacity, muscle density, lung capacity and overall heart health. Walking through the woods or over large expanses of varied terrain, carrying your kill, carrying wood for camp, practicing with a bow and all the training one needs to do to ensure they’re not totally miserable diving the actual hunt, deliver lasting visual and internal benefits for men.  

Know where your food comes from. 

Wild game is by far the most nutritious source of protein available to individuals at nearly every economic level. It’s not processed, pumped full of antibiotics or artificially fattened with grains and corn. You’re only as healthy as what you put in your body and a Missouri White Tail maxes out at 30 mph … so there’s that.  

Be present. 

There are a lot—ok, infinite—distractions in our break-neck pace modern world. Screens are everywhere. Notifications are endlessly notifying. We are so connected to our phones that we are too busy scrolling and looking down that we can miss a lot of opportunities to look up and appreciate the world we can touch and be a part of. As a hunter, you have to be mindful, disciplined, present and, most importantly, capable of action and failure. We miss a lot of the shots we take, so practice and persistence are vital to success in any endeavor. Being present and aware of your surroundings, taking in all available information and deciding to act even though you might “whiff it” is just vital to existing as a person. Hunting is high-risk problem solving with extreme consequences we should be exposed to if only to put the junk-food parts of our lives into perspective.  

 Feel accomplished. Feel essential.  

On a more personal, emotional and maybe spiritual note—reaching into your freezer and pulling out that dated package of venison and bringing it to your family’s table, knowing that you were successful because you were disciplined, strong and smart enough to harvest a truly amazing animal is incredibly rewarding as not just a man, but as a provider. Feeling that is enough to get anyone out of bed to walk through the woods or climb a tree stand in less-than-ideal conditions. It’s hard, but that feeling makes it all worth it.  

At Missouri Men’s Health, we take a holistic approach to improving the quality of life for Missouri’s men. We want you to get out there, experience the natural majesty of our state and our country while getting healthy. 

Start your path back to optimal performance today.
Call (573) 334-1341 or visit our clinic.