Anyone who hunts or fishes experiences some form of unexplainable satisfaction from their outdoor pursuits. Studies have even shown that increases men’s so-called “love hormone.” Here are three benefits of hunting that cannot be disputed.
According to the last completed study by the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, hunters and fishermen spend around 122 billion dollars a year in their outdoor pursuits. This survey is endorsed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and it provides tangible proof that hunters pay their fair share for wildlife management.
When any person enjoys observing nature, you as a hunter can take great pride and satisfaction knowing that you played a larger part in making that happen. To put it in recent vernacular, ‘you built that’ healthy herd of animals, that giant flock of fowl and those amazing schools of fish. You built that.
Better Health & Fitness
Before we can even go hunting, we have to learn a pile of laws and regulations and navigate tons of sometimes-ridiculous state and federal paperwork. I live in Alaska, and compared to the 15 or so other states I have hunted in; Alaska is the absolute worst when it comes to learning rules and obtaining permits and licenses. I find the effort tiring but stimulating. It keeps me sharp, gives me a challenge, and I get some sort of sick satisfaction earning my results.
The physical benefits of hunting are obvious, but there are other benefits to getting in shape and maintaining a sound mind and body; it oftentimes inspires others to do the same. The only thing more satisfying than good health is encouraging others to become healthier. Without preaching to the choir, we all deserve a chance to reach our potential as humans and hunters, and being healthier only hurts medical billing services.
Satisfaction of Sharing
Almost every state has programs in place that help hunters share their bounty with others who either want or need low-fat, high-protein game meat. ‘Many a man has found himself while in the service of others.’ I don’t know who said that, but it works for me and I take great pride and satisfaction sharing my game meat with family and friends.
It is not generosity that drives me to share, it is selfishness. I love the feeling I get from sharing, so it makes me feel good and I am not ashamed to admit it. It also provides a good example to non-hunters or young hunters. Sometimes, a positive action can inspire other positive actions, so why not do your part and make people and places around you better then when you found them?
The primary purpose of any hunting camp is to have a place where you can get out of the elements and get warm. As in survival, the first thing to consider is shelter. You can always huddle in your camper shell, but we suggest a tailgate canopy. These handy canopies provide adequate protection from the rain and the wind if it has side walls. Position the canopy partially over the truck bed and you’ve got a dry surface on the tailgate in any weather. MSRP $100
The next thing you want to think about is getting warm. A propane heater is an absolute must. A good choice if you really want to save space is the Mr. Heater Big Buddy Portable Heater, which can be hooked into a mini-propane tank or fitted to a larger tank for extended operation. Any number of portable propane heaters that fit right onto the tank will also do the trick. MSRP $135
Nothing says hunting camp like hot coffee, bacon and scrambled eggs in the morning. The Coleman propane stove continues to be one of the most reliable camping items sold in America. Coming next year is Jet Boil’s new Basecamp 2 stove that was much-hyped at this year’s Outdoor Retailer show. This super-efficient camp stove is easy to control and supports a 5-liter pot. At nine pounds, it folds up like a waffle-maker for easy storage. MSRP $350
Now that you’ve got a structure, you need some furniture to mount the cook stove, prepare meals and generally kick back. Consider the old stand-by four-foot folding utility tables. These white table tops are sturdy and light. To accompany them choose a set of folding chairs and you’re almost set. MSRP $150
Utility ice chest
No hunting camp is complete without a cooler filled with eggs, cheese and beer. A cooler is essential to storing camp foods as well as a place to possibly store your meat after a kill before you get home. Consider the 100 quart ice chest by Igloo. This trusted cooler slides easily into the bed of a pickup truck and can hold ice for days. MSRP $50
In any modern hunting camp you’re going to need power and no one likes noisy generators. For a great source of clean electricity, consider the Goal Zero Yeti 400. This 12-volt battery has various outputs including USB, AC and DC, including 400 watt-hours of capacity. Coupled with a portable solar panel, this is the perfect unit for clean reliable energy in the backcountry. MSRP $459
For a convenient knife set for the hunting camp consider the Gerber Camp Kitchen. Part of the company’s Freeskate series, the cutting board comes with two knives, one for slicing and the other pairing, which fits conveniently into a sliding insert. MSRP $88
If you need a way to easily wash your hands and don’t want to waste drinking water, a virtually no cost solution is to use an old laundry detergent jug as a hand washing station. Fasten a roll of paper towels to the top to complete the deal. MSRP $1