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One of the reasons why I enjoy hunting so much is because it allows me to take time away from the fast pace of life and for those few hours I can leave the stress behind. And in fact release it. Feeling good mentally and physically are both equally important and I believe this applies to any sport.

Physically, still-hunting may not seem demanding because it looks similar to slow walking. In fact you are always maintaining a high level of focus while very stealthily taking steps through thick snow and underbrush; and this is extremely exhausting and most definitely burns up a lot of stored fuels.

Eating well, exercising regularly and feeling good mentally are all paramount, especially for your cardiovascular health. Last year, I can remember crossing a lake though waist deep snow and my lungs and heart were working hard. I try to stay away from foods that contain too much sugar or salt and try to eat foods that contain good fuels. Also, when I set off on a hunt, I try to flush my mind mentally and focus on a positive outing. Almost like a ritual that the First Nations may have practiced.

I think it is great that in our society today, whether it is through music videos or health programs, we are encouraged to stay healthy and have good bodies. Mental health is also very important and this is the message my friend has shared with me. 

The other night, I sat down on a chair and my friend completed a session of Reiki and other forms of energy medicine and the results were very neat indeed. Once the treatment is done the results may vary; some people may feel sleepy afterward or experience high levels of energy.

In our current times, there is no shame in wanting to seek out various methods of health treatments such as Reiki or Quantum Touch in order to feel good both physically and mentally.

After my treatment, I had a good meal, drank a lot of water and I can remember feeling rejuvenated. I knew then that I was both ready and looking forward to my next hunt.

Thank you my friend! Check out his Blog Site.

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“You are what you eat!” There are several expressions about eating right that are used all over the world in several different languages and this is definitely one of them. It would also be fair to say that a great number of us have heard it at least once in our lifetime.

Understanding food and choosing the right types of foods and snacks to eat during your hunting trip has a direct impact on your mental and physical performance. Years ago as a young infantryman, I would spend several hours and sometimes days exposed to the elements such as snow-covered mountains in the Balkans. We patrolled over great distances all the while conducting very physical and mentally demanding work. Sleep was sometimes only a few hours and when it was time to eat, it was done quickly. This meant you had to eat and drink smart and also take into consideration small factors like the amount of noise you made and also being careful not to leave any traces of food or packaging.

My objective as a sport hunter today is not to have such a regimented life style anymore but to continue to make great choices with food and actually take the time needed to eat. I want to have lasting energy throughout the day, so that I can remain focused for a long time. Having a balanced food plan and a list of items you need to buy before going hunting is a process I use during my preparatory stage. This includes high energy foods that are good for you and provide you with the boost and nutrition your body requires to produce heat, feed your brain and muscles. Examples of this are beef jerky, dried fruits, fresh fruits, trail mix nuts. This may also include an emergency food kit like mine such as cans of sardines, spare water canteens and natural multigrain bars.

Still-hunting can be physically demanding and you burn a lot of calories moving through the woods especially on snowshoes. If you are sitting in a blind your body will also use up calories producing heat. This means calories being expended.

Some points such as not making noise while eating may apply if you are in a blind or tree stand but if you are still hunting, you can choose a nice spot to stop for lunch or go back to the car or truck. This makes it easier to dispose of your garbage and not having to carry it around with you in your daypack along with its scents. In one of the hunting magazines I was a subscriber to: “Chasse et Pêche” one snowshoe hunter and author wrote that during the winter months, he would light a fire during his lunch break just to warm up. This is a great idea but I would check with the park to see fires are permitted.

My experience has taught me that if I ate a muffin filled with processed sugar for breakfast at the start point of my day, my energy level would spike as soon as the sugar was absorbed into my bloodstream. As the morning went on however I would feel a crash and just be very tired. This would be an example of poor planning and eating, this could be dangerous if you are out alone in the woods. If you are hungry, your morale will be low and you will eventually become sluggish and tired. This will lead to mistakes being made, your body will weaken and hyperthermia may set in if you are exposed to the cold or wet. I drink a lot of water and stay hydrated; I also carry a bottle of Gatorade for extra carbohydrates and to replenish my electrolytes.

The night before I set out to hunt for the day, I normally have a hardy meal containing meats, vegetables, pasta and or rice. I also drink large amounts of water. Moisture is lost through sweating, going to the washroom and even your breath. Fluids are very important for our bodies.

Below is a list of food and snacks that I like to pack:

Natural granola bars
PowerBars
Trail mix nuts
Beef jerky
Water
Gatorade
Sweets or candies and gum
Canned beans
Sardines in water

Throughout the day, I will have small snacks like dried nuts and bars about every two hours or so and I make sure to drink around the same time. At lunch I have a meal which is normally a sandwich, packaged foods that are not difficult or noisy to open.  I also take into consideration the ease to pack and being lightweight, also that it does not leave too much garbage such as wrappings.

There are some great references on the web and books that are available to assist you in eating right while hunting. Every person has their own budget and system in place, feel free to suggest or comment on food ideas that can ultimately assist all small game hunters.

Bon Appétit!

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