August’s Outdoor Column

Hunting season is fast approaching and will be here before you know it. Are you ready for the strenuous hunt ahead?

            If you are a deer hunter you have about two months to get in shape and we all know this is going to creep up on us before we know it. Don’t forget your dog if you are a bird or waterfowl hunter, coon hunter, etc. Dogs need to be fit as well once the season opens.

            It is sickening to hear about a hunter who was overweight and out-of-shape dropping over from a heart attack while climbing a tree or dragging out a deer. It happens every year and, the older and more out of shape you get, odds are the next one might be you!

            Eating the right foods and exercising every day cut down your odds that you won’t be the next statistic. Let’s face it, hunting is hard work!

            A twenty-minute walk a day will help get you in better shape in two months. Walking up a hill or walking up the steps over and over will help you get back in shape but again; you only have two months.

               Think of how your dog chases through fields of row crop searching for pheasant, quail or rabbit or, how your retriever jumps in the water to swim out and bring in your duck or goose. Coon dogs race through the woods in search of raccoons. Dogs need to be in shape as well.

            Work your dog starting today; take the time to get your dog in the best shape possible before the hunting season begins.

            Your health could make this the best hunting season ever or, it could be your last. Heed the call and get in shape!

            While you are at it, check with your local Department of Natural Resources and see what they have for this year’s hunt. Many DNR’s offers controlled pheasant, dove, waterfowl hunts on a sign-up basis. Check out the many opportunities your DNR offers you and, while you are at it, check out the hunting clubs and put-and-take sites that give you a chance to hunt after the regular seasons are over.

            If you like to eat pheasant and quail the put-and-take sites offer you a chance to really fill your freezer if you are willing to pay the price.

            Whatever you do stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy the hunt ahead. For all of you hunting needs check out Big R Stores near you.

About Sam Van Camp

Born: Danville, Illinois | Married: Pam Van | Lives: Georgetown, Illinois | High School: Danville High School | College: Danville Area Community College, Eastern Illinois University | Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology with Minor in Botany | Specialties Areas: Master’s Degree – Fisheries Biology, Mammalogy, Herpetology | Previous Jobs: School Teacher – Basic Biology 36 years Outdoor Writer – 38 years (1 Book Published “Jitterbug Collector’s Guide State and Federally Licensed Taxidermist – 35 yearsWood Carver specializing in song birds, birds of prey and waterfowl 46 years | Hobbies: Bass Fishing, Hunting, Collecting Fishing Lures