Health Benefits I Gain from Shooting, Hunting

by Phil Whithead, Owner, MP Veteran Custom Firearms and Ammunition

Before the U.S. Army and Fort Huachuca, I was a Wisconsin farm owner-operator. We had over 360 acres of timber, corn fields and open land, as well as a trout stream.

We spent a tremendous amount of time outdoors, not only working — a farm only produces what the farmer grows — but hunting, shooting and fishing.

My 30-plus years in Prescott Valley have allowed me to continue these outdoor sports. Today, I want to talk about the benefits to your health and overall well-being of such activities.

As a youngster, some of my fondest memories were of trundling through the timber with my dad, looking for rabbit or deer tracks, or walking through cut cornfields hoping to flush a pheasant or two. These days were not only productive for healthy activity, but put food on the table and in the freezer. 

As I grew older, hunting and shooting took on a different level of priority. As people age, and men more sometimes than women, they often find themselves losing the ability to do things they once did. This can be embarrassing and lead at times to depression, anxiety and other health issues.

Shooting, even if only at paper or steel targets, requires concentration, discipline and a measure of physical health. 

For me, a chronic pain patient, this concentration on task takes my mind off my discomfort. It doesn’t make it go away, but it does provide an analgesic effect of sorts caused by the increased endorphins in my brain stimulated by this activity.

Depression is one of many health issues people, especially men, face as our lives take their toll on us. When we enjoy a membership in a shooting or hunting club or go on a Texas Hog Hunt or any other planned activity that takes us outdoors with others, our physical and emotional health improves; our outlook brightens.

Have fun, go shooting, hunt a hog, track a rabbit, try not to let a pheasant scare the wits out of you. Enjoy the outdoors.