The Health Benefits of Hunting


Hunting is a subject which inspires impassioned debates from all sides. Those who oppose hunting believe that it is cruel, that it inflicts needless suffering upon animals for the sake of our entertainment, and that lax or poor regulations mean that local ecosystems and populations are decimated needlessly. Conversely, proponents of hunting point to it as an effective way of managing those populations, a great way of sourcing good quality meat, and therefore improving individual health, and as a traditional sport and recreational activity that has been practiced for hundreds of years.

The Michigan State University Extension program has, for some years, studied many aspects of how hunting links with human health and has drawn numerous conclusions. While the results of their work are not going to convince everyone, positions on both sides are often deeply entrenched, they do offer us an objective and scientifically sound analysis of some of the health benefits of hunting.


There is certainly no denying that, as a nation, we need to exercise more. Any initiative or activity which encourages more Americans to get out there in the great outdoors and to improve their overall health must surely be applauded. It is not just the individuals concerned that benefit from a healthier lifestyle, our society as a whole becomes stronger and more cohesive when its members take their health seriously.

Healthier individuals are happier and numerous studies have demonstrated that exercise is a very effective tool in combatting depression and anxiety, two remarkably common illnesses that can severely impact a sufferers quality of life. Hunting gets people outdoors and gets them exercising, because the exercise involved is not necessarily intensive or sustained, it is something that even those who aren’t in great shape physically can participate in.


Hunting is a sport that is most commonly pursued as a group; this means that not only will participants feel the benefits from exercising, but the mental health benefits will be augmented by the fact that they are taking part in an activity with friends. For many families, hunting is something that multiple generations have used as a bonding experience and so participating in a hunt takes on a new level of significance.

Because the barriers to taking part in a hunting excursion are low, meaning permits are easily obtained when required and equipment is readily available from sources such as Woodbury Outfitters, it is easy to introduce new participants with little experience to the sport.


Generally, the ultimate goal of a hunting trip is to bring home meat. Usually, the kind of meat obtained from hunting game is lean and protein rich. Venison, which is the meat obtained from deer, as well as elk meat, are both low in fat. Meanwhile, many game birds such as pheasants are also lean and low in fat.

Hunting is an excellent way to keep in shape physically, while the unique aspects of the sport make it a powerful tool for maintaining emotional wellbeing as well. It is important to note that before pursuing a hunt it is absolutely vital that you research the relevant local and state laws. You should always be accompanied by an experienced huntsman and ensure that anyone who is handling a firearm is appropriately trained or coached in how to do so safely.