Before heading out in the field, SDSU extension specialists have tips to ensure your hunting experience is fun and keeps you healthy.

Jimmy Doyle, SDSU Extension Natural Resource Management Field Specialist says to make the most of your hunting experience, preparation is key:

  • Clean and maintain your firearms to ensure proper performance.
  • Spend some time at the range to practice your shooting and re-familiarize yourself with your firearms.
  • If you are bringing kids along, make sure they are versed in gun handling and safety practices.
  • Prepare your gear ahead of time to ensure that nothing will be forgotten.
  • Ensure everyone has appropriate licenses and hunter education certificates, available from South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks.

Experts caution against physically exerting yourself to the point of putting yourself at risk while doing extensive walking, especially if you have a normally sedentary lifestyle.

Proper nutrition to fuel yourself on your hunting adventure is critical, according to Ann Schwader, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist:

  • Pack plenty of water. It's essential to stay hydrated before going hunting, during and after. Try to avoid sugary beverages.
  • Keep raw foods separated from cooked foods by packing them in waterproof bags or containers and keep them in an insulated cooler.
  • Pack nutrient dense snacks that are easy to carry. Examples include: Energy bars, trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruits or vegetables, nut-based bars, chews or gels.
  • Take a peanut butter and jelly whole wheat sandwich. Whole grains make you feel satisfied for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid candy bars and cookies. These foods contain a lot of sugar, which provide an initial lift of energy, but after a while as it wears off, leaving individuals feeling tired.
  • Instead of traditional jerky, consider packing venison jerky. It's a healthier option. It's leaner, but still high in sodium.

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