Month: September 2022

Mentally Tough Hunters (Part 1)

Get angry often? Break the habit so you can hunt more

Situations will unfold at some point in life and hunting that test your character.

And depending on the individual and situation, the response can vary greatly.

Regardless, one of the things I find fascinating is how our mood, in this case, anger, can influence our internal health and dictate whether we experience more hunting trips in life.

Recent literature has shown that a negative mood such as anger measured multiple times a day was associated with higher levels of inflammation. ¹

Higher inflammation levels may not seem like a bad thing if you don’t have a health sciences background.

However, if you understand what it can do to you consistently, you will realize that higher levels of inflammation are often the first step to many chronic diseases. ²

And the scary part with higher inflammation levels, in the long run, it can bite you when you least expect it just like the teeth of a bear bite.

Not good.

Don’t worry, I have some ideas on how hunters can lessen this predicament from occurring.

It is not necessarily that we have to be perfect and never get angry ever again in our life.

The goal is to self-reflect and find the moments, especially during the off-season where anger was expressed that didn’t need to be.

Then, we need to rewire our brains to respond to situations differently.

Rewire our brain in a way, so we understand the significance of our anger.

One way of recognizing the significance of our anger is by looking at ourselves in terms of the universe.

In the universe, we are merely a speck of dust.

And in the grand scheme of the universe where there are planets, stars, knowns, and unknowns, do you think the supposed thing that is making us angry means as much as initially thought?

Do you think planet earth changed much when you became angry over something?

Here is another way of thinking about it.

Do you think in 27 years you will remember what you were angry over last Thursday?

Most likely not.

Maybe someone backs over your bow with their truck a day before you leave for your 10-day hunting trip. Yes, this is an unfortunate situation. But, there is no need to get angry. It’s just a bow. Objects can be replaced.

Maybe someone is driving slower than what you want. Yes, this may make you feel impatient or late for something. But there is no need to get angry. It’s just a situation in life that is not going the way you want. Which, if you think about it, is most of life. Besides, maybe since the driver in front of you is driving slowly, you are preventing a potential accident in the future from occurring yourself.

Once you begin rewiring your mind you will find that anger is merely a quick uncontrolled impulsive response that offers no benefit. It makes us believe we can change the outcome simply by getting angry. Even if you change the outcome, you also just suppressed your immune system by activating inflammation levels to coexist. This means poor health and potentially less hunting in life.

Remember, we are just floating on a planet that is in an enormous universe. Yes, we are small. Our “problems” that make us angry are even smaller.

We don’t need to be perfect. We just need to lessen the number of times we become angry.

Especially over insignificant things.

So, my call to action is for you to reflect and crush the causes of your anger by re-wiring your brain.

In turn, you keep inflammation down, experience more happiness, and put yourself in a position to experience more hunting.

Now we are getting somewhere.




Things that elk don’t want you to do

Things that elk don’t want you to do

Practice shooting.

Get good quality sleep.

Practice calling.

Train every day.

Analyze maps and terrain.

Static stretch.

Sharpen your broadheads.

Eat nutrient-dense foods.

Be willing to walk far.

Find ways to defeat stress and anxiety.

Because that would mean, you would be fully energized, fit, mentally sound, feel extremely prepared, alert, and capable of taking on the demands of the elk country.

In other words, you would be a super hunter.

This means you will have a greater chance of obtaining that nutrient-dense meat they possess.

Not only raise the odds of harvesting an elk, but also you put yourself in a position to experience more elk hunting in life because you have better health.

So, you should probably do what the elk don’t want you to do.

I am going to. I think you should too.

___ can make you age faster and hunt deer less

can make you age faster and hunt deer less

If you enjoy hunting deer and want to keep hunting for a long time, this is worth your time to give a quick read.

The title is not intended to scare you.

The title is intended to alert you and help you realize the connection between things that can negatively impact our physical and mental health and the amount of hunting we get to experience in the future.

In this case, deer hunting.

Ok, let’s dive into it so I can get you more years of hunting deer.

Recent literature has shown that adults who drank 12 oz of soda daily biologically aged 4.6 years faster compared to people of the same chronological age.

Let’s break this down.

We will start with what chronological age refers to.

Our chronological age is the number of years we have been on this planet.

It is your age number that increases by 1 each year.

For example, if you are 57 years of age this year, next year you will be 58.

Our chronological age is fixed and can’t be changed.

Well at least until time machines are invented.

Our chronological age is quite different than our biological age.

Our biological age is the age of our tissues/cells and how they function.

If this sounds too science-based, here is another way of putting it.

Our biological age is the age of our internal health.

This means, I may have a chronological age of 31, but my biological age (internal health) is 22.

How is this so?

You can have a chronological age of 63 but have a biological age of 47 simply by making better lifestyle choices consistently.

Things like, training, getting good quality sleep, controlling stress, eating nutrient-dense foods, getting outside, stretching, and so on.

These kinds of lifestyle choices will improve your internal health.

When your internal health improves, your internal body becomes younger. Aka you get to hunt deer for more years.

Having a younger biological age than chronological age is why you may see people who look/feel younger than their actual age (chronological).

But on the flip side, someone can also have an older biological age than their actual age (chronological). Aka they are aging faster.

It can happen by making very poor lifestyle choices.

Things like staying up late and not getting good sleep, drinking alcohol every day, eating packaged and processed foods, and in this context drinking soda daily.

Your chronological age stays on the same trajectory each year, increasing by one. But your biological age can be changed each year if you decide to become more self-disciplined in making better lifestyle choices.

This doesn’t mean you are perfect with every little lifestyle choice you make.

Maybe you have that ice cream shake every once in a while.

That’s ok!

It is when we have those ice cream shakes consistently that our internal health starts to break down and we age faster.

Now that you have a better idea of the different ages we have; you may be wondering how drinking soda daily can age us faster.

A few of the ways drinking soda ages us faster is by causing rapid spikes in our blood sugar and hormone imbalances due to how our body responds to it.

Rapid spikes in our blood sugar along with hormone imbalances puts the body at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, mood disorders, heart disease, sleeping issues, gut problems, raise anxiety levels, thyroid dysfunction, weight gain, and increase risk of developing depression.

All of which contribute to us aging faster.

That is a whole lot of reasons to consider an alternative drink over soda.

An alternative drink like:

  • Kefir
  • Bone broth
  • Filtered water with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt.

Finding an alternative drink over soda could be the reason you get to hunt more deer in the future.

Make no mistake though, soda isn’t the only sugary beverage to watch out for.

Other sugary and processed beverages can sneak up and degrade our health when we least expect it.

Such as sports drinks, vitamin waters, energy drinks, sweetened teas, protein drinks, coffee drinks with added flavoring, and fruit juices.

There is nothing wrong with an occasional drink or treat based on our goals, but not every day.

Consuming soda and processed beverages have proven to cultivate negative outcomes for our physical and mental health.

This is a big reason I think sugary beverages such as soda found in vending machines and food courts at hospitals and schools need to be eliminated.

Here is what needs to happen as soon as possible.

I need you to experiment with alternative drinks so you can decrease your soda consumption.

Drinking soda daily can make you age faster and hunt deer less.

Aging 4.6 years faster means not only less deer hunting but also less time spent with family and friends.

None of which sounds good to me.

Make the change now.

Drink less soda so you can have more years of hunting deer.

Your body, mind, and family will thank you.


Hunting Role Models

Living By Your Words

Throughout life, many of us have said certain things that we don’t exactly live by.

Like the time you told your neighbor you think every archery hunter should shoot their bow every week even though you are not.

Or like the time you told a friend to start exercising or stretching but you are not doing that.

There are many reasons why we say things to other people that we don’t follow through with ourselves.

Let us dive into one of the reasons right now.

And that is: having a lack of self-awareness.

When we are fully aware and present with what we are thinking and saying, what tends to happen is we start holding ourselves more accountable for the words that are spoken.

Internally you start realizing that “maybe it is not fair to tell my close family to start eating better when I am not doing that myself”.

The more times you employ self-awareness and have this internal realization, the more times you can put the brakes on the words you were going to say.

Meaning, fewer moments falling prey to this poor way of living.

Living by your word means a few things.

First, you will be trusted more. You will be known as a reliable person.

Second, you will strengthen your relationships with others. You will be known as someone genuine and humble.

And third, you will have less regret and worry. You will be known as a person with a positive and encouraging attitude who is at ease.

As the years go on, this is a component I have been actively putting more effort into.

It has without a doubt changed who I am as a person for the better.

I am more accountable.

I have more trust in myself.

I feel like I am completely in control of myself.

All of this reminds me of the person I used for the article picture.

The picture is of my uncle Linden.

He is the first person that comes to my mind when I think about living by your words.

During his time on earth, everything he said to me and others he was actively living by.

Family, beliefs, education, hobbies, and so on. All of his words were concrete and real because he lived by what he said.

This is the kind of person you want to strive to be like. A person who follows through and lives by what they say.

The hunting community needs more people like this.

The next generation of hunters needs more role models like this.

Be one.

Youth Hunters and Success (Part 2)

Setting up the Next Generation of Hunters for Success (Part 2)

As society moves upward with technology and advancements, it seems our health is going in the opposite direction and becoming less and less robust.

Not only is our health becoming weaker and weaker, but it’s also starting to show in the next generation at earlier and earlier ages.

This is not a good trend.

Poor health means less time on earth. Less time means society can’t advance and keep progressing.

Poor health also means the lifestyle of hunting vanishes in time.

It disappears.

This is bad news.

There is good news though.

The good news is I am not going to throw up the white flag and surrender to this trend.

I believe we can ensure this meaningful lifestyle of hunting continues to exist.

All we need to do is make sure the next generation of hunters has better health.

Aka start a new tradition.

Here is what we can start doing.

The parents/guardians of the next generation of hunters can start by reflecting on what they are feeding their kiddo(s).

What we feed the next generation of hunters will contribute to how their physical and mental health are operating.

It will play a major role in their energy levels, body composition, gut health, behavior, disease prevention, and much more.

Helping our kiddo(s) cultivate a better foundation of health will lead to a lot of good things for them, us, society, and this lifestyle.

Doesn’t that sound good?

So, start reflecting on what you are feeding your child or children.

A few things might initially come to your mind but the real way of determining what you are feeding them is to look at what is in your refrigerator and pantry.

What do your refrigerator and pantry contain?

Do they contain packaged foods?

Do they contain whole foods?

Foods with a variety of ingredients?

For most, they probably contain a variety of what I mentioned.

The trick is to figure out which ones can elevate the health of the next generation of hunters and which ones can degrade their health.

Here is a simple way of determining what foods elevate and degrade their health.

If the food comes from something grown or has moved on this planet, then it most likely will elevate their health.

If it doesn’t, it most likely will not be in favor of their health.

In general, the types of foods that can degrade their health are packaged with added ingredients.

It is all about the ingredients.

Some of the top ingredient categories to watch for are:

  • Vegetable/Seed Oils
  • Processed Sugar
  • Refined Grains/Flour
  • Soy

There are many examples for each category that are used in many food products today.

All of these are discussed more in-depth in my upcoming book, Your Hunting Healthspan. 73 ways hunters can age better and prevent disease.

For this article though, I will list common food products that contain these ingredients that are often fed to the next generation of hunters for breakfast.

I say breakfast because that’s the first food they are starting their day with.

The common food products containing these ingredients are often found in cereals, pastries, sugary beverages, waffles, and so on.

One of the thoughts that might come to mind is, “well if we shouldn’t feed our children these foods for breakfast what should we feed them?”

A few alternative breakfast ideas that would be in favor of their health and to start their day off better:

  • Eggs (pastured raised), aged cheese, and avocado
  • Yogurt (full fat) with blueberries
  • Steak (grass-fed), raw carrots, and banana

Having breakfast with these foods will not only be in favor of their health in the long run, but it will also help their physical and mental health in the short run.

Aka they will feel better and dominate their academics!

Typically, the biggest limiting factor for breakfast and most meals, in general, I often witness is under-eating protein from meat/fish for the first meal.

This goes not only for the next generation of hunters.

But also, for adults.

Less protein from meat/fish consumption for your first meal means you are way more likely to snack later, have energy crashes, and indulge in packaged foods that lead to gaining more unnecessary weight.

You might be thinking, “well I don’t have the time to cook meat or fish in the morning before they go to school so what shall I do then?”

I got you covered.

One option is to pre-cook the meat/fish the night before so they can reheat it first thing in the morning.

Option two is a good tip if you are looking for a cheaper, quick, and easy way for your child/children to consume more protein for breakfast.

This tip is not something you were probably expecting to hear…

And that is: Go to a fast-food drive-through.

Here is why.

At a fast-food drive-through, you can order beef patties or chicken breasts that can be wrapped in tinfoil with nothing added for a very low price.

It is quick and easy and meets the goal of obtaining protein for them for breakfast.

If you are on a budget this would be a good option.

The trick though is that you order the meat without sauces, buns, condiments, and so on.

These little add-ons you can order defeat the whole purpose of getting the protein to begin with.

Which is, to lessen the unnecessary foods and ingredients that degrade their health.

Just plain meat wrapped in tinfoil is all you need to order.

“Well, is the meat good quality?”

The meat at these fast-food drive-throughs may not be the best quality meat they could consume like that bought at the grocery store.

However, though, you have to think of food as a hierarchical setup.

Beef patties and chicken breasts from a fast-food drive-through are a probably better option than cereal-like fruit loops that contains pesticide and health-limiting ingredients.

So, in this case, protein from a fast-food drive-through is a good option.

“Well, they can’t just eat meat, right?”

Don’t worry, I have you covered.

When you pull up to the fast-food drive-through, here is what you order.

3 plain beef patties and…whole fruit.

Not the fruit in a cup with a bunch of processed sugar added.

Whole fruit like a banana inside of a peel or apple slices.

If this can’t be achieved, purchase a bunch of whole fruit at the grocery store.

There are many known and unknown variables that can contribute to better health for the next generation of hunters.

It is not about being perfect and strict, it is about being better.

Analyzing the contents of the refrigerator and pantry is a great first step to set up the next generation of hunters for success.

The quality of the foods found in those locations will have a big impact on their physical and mental health.

We must change the tradition of feeding the next generation poor-quality foods.

If you are a parent/guardian who needs additional help in terms of feeding your kiddo(s), feel free to reach out via email and we will help you put a plan together.

This article is just the beginning of a series of calls to action for the parents and guardians of the next generation of hunters.

Let’s set up the next generation of hunters for success and keep this lifestyle alive.

Preventing Past Mistakes

Preventing Past Mistakes

Do you ever make the same mistake over and over again while hunting?

Like not being patient or aggressive enough while on a stalk? Or falling into poor technique habits when shooting your rifle or bow?

I don’t know about you, but for me, the list is long for mistakes made on hunts.

Well, what if there were things, we could do to improve our ability to remember our past mistakes so that we could prevent them from happening again?

Sounds good right?

The good news…there are certain lifestyle choices we can make that can help us remember those mistakes more effectively.

Let’s focus on one of them specifically.

Aerobic Exercise Training.

Recent literature has suggested that aerobic exercise training for 12 months led to a 47% improvement in memory and increased blood flow (at rest) to the hippocampus (part of the brain for learning and memory) in individuals 60 years and older with memory problems.

Dang, that is awesome!

Let’s break this down.

First, aerobic exercise training.

Another way to think of it is conditioning.

Examples could be:

  • 5k run
  • 30 rounds, 30 seconds of swimming, 30 seconds rest
  • 10 mile bike ride
  • 10 sets, 500 meter row, 1:1 rest

Think of aerobic exercise training as a low-high intensity workout that elevates your heart rate using machines or simple movements where oxygen and heavy breathing take place-aka your lungs are tested!

One of the reasons aerobic exercise training positively impacts our memory is simply because of the new blood flow to the brain that helps bring in new nutrients that support and heal broken-down tissues. It’s like a nice oil change for our brain.

And since aerobic exercise training increases blood flow to the brain that serves our learning and memory abilities well, it seems to me like a good idea to become involved if you want to lessen the same mistakes made while on a hunt.

And even though the literature stated only individuals who are 60 years and older with memory problems, we must recognize that no matter the age and current health status one has, any lifestyle choices made in favor of better health means we are in a better position to experience more years of hunting.

Your health is just like a savings account, the greater the savings (aka better health), the more opening days you are likely to experience.

So, incorporate aerobic exercise training (low-high intensity) workouts into your weekly schedule so there is a good chance you won’t forget those sweet elk hunting spots you worked so hard to find.

Better memory and brain health means more years of hunting elk with fewer health limitations.

That’s a good deal if you ask me.