Effective Ways to Save Your Back During Deer Hunting

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Gearing up with all the essentials as soon the hunting season come around the corner is good.  However, at the same time knowing how to protect yourself from any mishap during a hunting trip is equally important. It is not just the right gun, the right boots and most apt clothes that make sense but detailed information on how to take care of you on the ground as well.

 

Deer hunting is considered as one of the most popular meat hunting or sports hunting events. Dating back thousands of years, it is still a widespread practice that attracts many hunters around the world. At the same time, it is also one of the major causes of people hurting their back or legs. According to Anne from the website Free Your Spine, if you follow certain practices in life, back pain or other related issues will not be less of a risk when you hunt or perform any hardcore exercise. 

Sleep Well

Half of the reason for your back pain is an incorrect sleeping posture. You need to work on your sleeping conditions which involve not only a right sleeping stance but also the right kind of surface. It is essential that the surface is flat and soft. There might come situations when you have to sleep on the ground and it is here when sleeping on your side becomes helpful. Moreover, you may dig a small trench to reside your hips and shoulders on the ground. It will not create pressure on the spine, and there will be no need for bending it while sleeping. 

Walk Smart

While exploring the hunting arena, you may need to climb or descend a hill. It is advised that moving straight up or straight down will be beneficial, depending on the terrain of course. This will put almost the same stress on the spine, hips, legs, and feet. Taking a diagonal or zig-zag route is not considered best as it might put unnecessary pressure or unbalanced stress on the back, leading to back pain by the end of the day, perhaps with the knowledge that if you already hurt, another night on the ground is not conducive to getting better.

Keep The Grip Strong

While moving in the woods, traction plays a significant role. The muscle spindle gauge makes the legs ready for every next step when coming in contact with the ground. As soon as you encounter any steep slip or get into a hole, muscle spindles stretch that leads to contraction of muscles. Therefore, if the muscles are weak, they will not be able to take the pressure leading to an instant back strain. You have to try avoiding slips and fall as much as possible. At the same time, wearing high traction shoes that are custom made for hunting will help. Well-designed shoes will prevent you from falling or tripping from the slippery surfaces.

Place Your Gears Close

Having an overloaded game vest, a deer rifle, shotgun, small backpack with other essentials becomes crucial but at the same time keeping them close to you is equally important. It is advised to keep your gears close to your center of mass for more balance. Other than this, make sure you walk as normally and straight as possible rather than leaning backward or forward.

Remain Mobile

Mobility is important to keep your blood circulation going. You should keep stretching and moving to prevent the muscles from getting rigid or stiff. If you run suddenly or stand with a jerk, the leg muscles get an instant strain that may lead to getting back pain. If you are up in a deer stand for a long time, make sure you keep moving your spine after regular intervals and flex the muscles.

Do Not Drag Forcefully

Okay, so now that you have actually hunted a deer don’t think you got that extra power to drag anything anywhere. Dragging improperly is one of the most common reasons for people getting back strain. Initially, you might not feel the pain, but by the end of the day, it will surround you. Therefore instead of dragging the whole deer by yourself out of excitement, try taking the deer in a cart (if at all possible) and lessen your burden. Also consider the option of field dressing the deer, depending on conditions – altitude, proximity of possible challengers to your kill, the ones weighing it at over 700 lbs with very poor negotiating skills. Is making a couple of trips a possibility considering time of day (how long until dark) and the distance to camp. 

However, if the only solution is pulling, keep changing the position of your body and your grip so as to not put unnecessary pain on the same muscles. Make sure you are taking frequent breaks in between to reduce the fatigue.

Ice The Back

If in spite of best efforts to not strain your back you still end up eith back pain, use some ice to minimize the discomfort blocally. Apply ice within 2-3 hours of the injury if possible. Remember not to ice the wound continuously but only after regular intervals of at least one hour. Although it is not a sure shot remedy of back pain it does offer some instant relief.

Deer hunting is not a child play. It needs a lot of practice, strength and of course motivation and interest to do so. Just like it is vital to get know-how of all the essentials you need while going for the hunt, getting equipped with necessary measures or precautions is also a must.

So, next time you go for hunting, follow the above points and come back fit and fine with zero body ache or pain. 

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A former rocket scientist (really) who has traveled the world, father, freedom lover, hates to stay indoors, and loves wild places, people and things. PC challenged, irreverent but always relevant and always looking to learn new things.

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Matt in Oklahoma
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Matt in Oklahoma

Like anything else it begins with preparation. If your not working out year round then your not doing yourself any favors.
In September I dramatically increase my deadlifts as well as the sled drag to prepare for deer season. Instead of treadmill it becomes the stairclimber. Tie a rope to the tractor tire and flip it out then pull it back to the starting point by the rope. This will help when that deer drops down a ravine.

Christy Tauler
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Christy Tauler

I’m not a hunter so maybe I shouldn’t talk 😉 Maybe try a little yoga stretching before, during and after hunting. Especially those that know they will get back aches.