Nutritional needs for hunters


Attention all hunters who walk and hike while hunting- do you know how many calories you are burning?

When you walk at a moderate pace while hunting, you are burning approximately 240-356 calories per hour. If that walking turns into hiking, you are burning approximately 360-532 calories per hour. The exact number of calories a person burns depends on the weight of the individual person.

Are you eating the right foods to maintain a healthy diet that will provide you energy while you hunt? If you are walking or hiking for a 10-hour day, you could potentially burn up to 3,560-5,320 calories per day. In order to maintain energy, you need to eat foods that are high in nutritional value.

For your body to have energy, it first uses the stored carbohydrates already in your body, then the fats, and finally the protein. Some foods that are high in carbohydrates are: oatmeal, whole wheat bread, spaghetti, cereal, rice, and potatoes. Some foods that are high in fat, but healthy are: nuts, peanut butter, avocado, and tuna fish. Finally, foods high in protein are: eggs, cheese, skim milk, poultry, and lean meats. Rather than eating quick and easy junk food while you’re hunting, pack your nutritious snacks the night before.

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Research indicates, breakfast is the most important meal of the day (Clemson Cooperative Extension). Eating a balanced, nutritious breakfast replenishes blood sugar, which improves your brain’s ability to function. Eating breakfast also energizes your body for the day, helps you feel less tired throughout the day, and gives you more endurance, strength, and muscle coordination. Eating breakfast is especially important for hunters, as it might be the only real meal you eat during the day.

Finally, don’t forget to drink water! Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which can cause muscle cramping and fatigue. The average adult needs to drink 8-12 cups of water per day.

If you would like more information about nutrition, please contact Kayla Wells, Colville Reservation-Ferry County Extension Educator, (509) 634-2306 or . Or you may contact Dan Fagerlie, Project Director, (509) 690-0009 / (509) 775-3087 or or Debra Hansen, Interim Ferry County Director, (509) 775-5225 ext. 1116 or the Okanogan County Extension office (509) 422-7245.


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