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Most hunters will tell you that hunting is much more than simply the harvesting of an animal. The act of hunting represents a call to nature, bonding with friends, independence, a quiet reflection, for many a passion like no other. Hunting may represent the single biggest stress reduction and “cleansing” of the soul for the individual who is dedicated and enthusiastic about outdoor activities. The hunting sports generally require a high level of mobility simply in order to participate. The hunt may require travel deep within the woods, or along difficult terrain. This travel to potential remote locations is often part of the allure and appeal to the hunter. The ability to “go and do”, and the ability to be self sufficient and to survive in the wild where many would not is fundamental to the satisfaction many hunters experience.
The number one best coping skill is the ability to maintain and put forth a positive attitude, especially in the face of adversity. SFMF hunts nurture that attitude and subsequently help combat veteran-hunters cope during the ups and downs of life. Should a combat veteran be struggling mentally or physically, we lend a hand. Confidence regained, coping skills improved, a better chance for success in the “real” world.
Especially for combat veterans with injuries, they may feel that this part of their life is gone, never to return, simply over. SFMF will get them back in the woods; bring them full circle to a part of their former life, their former capabilities. Injured veterans who participate in an SFMF hunt know that they are capable to lead and live the life they knew before their injuries, albeit different in physicality, similar in quality. There will be tough times ahead, but the memory of the hunt, the confidence it instills, and the experience of success bolsters their attitude when they need it most.
This singular experience of a professionally guided hunt and all that is represents to the combat veteran-hunter will greatly aid in their long term quality of life, reduction of PTS among those who suffer, and bring comfort to their mental well being. One success makes clear that we can be successful. One success can re-establish our hopes and our dreams. While the act of hunting on the surface may appear inconsequential, it is all that the hunt represents to the veteran-hunter that truly matters. The completion of the hunt represents accomplishment, ability, achievement, and success. These values will remain and aid the veteran long after the hunt is over. Ultimately the hunt, for the enthusiastic combat veteran-hunter, is anything but inconsequential.
"The singular experience of a professionally guided hunt and all that is represents to the combat veteran-hunter will greatly aid in their long term quality of life, reduction of PTS among those who suffer, and bring comfort to their mental well being."