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 location 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. Sharing an outdoor adventure with a family member creates memories that will last a lifetime.
We have personally found the experience of a professionally guided hunt and all that is represents to the combat vet 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.
The number one best coping skill is the ability to maintain and put forth a positive attitude, especially in the face of adversity. OFOH fosters that attitude and subsequently help disabled veterans cope during the ups and downs of life. Should a 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 the disabled veterans, often they feel that this part of their life is gone, never to return, simply over. OFOH will get them back in the woods. And bring them full circle to a part of their former life, their former capabilities. Injured veterans who participate know that they are capable to lead and live the life they knew before their injuries, albeit different physically, similar in quality. There will be tough times ahead, but the memory of the adventure, the confidence it instills, and the experience of success bolsters their attitude when they need it most.
Keep in mind that one success, one random act of kindness, can reestablish 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 outdoors man that truly matters. The completion of the hunt represents accomplishment, ability, achievement, and success. These values will remain long after the hunt is over. Ultimately the hunt, for the enthusiastic , is anything but inconsequential.