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Turn to Protein Snacks for Mental Focus While Hunting

Snacking on quality foods like jerky, cheese and nuts will keep your body full of energy.

Turn to Protein Snacks for Mental Focus While Hunting

Jerky is loaded with protein to fuel what your body needs to stay alert, focused, and ready for a shot opportunity.

Staying mentally sharp while on a hunt is important. If you don't stay focused, you could end up making mistakes. Maybe it's just a small mistake, like ignoring that faint rustle of leaves behind you, not knowing it's the buck you've been waiting for all season.

Or, maybe it's a larger mistake that puts you in danger like rushing to get out of the stand and forgetting to unload your rifle before lowering it to the ground. Either way, staying fueled and focused on the hunt and your surroundings helps you avoid these kinds of errors.

Think of the human body like a machine. Just like a tractor or lawn mower, when you don't give your body the right fuel, it won't run. Further, it needs regular amounts of the right fuel to keep running.

Snacking on quality foods high in protein—like jerky, cheese and nuts—will keep your body full of energy, your mind sharp and both performing at their peak during the entire hunt.

A big breakfast or lunch before a hunt is a great start, but you must continue to fuel your body in the field. A long hike to a stand certainly requires energy to complete, but also realize that your body will burn calories while remaining stationary—especially in cold weather. We all want to be comfortable in the field so we can concentrate on our surroundings, not on chills or hunger or aches. Pack accordingly with good gear and food that helps you make the most of the time you have on stand.

It's important to bring enough snacks so you can satisfy your hunger while hunting. Our bodies need fuel to perform physically and mentally. Hunting is work. Fun work, yes, but still work for our bodies. The right snacks provide adequate fuel to do that work. Plus, hunger can be a distraction. If you're thinking about how good a burger from that diner down the road would taste right about now, the temptation might cause you leave the stand early and miss an opportunity at an animal. Periodic snacking keeps your mind off food because you don't feel hungry when you fuel up with quality ingredients.

Top 5 Reasons Why Jerky is a Great Choice on a Hunt

The benefits of Old Trapper jerky for great-tasting, energy-boosting snacks while in the field.

  1. They're high in protein and lower in sugar content than other jerky products. The zero sugar option is really good!
  2. There's a variety of flavors (Old Fashioned, Peppered, Teriyaki and Hot N Spicy), made with real wood-fired smoke from a 50 year-old family recipe.
  3. Old Trapper products are known for their tenderness.
  4. Easily resealable in a clear bag, which is quiet and convenient when in the hunting stand.
  5. The bag itself breaths, using the same technology used by U.S. military in MREs. Jerky stays moist and fresh longer!

When deciding on what kind of snacks to pack, consider three factors.

First, of course, comes taste. You want snacks that taste good and are enjoyable to eat. Something that you like to eat can serve as a little reward for staying on stand. A quick snack can help break up the time.

Second, hunting snacks should be nutritious. Nutrition is important so your body gets what it needs to perform at its best. Foods high in protein are good; foods high in sugar are bad. Snacks packed with protein will fill you up and keep you satisfied longer than snacks that are high in carbs and sugars.

Cookies and doughnuts taste great, but a half-hour later you'll be hungry again. The body burns sugar quickly; plus, too much sugar can make you feel restless or agitated. Neither of these feelings is conducive to a patient, still-as-can-be sit in the woods.

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On the other hand, snacks high in protein contain amino acids that help produce chemicals in the body that allow brain cells to communicate with one another. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters, and they can help you stay focused, motivated and in a positive mood. While the occasional cookie or piece of candy is OK, sugary foods shouldn't be the only snacks you pack into the woods. Load up with protein-rich snacks for more satisfaction.

Finally, any hunting snacks should be easy and quiet to eat. Avoid snacks that have the potential to make a mess, because they inevitably will. Eating in a stand or blind is not as convenient as eating at a table. Cramped quarters lead to drops, drips and smears. In addition, a snack shouldn’t require you to unwrap it from a crinkly piece of plastic. You should be able to eat it quietly so animals aren't alerted.

Stay Sharp in the Woods
Jerky is a traditional favorite of hunters partly because it's easy to transport and access.

Of course, there are limitations to what snacks you can take on a hunt. Temperature is one of them. Cold temps freeze candy bars into rocks while warm temps melt them into goo. Snacks that require preparation—cutting or spreading or dipping—are a no-go. They are too distracting. Something that's not temperature sensitive and that's ready to eat right out of the package is perfect.

Where and how you're hunting can play a factor in what snacks you pack. If it's someplace warm, you don't want a snack that's going to melt or become unsafe to eat due to bacteria growth. Warm deli-meat sandwiches are not ideal; cold cuts are to be served cold for a reason. You don't want a snack that takes up a lot of room in your pack, either. Save valuable space for other gear.

Jerky has been a traditional favorite of hunters because it's easy to transport; it can be jammed into any tight space in a pack and it won't get smashed. Since it's cured, it won’t spoil in heat. Jerky is loaded with protein, which is the kind of fuel your body needs to stay alert, focused and ready for a shot opportunity. And finally, jerky tastes great whether it’s warm or cold.

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