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Don’t be SAD. Get outside

February 03, 2012 at 08:41 AM

The State Journal-Register

Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriately shortened to SAD) is defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, as “episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of year, usually during the winter.”

This disorder is characterized by lethargy, increased appetite, social withdrawal and sleeping for increased amounts of time. Some experts believe the effects of SAD are heightened by less exposure to sunlight in the winter.

It is no secret that many of us suffer mild symptoms of this sad malady when hunting season is over. No matter how our fall and winter hunts turned out, there is now no “better luck next time” until October.

That alone is depressing enough. Couple that with February seeming to be 44 days long, and now we know why that jumbo size bag of M&Ms is calling our names, waking us from a deep sleep at 2 in the afternoon.
Nothing is more miserable than a dark deer cabin sitting empty on a bone-chilling night. I get the sniffles just thinking about it.

Experts say there is a drug- and calorie-free way out of this malaise. Simply get more exercise. Walk outside during the day. Soak in as much natural light as you can.

This common-sense solution dovetails nicely into hunting antler sheds.

Whitetail bucks are dropping their antlers. Some people are training their hunting dogs to sniff them out as they walk through the timbers. With or without your canine companion, it’s a good excuse to walk the wild country on a sunny winter afternoon. Serious shed hunters have success. Shed hunters like me find only the ones we step on. Both varieties of hunters spend a day outside away from the M&M sirens.

A sunny day with no wind offers the opportunity to sight in that rifle that has been sitting in your safe since Christmas Day. Take one of your hunting pals along to act as spotter and two or three different brands of ammunition. The ammunition choices you have selected for sighting in may seem identical sitting in the box, but you will find that one particular cartridge shoots best in your gun. That cartridge will group tighter and be more accurate than the others you are trying. When you find it, that’s the one to put in your bag when you go hunting.

Ice fishing opportunities so far this winter have been non-existent, but there’s still February. Make certain there have been several days and nights below freezing before you even think about it.
Ice fishing isn’t strenuous, but it’s better than reruns of Andy and Barney. Just for fun, take a kid with you.
They start out with serious doubts about catching a fish through a hole in the ice and end up excited beyond words when the rod tip starts to bend.

This time of year, our outdoor options may be limited, but they still exist. It’s a good idea to check them out before you start feeling too sad about having SAD.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Never SAD that it ended.Always happy that it happened.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/03 at 12:20 PM

Turn SAD into GLAD:

G -get outdoors and
L - love
A - another
D - day

enjoyed your article George ..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/04 at 05:09 AM

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