Hunting Snacks - The Do’s and Don’ts
As a child, I didn’t grow up hunting all that much. In fact, I had to beg my father or uncle to take me - something they begrudgingly obliged. For my Patriarchal guides, those trips always ended with a disdain for the critters and a lament for their lack of cooperation. Hunting in Texas is difficult when the deer and pigs don’t coordinate their schedules to the timing of the corn feeder. Despite leaving the field with no game in tow, my memory of the hunts remains positive. Imagine - a young boy, walking in the dark, gun over the shoulder, his father on one side, uncle on the other, quietly marching into the darkness to procure food for our family in the most primitive way imaginable - with a Remington 700 bolt-action .30-06. I was a hero - at least in my mind.
For as long as I can remember, everything about the hunt has been exciting, especially the preparations. Hunting has one focus, one main objective - Food. We hunt because for-however-long we’ve been here, we’ve gathered our food from Earth as she provides it. We kill a deer and we’re proud of the antlers, but we relive those moments with every burger, every piece of backstrap that goes on the grill. Food is everything.
The most important preparation you can make for a trip to the field is SNACKS. Whether it be arduous treks to the next glassing tit or long days in the duck blind, the snacks you pack can be a determining factor in your success. Be it alone in a tree stand or in a duck blind with your favorite hunting buddies, this list of Snacky-Do’s and Snacky-Don't’s will help guide your gut to a better hunting experience.
Snacky-Do #1: Protein. Personally, I prefer any type of jerky. Not only does jerky give you a proportionate amount of protein and electrolytes, but it will help warm your body on a cold, foggy day. Energy used during labored mastication will allow blood to pump and move through your body, providing both a warm feeling and a happy stomach. Not to mention, this intense chewing of your homemade peppery goodness will keep you awake. Jerky is always a win when sharing with hunting companions.
Snacky-Don’t #1: Fiber or Grains. Especially as we get older, our desire to hunt does not fade, but our body’s ability to push foodages through the system does. We need fiber to keep things moving, however, it is not recommended for the field. Fiber is loud. You know what I’m talking about. It comes in the loudest foil packet known to man, and then it crunches between your teeth like pop rocks on your tongue. Furthermore, do you really want to encourage bowel movements while in the blind? I hope you brought your mountain money. Fiber is not a highly shareable snack either. Your hunting friends will likely not partake. It’s best to leave the fiber at home, where your porcelain throne is but a few steps away.
Snacky-Do #2: Dark Chocolate. This suggestion should come with an asterisk. I don’t recommend any chocolate on a warm day of hunting, for obvious reasons. However, on a cold day, dark chocolate is a winner. I’m specifying dark chocolate because I believe it has the most positive benefits to our health and it tastes better. Dark chocolate can boost oxygen levels and lower your blood pressure. This will be important when that big buck breaks 60 yards and you’re trying to figure out how to get your bow off the hanger because you were playing Fishdom on your phone. It also contains caffeine, which will help you stay awake and alert. Hot chocolate improves blood flow and will warm you up on a cold, wet morning in the duck blind. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the benefits of sharing your chocolate with the lady hunter in your group. As a father of four girls, this may need need to be bumped up to the #1 spot.
Snacky-Don’t #2: Anything Chewy. Gummy bears, Fruit-by-the-Foot, taffy, those nasty health bars that are made with sawdust and Elmer’s glue…. Here’s the deal - chewy stuff may have the same effect as jerky in terms of stimulating blood flow and keeping you awake, however it creates the ideal environment for noise. I’ve yet to meet anyone who can chew this crap with their mouth shut. Lip smacking is aurally obtrusive to both the prey you seek and any hunting companions you may still have left. You’re not 8 years old anymore. Find a better snack. If you’re bringing your 8-year-old on this hunting adventure, refer to Snacky-Do #2.
Snacky-Do #3: Fast Food. This is not the healthiest option for the hunting blind, however, it will stand the test of time. Grab an extra taquito from Whataburger, place it inside an empty YETI 18oz Rambler Bottle, and you’ll have a luke-warm meal any time you need it. This is a solid move I’ve learned from many years of getting the hardcore munchies at 10am. It’s the peak time for deer movement during the rut and the peak time of making the decision to call it quits and go back to the cabin for breakfast. This snack will guarantee more time with your butt in the field. If you’re a really awesome dude, you’ll bring an extra taquito for your favorite hunting pal. They will love you forever.
Snacky-Don’t #3: Nothing. Yes, the worst snack you can bring is the one you didn’t. For all the reasons previously mentioned, snacks are the key component to a successful hunt. This isn’t that 1% rule either. If you’re hunting alone, you’ll regret it. Your stomach will audibly remind you of your poor judgment. If you’re hunting with your compadres, you better hope they’ll share snacks with you, who will forever be known as The Mooch. Don’t don’t bring a snack!
As always, I hope your season goes well and you make memories that will last a lifetime.
Tight Lines and Full Freezers!