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What does shooting/hunting/reloading do for your mental health?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sniper66, Jan 23, 2023 at 3:20 PM.

  1. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Shooting competition did wonders but given the overall state of the world I haven't shot a match in coming up on 2yrs.

    I still try to get in my dry drills and occasionally shoot at home.

    But honestly the last year or so my Bible and the music I listen to at work has been more of a blessing than anything else, and I'm perfectly fine with that.
     
  2. Mauser fan

    Mauser fan Member

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    For me it is therapeutic for a number of reasons and I enjoy all of the things listed in the topic question. Besides idle hands are the devils workshop. If I didn't pursue any of my hobbies I would turn to drinking and smoking cigarets. I have recently quit smoking.
     
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  3. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    It does Wonders for me being at the Bench Knowing that I handcrafted something that works for me or someone I trust like immediate family to use to harvest game is so rewarding knowing that I put together a combo that did the job in a safe fast ethical humane manner means a lot to me also trying to get the holes in the paper to cluster as tightly together as they can helps me in ways I can’t explain it just does
     
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  4. Bugster

    Bugster Member

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    I agree with Night Rider, however we don't have any terrain like that here. The most peace I gain is with the Word (Bible). Other than the Bible I get much relaxation from reloading, shooting/hunting and even cleaning my firearms.
     
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  5. N555

    N555 Member

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    I'm compensating for something I lack or whatever.
     
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  6. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I went to my local indoor gun store range today, punching .38 and .22 caliber holes in paper.

    “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. My life; my liberty; my pursuit of happiness. I harmed no one. No one harmed me.

    Thank God and our founders for the American Constitution.

    While many will never understand, I’m proud to be counted as a Second Amendment supporter.

    Those who think I’m crazy because I enjoy shooting, would be shocked to learn that I’m normal.

    Honest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023 at 11:35 PM
  7. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    Interesting discussion. I have always enjoyed shooting as it requires total focus and allows you to sort of forget about other hassles that may be going on around you. At the range, it is just you, your firearm and the target. Almost zen like. Especially if you are shooting ammunition you painstakingly assembled yourself, and achieve gratifying results.
    My father wasn’t very mechanically inclined, so my skills are very limited, but I take pride in 40 years of putting together accurate cartridges for an assortment of rifles in different chamberings, as well as handguns.
    I quit shooting and hunting many years ago when our boys were young. After a couple years, I realized how much I missed it (hence my nickname) and started up again. Just being out with a rifle in hand in the woods or the Montana coulees, gives me such a sense of peace, and then the excitement of seeing game really gets the adrenaline flowing.
    My oldest son far exceeds my skill as a hunter and outdoorsman, and has inherited my affinity for firearms. (He also inherited far greater mechanical skills from his mother’s side of the family). It is something we share that keeps us close, and him in “free” ammunition. A win-win.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Anything that you enjoy doing is good for mental health
     
  9. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    I enjoy all aspects of the shooting sports. I will admit that lack of success,cold weather and some physical problems that recently showed up, are making the deer hunting harder to do these days.
    I also make and shoot selfbows and make wooden arrows for them. I appreciate the Zen like calming effect that these aspects of traditional archery give me.
     
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  10. dweis

    dweis Member

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    Shooting paper serves two purposes for me. First, it helps me be a better shooter. Second, it makes me compete against myself by making me always want to beat my previous score. I have a friend who gets tense when he goes to the range. For me it’s the opposite — I get relaxed.
     
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  11. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    I'm closest to the Lord when I'm sitting in the woods under a large oak tree , shotgun across my knees and watching the sun rise and all of God's creature's coming to life .
    The birds begin to sing , the squirrel's wake up and start foraging ... it's so wonderful !
    I don't come home with any small game but my Soul is filled with the joy and magic of Life ...
    This is where I talk to the Lord and he talks to me .
    Gary
     
  12. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    Makes me crazy when I see what it cost me!!

    DM
     
  13. borrowedtime69

    borrowedtime69 Member

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    Hunting is the most alive that I feel. Stalking, walking slow, and observation keeps my mind focused and not thinking about stressful situations in my life.
    I mostly hunt coyotes as it works better with my physical and medical issues. I have greatly enjoyed hunting small game and deer in the CO Rockies, but had to move to SD so I could breathe better. Coyote are some of the most weary game I've ever hunted and the challenge really gives me the down-time I need to have a break from the bumps I encounter in my life.
    I also love to hunt squirrels with a handgun, keeps you sharp.
     
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  14. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    After reading these posts, it seems most here really enjoy getting out into nature of some sort and feel relaxed. And that is exactly why I head out to the desert to shoot.
    Totally relaxing and quiet[unless I'm shooting]. It's just where I want to be at times. I no longer hunt, just handload and plink at my own leisure. Bliss!
     
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  15. jdsingleshot

    jdsingleshot Member

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    I'm 74 and have to say that my life-long interest in hunting, fishing, building boats, rifles, gardening, farming, reloading, and lots of other things came about from one principle: We think things are fun or important because other people think they are important.

    While such things nourish our minds' need to calculate, plan and succeed, I have learned with Solomon that those things are all "vanity,"--empty.

    We can't take them with us, and if we could, God would not be the least bit impressed.
     
  16. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    What does shooting/hunting/reloading do for your mental health?

    They are all activities I truly enjoy and derive much pleasure from. Kinda like my seat time on my tractors.
     
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  17. Artg56

    Artg56 Member

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    I find that when target shooting, concentrating on form, breathing, sight alignment and trigger control most definitely works to shut off the distractions of every day life. I’m lucky that the outdoor range I use is almost always deserted during the weekdays when I go, so rarely any concerns about other shooters. I’ll often bring lunch and a good cigar to further enjoy the solitude of the mountain top range.

    Cleaning my guns when I get home helps me unwind from the shooting session and when I reload, for me, the order and repetitive steps are stress relieving. When I’m in my workshop doing these tasks nobody interrupts me or breaks my routine.

    Here we share a common interest but I have other hobbies and interests that achieve the same thing so for me keeping busy in retirement and always learning is what helps my mental wellbeing.
     
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  18. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Shooting, Collecting and Learning. I don't really hunt. I think of myself as a hunter, support hunting and own what I consider to be hunting rifles, I really don't get out in the cold much. I don't get 'out' all that early, either. However, I have a delightful time shooting in casual competition, Collecting older firearms (usually the first half of the 20th Century) and learning about them. Learning about who made them, for what purpose, with what ideas and such.
    I do carry a sidearm for my personal defense. So I work to keep that ability current and learn how I need to adjust for the disadvantages of aging.

    I am delighted to hear the thinking and conduct of so many Christian shooters. I've been a Christian 'officially' since 1959. I have certainly become more serious in that discipline over time and really understand 'saved by Grace' much better than I did back then. Lots of Grace. None of it stemming from me or my actions.
     
  19. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Being old cantankerous me I would probably have told him it was none of his business. In fact I would have been quite upset about having to see one concerning pain management in the first place.
     
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  20. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Well when you can't take most pain meds due to allergies then the VA looks at alternative treatments. And learning how to deal with the constant pain from service connected disabilities was a big help for me. And I was the one to bring up shooting when the doctor asked about things that help me cope with the constant pain.
     
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  21. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Thomas Jefferson was asked his opinion on this topic. On 19 August 1785 he answered:
    Sounds pretty reasonable to me.
     
  22. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    Hunting to me is church, therapy, meditation, exercise, and just my happy place. I've been small game hunting since I was 7 years old, and started deer hunting a few years after. I have a trove of hunting memories I could bore you with, but I get to relive them every time I'm in the woods and still enjoy making new ones. I also love watching the woods wake up and go thru the cycles of dead quiet and then back to normal chatter.
    Even if I don't take game, I get time alone with God, nature, and my memories.

    We live on deer meet, so I do have to put in the time and work needed to have success. It takes 4 to 5 deer to last our family all year and I put 4 in the freezer this year. I quit trophy hunting for many years and took cull bucks and does instead of decent bucks that I could have shot. But we've decided we need a good head or shoulder mount to put in our living room, so this year I passed up a lot of does and small bucks in effort to get a big 10pt I had on camera. Didn't get him this year and no one else did either cause I got him on camera again the other day. Maybe next year!:)

    Reloading is enjoyable and relaxing to me 99% of the time. My grandad taught me to reload in my early teens. I still use his journal, Lyman 44th, dies, powder, and some of the bullets that he purchased back then. I also still use the JR2 that he used and taught me with. There's a trove of memories there also every time I pull the handle on that press. It's just a bonus when I shoot a deer or get the groups I'm looking for with ammo I loaded.

    Shooting is just a part of who I am. Been enjoying it since I was old enough to hold a gun. It is both a joy and a means to an end. I've actually become a lot more serious in recent years about improving my skills and learning new disciplines. I've never competed in a match before, but it looks like my first silhouette match will happen in Feb thanks to prodding by another member here on THR. I'll be using my new Henry 45colt I got for Christmas and shooting my own handloads.
    Looks like it's also gonna force my stubborn self to go to an optimatrist soon cause my astigmatism is starting to affect my focus on the front site.:what:
    It sucks to get old, but I guess it still beats the alternative for now.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023 at 8:05 PM
  23. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    I think there's a sermon in this somewhere. I think if the day ever comes that I don’t feel a twinge of sadness when I kill an animal, I'll quit hunting.
    This is both the blessing and the curse we were given when He assigned us dominion (responsibility) over all the other creations.
     
  24. rust collector

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    My outlook differs greatly. I do these things because I enjoy them. I don't need a photo with a big buck to enjoy hunting, and I didn't inherit the big game hunting bug. Yes, some of these activities are social but many involve solitude, focus and introspection. Nobody else cares what my target looks like. The bad ones teach me something. Any reason to get outdoors is good in this day and age. For me, it's not about impressing anyone. It's about returning to the basics, and it helps re-calibrate my navigation system.
     
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  25. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Absolutely. I'm not a good enough wordsmith to describe it, but the following quote is from my wife's and my 50th wedding anniversary (2 years ago) photo album/scrapbook that our two daughters put together for us. Our youngest daughter, Kathy wrote it:
    "Two of my earliest memories both involve hunting and I think back to them both as examples of the values that you instilled in this family through the years. The first is sitting on a ridge just before sunrise, my back to Dad's back, and listening to the stillness. I remember Dad saying this was the best part of hunting, the good part of it, before you ever take a life. And I remember later sitting with Mom after she shot a deer and watching her quietly cry. Not because she wasn't proud of feeding her family but because she honored that animal and appreciated its sacrifice."
    My wife is crying "quietly" again as she's standing behind me reading this. :)
     
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