Jason Shaw, Physiotherapist, and Co-Owner of InMotion Health Centre is an avid outdoors enthusiast who’s been hunting for over 15 years, we asked him to shed some insight into his experience with hunting, safety, and challenges.
Tell us a bit about your history with hunting, what kind of hunting do you do and what sparked your interest to become involved in the sport of hunting?
I originally moved to Newfoundland in 1998 and was quickly exposed to hunting through my family, my Father in law, Stan, and brother in law, Doug as well as two of my closest friends Chris and Trent. Taking the Hunter’s Safety course was an integral start to my hunting experience, I feel the knowledge I gained from that course is crucial for all hunters. Respect for the environment, wildlife, other hunters and of course – safety! We are extremely lucky to live in such a beautiful province where we are able to enjoy such outdoor pursuits and be able to responsibly harvest wildlife for what I feel makes for some of the best table fare available anywhere.
I have enjoyed both small game as well as large game hunting over the years, but I have to say that I enjoy moose and caribou hunting the most. Very shortly after moving to Newfoundland, I learned just how integral a part hunting was of Newfoundland’s heritage and lifestyle. As an outdoors enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to spend quality time outdoors with friends and family and being able to harvest and enjoy such high-quality meat.
In terms of hunter safety and being an experienced hunter, what are some of your safety tips that you could offer?
Every hunter should practice safety at all times. Following what was learned in the course, as well as reviewing the rules and regulations contained in the Hunting Guide each year, is always a great idea; being aware of your surroundings and other hunters at all times is of primary importance.
A couple of tips I would suggest if hunting with others would be to discuss both prior to and during the hunt what should happen in case an animal is spotted. A bit of preparation ahead of time, including practicing safe firearm handling and target practice, can make for a much safer and successful hunt.
As a Physiotherapist, you are well versed in the human anatomy, and as a hunter, you have spent long hours in the woods waiting for the animal(s); what are some things you would recommend for individuals embarking on a long hunting trip?
Hunting at times can be a very vigorous form of physical activity and hunters should definitely prepare accordingly. If anticipating walking long distances during hunts, it is a wise idea to prepare/train accordingly in the months leading up to the season. This should include cardiovascular activity, stretching and strengthening.
A common, yet avoidable injury experienced during hunting would be low back strains/sprains. If required to do any heavy lifting, for example getting a quad unstuck from a bog or lifting quarters of moose; assess the load, use proper body positioning and lifting techniques, and take your time. Doing a few stretches throughout the hunt can also be a great way to stay limbered up. How could I forget the traditional “boil-up” it’s not only a great way to enjoy the camaraderie of the hunt with friends, but also an important way to keep your energy levels up and provide for a much-needed rest.
In Newfoundland, there is always the challenge of constantly changing weather patterns, along with very diverse terrain to contend with. What would you recommend individuals do to try and avoid potential injury associated with weather and terrain?
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being well prepared for the ever-changing weather and terrain while hunting. In my opinion, the most important thing to have to ensure a safe and comfortable hunt is good gear. This includes high-quality footwear, multiple layers of warm/breathable clothing, a quality pack sack complete with extra clothing, emergency first aid kit, extra water and food, whistle/signaling device, and a well maintained reliable firearm. Technology has helped me make outdoor pursuits in our province even safer, GPS units have become extremely advanced and cost effective.
What is your favorite part of hunting?
I think the pictures below sums thing up pretty well. Enjoying the fabulous outdoor scenery and tranquility that our province offers while hunting is a very special opportunity that everyone can enjoy. Spending time with family and friends is paramount, actually harvesting wild game is an added bonus.
I would like to extend wishes for a safe, happy, and successful hunt to everyone this season. Get out and enjoy!
Thanks Jason for taking the time to shed some light on your passion for the great outdoors, which involves hunting large game. If you have any questions for Jason feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to book an appointment with Jason for Physiotherapy please contact 709-747-5945 ext 0.