American Heart Association encourages hunters to think about heart health, know their limits

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Hunting season is nearly here but before hunters make plans, one group is asking them to think about their health.

Most hunters know to wear blaze orange, be sure of their target before they shoot and to be safe with their hunting equipment. But the American Heart Association is reminding hunters to also know their physical limitations before they head out into the woods.

“I got my bow and got ready and it was pretty cold that morning. I took off walking two and a half miles back on top of the mountain,” said PJ Cooper, describing the day that his life changed. He is a survivor and a West Virginia hunter who was featured in the American Heart Association’s campaign. Cooper was fit and had been running at the gym three days a week. But while out on a hunting trip in December 2016 he knew something wasn’t right.

“The pain was so intense I mean it was hurting so bad. But it was my stomach. I never thought it was my heart at all. I thought it was just something wrong with my stomach.”

Cooper had what is commonly called a “widowmaker” heart attack. He was able to get medical treatment and recover. But the American Heart Association says hunters need to learn the signs of a heart attack or stroke and to have a plan for the worst case scenario before they head out to the woods.

“When DNR officers were called to the woods last year nearly a quarter of those were due to heart attack related accidents and many of those were fatal,” said Julie Warden with the American Heart Association.

She said even if someone is physically fit that doesn’t mean they are safe.

Courtesy of the American Heart Association.

“You know people don’t realize all year long a lot of these folks aren’t exerting the energy that they are in the woods to go hunting,” Warden said.

There are some things hunters can do to prepare before heading out for a morning of hunting.

“You want to make sure someone knows the approximate time of your departure, when they should probably expect you back home, at least a time range and make sure they have a general area of where you are going to be hunting,” Warden explained. “Secondly we want to make sure they know the closest hospital and the most direct route to the hospital in case of an emergency.”

She said hunters should also make sure their cell phone is charged and that they have emergency numbers programmed. She said if they can, it is also a good idea to turn on the device’s location tracking so that they may be easier to find.

To find out more information about preparing for your upcoming hunting adventures or overall heart health click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the FREE WOWK 13 News App

Washington DC Bureau

More Washington DC Bureau

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories