With pheasant season finally open, many hunters are just itching to pull the trigger. You may have all the gear you'll need, but how ready is your heart?
they're the sounds every hunter loves to hear. A bird flushing at your feet, the shotgun blast, and the thump of a prized rooster hitting the ground. But for many hunters, the only sound they'll hear this pheasant season is the constant beep of an EKG.
"Heart attacks are unpredictable, they can happen at anytime, you need to know what your risk is for heart attack." Said Dr. Tarek Mahrous, a cardiologist at the North Central Heart Institute.
Hunting season is a time many South Dakotans look forward to, but if you're not prepared, a walk through the fields could put tremendous strain on your body and heart. It's for that reason that Chuck Hanisch makes the gym a year-long priority.
"Hunting is my motivator to stay in shape all year long I want to make hunting a year long activity because I enjoy it so spring time, summer time, and middle of winter that's my motivator to get to the gym." Said Hanisch.
Every year when pheasant season opens, chuck says hunters slowly start trickling into the hospital. In most cases the main factor is hunters simply over-doing it.
"Older hunters or the hunters that aren't in that good of shape but they're hunting with younger athletic people and they want to keep up and they don't want them to be out there having all the fun and they don't pay attention to what their body's telling them." Said Hanisch.
Shortness of breath, chest pains, or chest pressure, and a racing heart beat are all signs that something is wrong and should not get ignored.
"If you get these symptoms and all of a sudden they come from out of nowhere that may suggest a more unstable situation more related to a heart attack and if they don't go away within 15 minutes that's usually a good indication that you need to seek out help." Said Dr. Mahrous.
Bagging a good haul of birds is at the top of every hunters wish list, but a trip to the doctor should be on their to-do-list. It's important to take care of yourself when you're out there, so try your best not to over-do it.
"You're motivated, you're having fun, you're caught up in the excitement of the hunt and it's easy to do, but you've got to listen to your body." said Hanisch.
If you don't, it won't just be the birds falling out in the fields.
Before you head out to hunt be sure and meet with your physician so you can see how ready your heart is and you can develop a plan to help keep you safe.
For more information about your heart attack risk just call 877-AT-AVERA.