The Heart Rate Response and Force Production Related to Deer Hunting-Associated Activities


Eberhart, K., Verba, S., Jensen, B., Lynn, J. Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania accounts for the second most number of hunters with approximately 970,000 license holders. Little research on the physiologic demands of this activity has been conducted, especially in female hunters. Purpose: To examine the physiologic demands of deer hunting-associated activities in apparently healthy individuals. Methods: Eleven men and women (BMI: 26.9 ± 5.5kg/m2; Age: 27.1 ± 10.0yrs; VO2max: 53.93 ± 8.25 mL/kg/min; Hunting Experience: 5.5 ± 3.7 years) participated in this study. Subjects completed a 0.8km hike over terrain simulating Pennsylvania hunting grounds. Following a short rest, subjects completed a 0.4km drag using a fake deer weighing 56kg (123 pounds, the weight of the average deer in PA) over similar terrain. Heart rate was measured during the activities using a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. Mean tension (TN) while dragging the deer was measured using a cable tensiometer. Results: Maximal (HRmax) and mean (HRmean) heart rate during the hike was 118.3 ± 27.6bpm and 104.6 ± 23.8bpm, respectively. HRmax and HRmean during the drag was 179.4 ± 20.2bpm and 156.5 ± 21.5bpm, respectively. Percent of time spent with a HR above 85% HRmax was 49.9 ± 35.9%. Mean force production (TNmean) during the drag was 69.2 ± 5.6lbs. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that normal hunting activity is a high intensity physical activity, eliciting heart rate responses above 85% of maximum in a high-fit population. These findings may be valuable when considering the physiologic demand of hunting-associated activities, especially in untrained individuals.

Funded by the College of Health, Environment, and Science, Slippery Rock University

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