Taking a stand
Long sits on stand will become the norm again this deer season. Sitting on stand for periods of time – sometimes in excess of 12 hours – can drive one to near delusion. But in sitting on stand for periods of time, you still need to feel your body in order to feel awake, keep sharp senses, without eating tons of junk food and downing energy drinks. If you survive on junk food, then that is on you. Here are three snacks and their nutritional information and how those foods can help fuel your long hunts on stand.
Jerky: Jerky is always a favorite. Whether you are eating deer jerky, beef jerky, pork or chicken, jerky is simple, fast, flavorful and can last in your pack for a while. While venison jerky is a snack many of us will make after a successful season, we will probably head to the store to pick up an expensive bag of beef jerky before heading to deer camp. Per 100 grams, beef jerky tends to provide an average of 33 grams of protein and around 410 calories. Whether sitting in a stand or hiking in the mountains, jerky provides sustaining energy without slowing you down like foods heavy in carbohydrates.
Trail Mix: Mix peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips or M&Ms, cashews, almonds or whatever you would like for a pleasant mid-day snack. It’s not too heavy in the pack or in your stomach. The tough part of talking about trail mix is the variability of each blend. For a basic blend with chocolate chips, unsalted nuts and seeds, per 1 cup of trail mix one can expect to consume around 707 calories, 21 grams of protein, with 66 grams of carbohydrates. Personally, I don't want to have a huge sugar rush by eating tons of candy on stand. When going into these long sit periods of the rut, I don’t want to risk fighting the ups and downs of junk foods. I want sustained energy.
Clif Bars: Basic granola bars are a standard in any hunter’s pack. I wanted more from granola bars and found what I liked in Clif Bars. They are dense and filling without dragging you down and causing you to feel sleepy. My favorite, the classic Chocolate Chip, contain 240 calories and 10 grams of protein, 23 grams of sugar and 44 grams of carbohydrates to help keep a sustained level of energy throughout the day. As an ingredient guy and a deer hunter, I love the natural ingredients which make up these bars.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich: Snacks don’t always cut it and you may need more substance to your mid-day meal. We all know the power of a PB&J sandwich. I always forget just how good they taste until I’m halfway through a long day of hunting. On basic white bread, you have about 30 percent fat content for energy and just over 40 grams of carbohydrates. If you are short on time, slapping together one or two of these pieces of fuel can save you time and give you a little less than half the calories of a serving of trail mix. The bread in the sandwich should help you feel full, whereas trail mix may not.
Food is fuel. If you like to pack junk food, that is on you, but to each their own. But planning accordingly for food can help give you push the needle in your direction for that much needed edge. These are the days on stand to make the most of, the few days which we wait and plan for all year long.