There’s no getting over buck fever, according to a recent study by the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
The nervous rush of energy most hunters get as they zero in on prized game is a natural reaction fueled by adrenaline. Shaky, sweaty hands and an uptick in heart rate are usually a result, the study said.
It’s not harmful, but it’s also not something you can control as a natural “fight-or-flight” response.
“Hunting is supposed to be a calm, thoughtful and careful process,” said Dr. Jeffrey B. Michel, a cardiologist and Texas A&M professor, in a post on the health science center’s website. “Adrenaline is not good for being any of those things, and it’s trying to find an outlet.”
Beta blockers are often used to treat anxiety disorders, but they don’t do hunters much good, the A&M study said. Taking deep breaths is about the only thing someone can do to calm their nerves in the moment.
“When you hunt, there has to be training so that there is less panic,” Michel said. “Go out on the range and be comfortable so that it isn’t a frightening or stressful situation.”