CHARLESTON — Your American Heart Association is excited for a new initiative for hunters across the Mountain State. During the month of November, the Association will launch its “Heart Healthy Hunting” campaign, bringing life-saving messaging to hunters in order to help prevent cardiac and stroke-related deaths.
“Each year many hunters encounter a heart attack or stroke while hunting and, for many, they are fatal,” said Julie Warden, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. “Through this campaign we look forward to sharing simple messaging to help reduce those numbers and bring our hunters home safely.”
The campaign will include social media messaging based on educating hunters on the signs/symptoms of heart attacks and strokes as well as the importance of having a daily plan for when and where a hunter will be and when they plan to return home. There will also be heart-healthy snack recipes and video testimonials from hunters who suffered heart attacks or strokes as well as from families who lost hunters to these diseases, which remain the #1 and #5 killers of Americans.
There will also be support from the WV Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which will share this messaging with their hunting information during the season. Along with this, WVU Rifle Team Coach Jon Hammond will share information with hunters via the Association’s social media channels - @AHAWV on both Facebook and Instagram and @aha_wv on Twitter.
According to the West Virginia DNR, in 2021 their Natural Resources Police Officers investigated 21 hunting incidents with five of those incidents being heart attacks while hunting.
“We should all live a heart-healthy lifestyle, but while hunting, know your limitations and always leave a hunting plan with a family member or friend,” said Lieutenant Warren Goodson with the West Virginia DNR Law Division. “Your hunting plans should be simple, where you are specifically hunting and when you will return. Be sure to follow your own plan.”
“We couldn’t do this alone and are so grateful for the support of Coach Hammond and of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources,” added Warden. “They also see the importance of keeping our hunters safe as they head outdoors this month.”
The campaign will run from November 1 through November 30, 2021 and is the first of its kind in the nation for the American Heart Association.