Hunter Health Fair

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LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP -- The leaves are changing and hunters are starting to go out in the woods, but are they healthy enough for the hunt?

A hospital in Lycoming County is offering free health screenings for hunters.

Camouflage-colored balloons hang outside Susquehanna Health in Loyalsock Township near Williamsport. Inside dozens of people had their eyes, backs, and cholesterol levels checked.

"Our effort is trying to help people identify things early on so that they can be safe," explained administrative director Candy Dewar.

Health screenings like this are free and important for hunters like Richard Caldera from Williamsport.

"I want to make sure I'm healthy before I head out into the woods," Caldera said.

He says he comes out to Susquehanna's Hunter Health Fair every year, and as he gets older, Caldera makes sure he stays healthy and fit enough to head out for the hunt.

"You do a lot of hiking, that's for sure. A lot of it is up and down hills,” Caldera said.

"Sighting the deer before they sight you, staying in the wind so you see them before," said Gregg Farrar of Muncy,

Sighting the deer is getting a little harder for Farrar.

"My eyes, as I'm getting older, are getting worse,"

Farrar stopped by the fair on a whim but says he's glad he did. He's getting a checkup that could save his life.

"How many hunters do they find in the woods dead because of heart attack and stroke, when I was a kid even? It's a good thing."

Dozens of hunters will get their blood pressure checked, but physicians say high blood pressure can sneak up on anyone. That's why they call it the silent killer.

"There's a lot of guys think they can, you know, beat the world and you know that's going to beat you eventually," Farrar said.

So, while hunters will double check their gear, Dr. Michael Shachter says it's also important that hunters check their health before the hunt.

"I think anytime you do activity, it's always important to listen to your body. If you're experiencing pain or discomfort, chances it's your body telling you something," Dr. Shachter said.

Archery deer season is already underway. Rifle season begins next month.

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