Chad Love: Hunters with Hangovers?

November is here, which means that deer hunters all across the nation are preparing for that big pre-opening day keg party, after which they will wander aimlessly into the woods nursing a massive hangover. At some point, if they can manage to spot a deer through the alcoholic haze clouding their eyes, the ensuing adrenaline rush will cause a massive heart attack. And if that doesn't kill them, the exertion of trying to drag their deer out of the woods will.

At least that's how this CNN story sees it...

From the story:

_Heart attacks are three times more likely to take a hunter's life than a gunshot injury ...

Pre-hunt partying, adrenaline rush and hauling kill out of woods all raise heart risk ...

Expert recommends people not hunt alone, carry cell phone, have an exit plan ...

"I think it's a very significant problem," said Dr. Eric Good, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.
The biggest danger that some hunters face isn't getting hit by a stray bullet or falling out of a tree stand, Good said. It's heart disease ...

... Good's final concern has to do with hunters who start celebrating even before they head into the woods._

"There's a tendency before the big day to sort of party it up," Good said. "Certainly, overexertion during the day compounded with the fact that you had one too many drinks and didn't have enough sleep adds to the stress. All of this together can put you over the edge and at risk for heart problems."

Is this guy talking about hunting or getting married? Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I've never "partied it up" the night before opening day, unless he considers sitting around a campfire drinking a beer and telling fart jokes a wild night of debauchery.

This is lazy reporting. I don't know where the reporter or the doctor got the "three times more likely" figure, but any reporter worth his or her salt would have sourced it. Without a verifiable source and some comparative data for other demographic groups as well as baseline figures for the general population it's just some guy spouting numbers.

What's even more irritating is the angle the reporter used, which is the presumably counter-intuitive notion that heart attacks kill more hunters than stray bullets. The reporter tweaks the cultural stereotype of hunters blasting each other, when of course reality tells a different story. National and state data on hunting accidents are readily available. All the reporter had to do was take collated national figures on hunting accidents involving firearms, compare that to the total numbers of hunters and then you'd have a very clear statistical picture of the dangers of hunting.

But of course, that would take real reporting, which is something fewer and fewer journalists engage in these days. However, some readers did appreciate the story

I will say this: At least PETA's leaps of logic aren't disguised as journalism...