First off let me say I'm no hunter. The only time I've fired a gun was on a job assignment at a shooting range (if you don't include fighting off the zombie hordes in Fallout 4).
So it was intriguing to hear this week that recreational hunters are healthier and report higher happiness levels than the average Australian.
The report and its findings will surely be frowned upon by some, but it also justifies the pride and pleasure many Valley locals take in their chosen sport.
The economic benefits covered in the report are nothing to be sneezed at, with $2.4billion injected into the country's coffers during 2018. But given the report only covered this one sector, and there are likely many others contributing just as much, if not more, the second half of the research is much more fascinating.
Self-reported wellbeing scores and estimated time spent participating in recreational hunting or other sports shooting were significantly higher than what was measured in the general population.
The report comes at a time when the residents of the Bega Valley are also being asked to have their say on the future of our shire's public pools, where many in the community find avenues to health and happiness.
It's not just the activity itself that's of benefit - shooting, swimming or otherwise. It's also worth taking into account the social aspect of having friends and family around while participating; meeting new people with similar interests; or just being in a space where you feel safe to have a conversation with a like-minded person.
The role sport and outdoor activities play in our lives goes well beyond the fitness aspect. Mental health is just as important, especially as our lives become more insulated and connected via technology.
The report into recreational hunting outlines various "pathways to wellbeing" including a connection to nature, learning new skills, experiencing challenge, social networks, physical activity, and nutrition.
Fewer than half of respondents rated "spending time on your own" as of high importance.
I'd suggest the same could be said of swimming at your local pool over the summer months.
There's a lot to be said for getting outdoors and going bush. I may not carry a rifle when I do, but heading off on a hike to shoot with a camera is what makes me happy.
How about you?