Outdoor activities are a helpful stress reduction tool for a supervisor at the Carrollton Wastewater Treatment Plant.

For Tammy Hamblen, supervisor of the Carrollton (Missouri) Wastewater Treatment Plant, spending time outside helps alleviate stress while benefiting her mental and physical health.

She needs prescription medication to manage stress-related migraine headaches, but avoids taking more pills by fishing and hunting as often as possible. “I’m lucky. I can park my vehicle at the plant, walk 200 feet across the street, and climb into my deer stand,” she says. Hamblen also hunts squirrels and rabbits and always brings home a turkey for Thanksgiving. She fishes local rivers and ponds for catfish and bass.

When game isn’t in season, Hamblen shoots clay pigeons with a break-action single-shot shotgun. “Everyone else at the shooting range uses pump-action shotguns,” she says. “It annoys them that I can reload and break targets just as fast as they can.”

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Hamblen began her outdoor life shooting a compound bow. She practiced by duct-taping clay pigeons or balloons to a clothesline in the family’s large backyard. Hamblen’s skill attracted attention, and she was invited to compete in 3D archery events. The competitions use life-size models of game to recreate hunting environments. “I declined because competitions are stressful,” she says. “My goal is to relax in the outdoors, and enjoy nature's quiet solitude.”

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