Hunting season is upon us, yes! And who among us doesn’t like to head off with their favorite hunting song buzzing in the back of their head, giving them inspiration and hope that today will be the day that Lady Luck smiles down upon them?
Depending on where I am and my mood I listen to lots of different music on hunting trips, from classical orchestral magic to blasting rock & roll to introspective country sounds. Some is just silly fun, some revolves around a foot-stomping beat, and some burns deep into your soul. It’s all good. And so, in honor of hunting season, here are my Top 10 hunting songs of all-time.
10. Da Yoopers — “Second Week Of Deer Camp”
‘It’s the second week of deer camp/And all the guys are her/We drink, play cards, and shoot the bull/But never shoot no deer/The only time we leave the camp/Is when we go for beer/The second week of deer camp/Is the greatest time of year.’ Oh buddy …
9. Credence Clearwater Revival — “Run Through The Jungle”
John Fogerty wails, ‘Whoa thought it was a nightmare/Lord it was so true/They told me don’t go walking slow/The Devil’s on the loose/Better run through the jungle/Whoa don’t look back to see,’ then the band hits me with a haunting harmonica riff and the big drums, and boom! My heart is pounding like a rumbling midnight train, ready to climb an elk mountain in the dead of night.
8. Metallica — “Of Wolf And Man”
When James Hetfield blasts out, ‘Off through the new day mist I run/Out from the new day’s mist I have come/I hunt/Therefore I am,’ then finishes it off with, ‘Shape shift, nose to the wind/Shape shift, feeling I have been/Move swift, all senses clean/Earth’s gift, back to the meaning/Back to the meaning of wolf and man,’ the hackles stand up on the back of my neck. I know it’s time to go into predator mode.
7. Tracy Byrd — “Mossy Oak Song”
‘Me and Daddy in the woods on a Saturday/You see his granddaddy hunted these hills and/I hope someday my kids will/He said, Do me a favor when I’m gone/Love this land and pass it on.’ Hunting in America is about family and tradition, why it was important to your forefathers, and connecting generations through time afield.
6. Josh Turner — “Backwoods Boy”
‘Woke up at 5 a.m., put on my camouflage/Wiped off my .243 and fired up my Dodge/Headed out to my ol’ deer stand back in the pines/Gonna get me a 10-point buck with 11-inch tines.’ Not a bad sound to crank up on a before-dawn drive to your favorite deer spot.
5. John Anderson — “Seminole Wind”
When Anderson sings, ‘The last time I walked the swamp/I sat upon a cypress stump/I listened close and heard the ghost/ Of Osceola cry,’ he was celebrating both wilderness and a nation losing its wild places to commercial development. Have we not all sat on that stump?
4. Blake Shelton — “Granddaddy’s Gun”
‘It sits above the mantle on a couple rusty nails/And it’s worth a bunch of money but it damn sure ain’t for sale/The good Lord only knows all the stories it could tell/Granddaddy’s gun.’ And someday, he’ll give it to his son. Amen, brother.
Editor’s Note: Aaron Lewis’ version of this song has slightly different lyrics (“Ain’t worth a lot of money/And it damn sure ain’t for sale”), and he recorded a great acoustic version of it at the National Firearms Museum:
3. Ted Nugent — “Fred Bear”
‘It was kinda dark/It came from down below/I tried to remember everything you taught me so well/I had to decide which way to go.’ Nuge knew Fred Bear personally, and this song (and Ted’s amazing guitar riffs) really hits home with me.
2. Hank Williams, Jr. — “A Country Boy Can Survive”
‘Cause them old boys was raised on shotgun/And we say grace, and we say Ma’am/And if you ain’t into that/We don’t give a damn/Cause a country boy can survive.’ Country folk, and real hunters, are made of tough stuff — and we don’t care what the antis think, do we?
1. Bananas At Large — “Da Turdy Point Buck”
‘I’m so excited, it’s my favorite time of year/I love to freeze my buns/chasin’ trophy deer … Strutted right out of my dreams/He was created by God just for outdoor magazines!’ When the radio stations play this song until you’re insane, you know deer season is here. And don’t we all dream that, just one time, we’ll see the legendary ‘Turdy Point Buck?’ I know I do …
What’s your favorite hunting song? What do you listen to as you head afield, or after the sun has gone down and it’s time to reflect on the day? Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. And good hunting always!