I didn’t grow up hunting. I started after I got married as my wife comes from a family of long-time hunters. I’ll admit, the first season challenged me a lot (how hard could it be to aim and shoot?). I remember the first deer I ever harvested – it was a small doe and there will be a song about it some day soon.

In any case, in those early days of hunting, there’s one thing I always found kind of funny. Whenever I told people that I was a hunter, nobody believed me! I don’t know if it was the way I dressed, the way I talked, or the fact that I’m a musician, but whenever I told someone that I was going hunting they would stop and stare, sort of bewildered. And then they’d ask that question that I had become used to:

“You’re… a hunter??”

It began to feel like I was living some sort of a double life. On┬áthe outside people saw me for a ‘regular’ guy. I suppose I dress fairly normal, maybe even more to the ‘musician’ side of things (slim-fitting jeans… guilty!); I don’t have a handlebar mustache and I don’t wear hunting branded clothing (much). (Like those are the only traits that define hunters :/ However, on the inside – especially once hunting season starts approaching – all I can think about is “The Hunt,” that is, the annual hunting trip that I go on with my in-laws. I know I’m preaching to the choir here but when you’re hunting, all is right with the world.

Once the fall starts approaching, I begin obsessing about hunting. My Googling turns from guitars, bands, and sports to everything hunting: field dressing tips, recipes, gadgets, gear, etc… It get’s a little crazy. And it’s funny, I do realize that a great many people see hunting as some sort of primitive, uncivilized activity, but to me it’s a means to connect to nature like no other way.

Perhaps in my early days of hunting I didn’t really know if I was a hunter, or maybe I didn’t feel like a ‘real’ hunter because I was so new to the sport… Not sure, but all I know is it felt like I was living a double life. These days, as my experience and confidence grows, I guess I wear my passions more on my sleeve (lol, thank you Browning), BUT, believe it or not, when I tell people that I’m a huntin’ song singer, some people still ask:

“So… do you hunt too, or do you just write songs about it?”

dj