As hunters, we’ve all been there before: That time of day, usually smack in the middle of the afternoon, where you start getting a little loopy because you haven’t seen a deer in what seems like hours.

Maybe you’ve just pushed three bushes with your hunting mates and all you saw were two skittish does… or maybe you saw one trot over a hill and you thought you just might be able to sneak up on it, so you creep up the hill and peek over, only to find that now it’s two hills away and still running! (Sometimes they always seem to be two hills away, don’t they?)

In any case, a little down on your luck, you mutter a bad word, head back to the truck and start driving to the next spot thinking, “What. The. Heck? This is prime deer country! Where are they all hiding?!” In the truck, you take some comfort in a (super) cold soda pop, some salty snacks… maybe some chocolate or jerky – you know, all the healthy foods you take with you hunting. You shoot the breeze with your hunting mates about life and deer and tell some bad jokes. Your brother-in-law starts nodding off in the back seat. Yup… it’s definitely the middle of the afternoon.

In all honesty, when I think back to those times I realize that they were actually some of the best times I’ve had while hunting. Driving around during those ain’t-no-deer-out-here times (more on that later) account for some of my favorite memories: the feeling of the mid-day sun warming up my face through the finally frost-free window; the snapping sound the top bullet shell makes in the magazine when I click it back and forth in my hands while eagerly glassing the fields for anything that moves; contemplating a missed shot from the morning and thinking/discussing how to adjust for the next shot (of course the missed shot was my gun’s fault); eating junk food guilt free because your hunting; the anticipation of the hopeful late afternoon shoot-em-up; and having the most absurd conversations with your hunting companions that otherwise would never have happened.

I think more than anything, these are my fondest moments because they simply elicit the feeling of just… being there. Hunting. Driving around looking for deer and all is right with the world. Doesn’t even matter if you don’t have any in the trailer yet. Well, ok, it does, but you get the point. This is also the time for me when musical inspiration strikes the hardest.

Years ago during one of these lulls, as I often do, I started singing some random hunting-related ideas while riding along in the back seat. That mid-day loopy feeling was setting in and the phrase “ain’t no deer out here” sort of stuck in my head. It stayed in my head until I got home from the trip, and about a week later I sat down and just started writing. Next thing I knew, I had a really long poem, or song, or something. All I knew was that it was really fun to get some hunting experiences out of my head and onto a page. And after writing “Ain’t No Deer Out Here,” I had another idea for a song and just went with it, too! Then another, and another, and, well, you get the picture. Before I knew it I had an album’s worth of songs and I’d be darned if I didn’t get them recorded.

It was a long process with very busy schedules, but in the end I had finally fulfilled my dream of professionally recording my own album with my own original songs – a dream I’ve had since adolescence. The funny thing is, I never would have guessed in a million years that my songs/music would be about hunting! I admit, however, it was definitely meant to be.

So here I am now, as far as I know the only artist around singing songs exclusively about hunting. And I’m having a blast doing it. But my songs aren’t just for the hunting truck – they’re for every day. If you’re anything like me, you think about hunting year-round and my hunting tunes help keep that passion burning.

My songs are real hunting stories and experiences, put to music. And truthfully, I recorded them for you. For all hunters. Here’s to hoping that you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed making them.

If you’d like to check out the songs that inspire hunters throughout the prairies, click here to listen to my debut album, “I’d Rather Be Hunting.”

Thank you for giving me a reason to keep doing what I’m doing.

Side note: Though my album is finished and packaged, “Ain’t No Deer Out Here” isn’t on it. Yeah, it was the first hunting song I ever wrote, but oddly enough, it’s still not finished. It’s epic – at least in my opinion – but there’s something just not right about it yet. I’m still reworking the lyrics, the music, the hook… Anyways, watch for it on the next record…

dj

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