Photo courtesy of Boxie Kallina/Buck Commander.
For the February/March 2011 issue of North American Hunter magazine, I sat down to talk hunting with country music star Jason Aldean. Here's what you didn't get to see in print:
Dahlke: What’s your best bit of whitetail-hunting advice for NAHC Members?
Aldean: One term we use a lot in “Buck Commander” is “ride the hole.” When you go out in the mornings and you’re not seeing anything, and 10 o’clock rolls around and you’re like, “Man, this sucks, I’m out”—ride the hole, man! Stick it out for another couple hours because, chances are, if you’re not seeing them in the morning, they’re moving at some point. And usually, just about the time you get ready to get out of the stand, that’s when they’ll start running around. So, my tip is, if you go out early in the morning and it’s slow, just stick it out. Stick it out for another couple hours, and see what happens.
Dahlke: What’s your hunting tool of choice?
Aldean: I got into bowhunting when I hooked up with the “Buck Commander” crew, and that’s obviously a big part of our deal. They hooked me up with a bow, and so I started practicing, and it was just something that I really got into. It’s almost like hunting with a rifle now is like cheating, you know what I mean? Hunting with a bow is tough. I like it a lot better just because the deer come in a lot closer. You get a chance to study them a little bit, and have that really close interaction with them, which is cool. If I had my choice, it’s definitely bowhunting.
Dahlke: Have you written any songs about hunting?
Aldean: No, not yet. But I’m gonna be on tour with Luke Bryan next year , and I’m sure the two of us will probably write something that has to do with that at some point next year.
Dahlke: If you could share the woods with anyone, who would it be?
Aldean: My boys! “Buck Commander!” That’s it. To me, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to get involved in that deal—because it’s so much fun, and I enjoy hanging out with those guys. It’s as much about the hanging out and having fun as it is about the hunting. And to me, that group of guys got me back into really wanting to do this, and having fun at it again, so there’s nobody else I’d want to be out there with.
Dahlke: What was the first animal you killed, and how old were you?
Aldean: The first animal I ever took was a doe here in Georgia. I was sitting on the ground, and my dad was actually coming over to get me to leave. We had already hunted that morning and we were getting ready to head out, and Dad jumped her. She ran right to where I was sitting and stopped right before she went into a field, and I shot her. That was the first animal I ever shot. I was probably … about 11, maybe 12.