Is Hank Williams Jr. country music’s biggest outdoorsman?


Few people in the country music industry love the great outdoors as much as Hank Williams Jr.

The man is a living legend in the music world, but hunting, fishing and the great outdoors run deep in some of his most popular lyrics.

His most famous song, A country boy can surviveincludes several excellent one-liners that refer to the self-sufficiency that comes from the skills and ability to hunt and fish for one’s own food.

“I can catch catfish from dusk until dawn.”
“We can skin a dollar, we can run a trot line.”
“My grandfather taught me to live off the land.”

Good thing he’s as tough as the lyrics of this song make him sound.

Many people know that whiskey and women tried to kill him in the mid-70s from the lyrics of his song family tradition.

“… I liked some ladies
And I liked Jim Beam
And they both tried to kill me in 1973…”

Fewer people realize that just two years after the escapades he references in these lyrics, he nearly died in a mountaineering accident in southwestern Montana.

In 1975, a snowbank he was crossing collapsed and sent him plummeting 500 feet from a rocky cliff.

He suffered a multitude of skull and facial fractures which required several reconstructive surgeries and had to be helicopter from the mountain.

His recovery from the incident took more than two years and he had to learn to speak and sing again. The accident left him with significant scars and disfigurement and to conceal them he grew his beard, started wearing sunglasses at all times and put on a cowboy hat. Soon, this image became her signature look.

Despite the fact that Mother Nature nearly took her life, her adoration for wild adventures never simmered.

Her love for the great outdoors is on full display in the unannounced song Man in love with the outdoors.

“…Give me a cane and a shotgun
And I can have a lot of fun
An old pair of soft hiking boots
A pocket knife and a campfire too
You go out in the woods alone wondering where the big bucks roam
What’s that noise and your heart is beating fast
Then you smile when a squirrel walks by
I don’t need to have a bear, I just want to breathe the country air
I go out whenever I can
I am a man who loves the outdoors…”

Newly discovered footage of him picking up the banjo and singing the song in Montana at the time shows you how the song resonates with other people who love the great outdoors.

The crowd goes wild for this one.

Like most 72-year-olds, Hank isn’t terribly active on social media, but a number of posts on his Instagram account show how much hunting and fishing means to him.

It’s not just words for him, it’s his life.

Whether catching freshwater fish like sea bream, crappie, bass and walleye or showing off saltwater trophies like rockfish and sea trout, his love for fishing is obvious.

And oh yes, although he can afford the best fishing gear in the world, he still occasionally uses a fishing rod.

Deep in the vaults of Youtube, I found this absolutely amazing video from the 1970s of the legend himself fishing for largemouth bass in Guatemala.

The footage was originally filmed for a television show in the 1970s. It is narrated by Hank himself and also includes live music. He also catches the biggest bass of his life up to this point.

This might be the coolest fishing video I’ve ever seen.

But Big Hank doesn’t just fish, he’s also a great hunter. His Instagram also includes some of his fondest memories of hunting waterfowl, whitetail, bear, pheasant and elk.

Many of the hunting photos on his profile also feature his two sons, so it’s great to see he’s passed on those outdoor traditions to his kids.

He is also steward of his own land. He manages his properties for wildlife and does much of the work himself, whether it’s hunting lanes or planting dove fields.

Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can also listen to some of Hank’s most memorable hunting trips, including a deer hunt in Kentucky, a turkey hunt in Tennessee, and an elk hunt in Colorado.


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