Celebrating all things deer and America's favorite big game hunting pursuits, Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel are gearing up for a week of wall-to-wall deer hunting action with Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks' programming initiative, #DeerWeek. Now in its fifth year, the seven night event will kick off September 13th - 19th and will be hosted by Sportsman Channel host Jeff Danker and country music standout, Cody Johnson. The week-long event will highlight the excitement, camaraderie, and adventure that each deer season provides. As hosts, Jeff and Cody will provide viewers with fun, exciting and educational perspectives about deer hunting and highlight their own individual deer hunting pursuits in the upcoming season. Previewing the upcoming #DeerWeek event, co-host Cody Johnson joins The Revolution this week to talk about what viewers can expect, plus his own insight on hunting, big deer, country music, rodeo and more.
While most people are familiar with Cody Johnson because of his country music career, he's also a deer hunting fanatic. Cody has been a whitetail hunting enthusiast for years and although his schedule continues to get tighter with a busy music career, he still finds time to get into the woods and chase bucks each year. Cody talks with Jim and Trav about some of his more recent hunts like one at the Double Drop Ranch in Texas where he ran across one of the biggest bucks on the property and one of his personal biggest to date with a bow measuring in at 246 ⅛". Although he has taken some true giants with a bow, Cody says he doesn't rule out a rifle hunt. When it comes to rifle vs bow, he says it's really about the individual situation noting he often sets out with a bow, but puts his .30-06 on his back just in case an opportunity presents itself. In Texas, there are a lot of opportunities to hunt exotics, he says. Unless you're hunting a ranch, these exotic species tend to be very skittish, and bow shots are scarce so a rifle is almost a necessity. You have to be able to reach out and touch these exotics with a rifle, Cody says. They provide a lot of opportunities for people to put great meat in the freezer, too, he says. There are a lot of different exotics like fallow deer, axis deer, wildebeest and more that make for great table fare and Cody says he isn't one to let an opportunity slip by. In fact, he says that some of his favorite game meats happen to come from these Texas exotics like fallow deer, axis deer, oryx and red stag.
In addition, Cody reflects on the value of hunting beyond putting meat in the freezer. One thing that we can't get back is time, Cody says. However, time happens to be something that we waste more than anything. Time spent in the deer stand or in deer camp with family and friends is time well spent, not wasted. It's the time spent doing these outdoor activities that also instills something different in kids and teaches them lessons they'll remember for the rest of their lives. He highlights the value in kids learning firearm safety at an early age, learning how to hunt and the value of being able to hunt and clean their own food and provide for their families rather than relying on a store. He also underscores the lessons kids learn about hard work and what it takes to even have the opportunity to harvest an animal. Drawing parallels to the western lifestyle he loves, Cody notes that both the outdoors and the cowboy way of life are rooted in hard work and thinking outside of one's own self. Those types of values are something that a lot of people just don't instill in their children anymore, he says.
Cody also discusses his rodeo and country music career. Although his rodeo dreams didn't pan out for him in the way he had hoped, Cody says it all led him to a much larger scale dream, which is his music, changing his life forever, putting him on the wonderful path he is now. Authenticity is important to any kind of long lasting music career and that's something Cody and his music aren't short on. Noting that he'd rather go to bed broke with integrity than go to bed rich without it, Cody says it's important to him to be real in both his music and as a person. Looking at iconic country artists like Willie Nelson, Chris LeDoux, Merle Haggard and more - he says their songs were real and came from the heart and as an artist, he wants to bear those same qualities. If you forget your past, it kind of kills your future, he says, and a portion of country music today has lost that grasp on the past and the heritage of where country music came from. Paying homage to true country music and also to the cowboy lifestyle, Cody talks about his song "Dear Rodeo", a duet with country music icon Reba McEntire. He also talks about collaborating with the legendary Willie Nelson for an updated version of Willie's song, "Sad Songs and Waltzes". While he could have done a duet with someone else that is trendy right now, Cody says there wouldn't be the same amount of integrity in that recording as there is in this one with Willie. He discusses his personal connection with the song, getting to tell Willie what it meant to him and the very special full circle moment it was recording the song. "Sad Songs and Waltzes" is out now and is a part of Cody's forthcoming double album that includes 18 tracks that will be released this fall. Leading up to the album dropping this October, Cody says he is releasing two songs a month through September so be sure to check out the other songs from the album that have already been released. Plus, Cody is also starring on the big screen in a film about his life that reflects on his rodeo career and his path to becoming a country music star. The film is entitled, Dear Rodeo: The Cody Johnson Story. Be sure to check it out!
Don't miss an exciting week of wall-to-wall deer hunting action with #DeerWeek hosted by Cody Johnson and Jeff Danker. You can catch all the action on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel, every night, September 13th - 19th at 7:00 pm ET.