An outdoorsy playlist

I’ve heard hunting is the great equalizer.

It doesn’t matter how fast you are, how much you can bench press or even your gender; with the right equipment and mental fortitude you can successfully take game. Hunting brings people together.

And so does music.

I love talking music in hunt camp. You learn so much about folks while discussing first concerts, chance meetings with musicians and favorite albums.

Which ones were hippies in a past life? Who will openly admit they don’t like the Beatles? (For shame…) Who might still be suppressing a little bit of teen angst?

I knew the group of outdoor media and hunting manufacturers at this week’s camp at Croton Creek Ranch in Cheyenne, Okla., was up for a little Karen music questionnaire. As soon as I plopped my rear in the rental car at the airport in Oklahoma City, Realtree’s Dodd Clifton and I toggled between 70s and 80s rock during our two-hour drive to the ranch.

And the first night in camp, Gary Sefton, one of the hunt hosts, gave us a mini concert of original songs he’s written about hunting dogs, armadillos and catfishing outlaws.

Gary Sefton’s smooth singing on a Knight & Hale pot call brought in my first Oklahoma Rio.

So after dinner one evening, I forced several of the guys to give me their quintessential outdoors song — one that gets them in the mood to hunt or fish, a tune that brings back a favorite outdoor memory.

It’s only fair to volunteer your answer first when asking such a personal question. The one song that gets me pumped to put a hurtin’ on a turkey: The Warrior by Scandal featuring Patty Smyth.

Oh yeah, I’m shooting down the walls of heartache when I pull the trigger of my shotgun.

Check out the turkey I killed at Croton Creek Ranch in Cheyenne, OK. Bang! Bang! I am a warrior!

Here’s what some of the other guys listen to:

Dave Maas, managing editor of North American Hunter, claims “Fishin’ in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It’s not only his all-time favorite song; it actually makes him want to fish. Want to know a little secret about Dave? He likes fishing more than hunting. (Let’s just keep that between us, OK?)

Steve Hickoff, Realtree.com Turkey Hunting Editor, loves some Travis Tritt, especially the song, “It’s Great Day to Be Alive.” It gives him the same vibe as hunting does, makes him feel good, upbeat, content.

Brian Lovett, editor of Turkey & Turkey Hunting, is a bit more hardcore. He has a fond memory of “No Breaks” by The Offspring. He remembers playing it early one morning as he drove three hours to hunt with a friend. It represents how he can’t “put the breaks” on his turkey addiction. Brian actually wrote a magazine story about it.

Back to my boy, Dodd Clifton, public relations director for Realtree: He threw down the Grand Funk Railroad’s “I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home” as his top feel good song. He says it puts him in his place, centers him. When he hears it, he feels like fishing. Good pick, matey!

PRADCO Public Relations Manager Mike Mattly identifies with “A Country Boy Can Survive” by Hank Williams Jr. That song needs no further explanation.

Mike Lambeth, freelance outdoor communicator, rocks out to “Radar Love” by Golden Earring when he’s driving to a hunting spot. It gets him pumped (and also takes him back to the groovy ‘70s. Righteous!

What song would you pick? Send a comment back to me, and let’s build the ultimate outdoorsy playlist. Then we can groove, head bang and line dance our way through spring.