Hunting and country music are undeniably linked. I get it. A lot of country music comes from the same farm country in the South and Midwest where many Americans hunt. But as many more new hunters are living in big cities and their suburbs, the traditional “Country Boy Can Survive” playlists don’t exactly resonate with all of us.I live in Queens, New York and my music choices are influenced by where I live and where I grew up.
So when it comes to my hunting season, there’s a certain level of energy that must be reached and maintained. No slow jams. No easy listening. Just music created to get you excited, hyped up, and ready to tackle your hunt. That’s why I curated the Ultimate Hunting Playlist: 52 songs designed to psych you up for your hunt. Listen now on Apple Music or Spotify as you read. (Note: This is an explicit playlist. Youth hunter supervision is advised.)
Wu-Tang Is for the Hunters
One of my first experiences bonding with a fellow hunter wasn’t through hunting.(Go figure.) It was through our shared love of Shaolin’s finest, the Wu-Tang Clan. Over the last few years, it’s been amazing to find how many folks in the hunting community love this hip-hop group from New York City. So this first block of songs from the playlist is an homage to the Killer Bees. You’ll recognize some of these tracks immediately.
- Protect Ya Neck – Wu-Tang Clan
- Da Mystery of Chessboxin’ – Wu-Tang Clan
- Shadowboxin’ – GZA feat. Method Man
- Da Rockwilder – Method Man & Redman
- Triumph – Wu-Tang Clan
- Lesson Learn’d – Wu-Tang Clan
- Criminology – Raekwon feat. Ghostface Killah
- Bring The Pain – Method Man
- Guillotine – Raekwon feat. Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, & GZA
- Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit – Wu-Tang Clan
- Shame On A N**** – Wu-Tang Clan
- Got Your Money – Ol’ Dirty Bastard feat. Kelis
- Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off) – Wu-Tang Clan
Gonna’ Make You Sweat
In a past life, I was quite the fitness junkie. I even made an appearance in an infomercial for a popular workout video. These next tracks are from playlists that helped me power through some workouts and assisted in my setting a new PR at the squat rack. Now how is this useful to your hunting experience? Well, imagine you’ve just arrowed an elk like Cam Hanes and now you’ve got to pack it out. If you don’t have quite that mental fortitude, any of the following in this block of tracks can supply motivation.
- Bodies – Drowning Pool
- I Stand Alone – Godsmack
- Pain For Pleasure – Sum 41
- Chop Suey! – System of a Down
- Fuel – Metallica
- Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
- Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
- My Hero – Foo Fighters
- Killing In the Name – Rage Against the Machine
- Still Waiting – Sum 41
- Down with the Sickness – Disturbed
- Breaking the Habit – LINKIN PARK
This next block of tracks is for the true hip-hop heads. Since I’m from NYC, the birthplace of hip-hop, I had to hook you guys up with some bangers. These songs are an awesome addition to any hunting camp. Play any song from this portion of the playlist. And if the hunter next to you isn’t bopping his head to the beat, don’t invite him back. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
- Biggie/Tupac Freestyle – The Notorious B.I.G. & 2Pac feat. DJ Mister Cee
- Ima Boss – Meek Mill feat. Rick Ross
- Lose Yourself – Eminem
- ‘Till I Collapse – Eminem feat. Nate Dogg
- Ruff Ryders’ Anthem – DMX
- Bring Em Out – T.I.
- Act A Fool – Ludacris
- I’m Bad – LL Cool J
- Stronger – Kanye West
- Notorious Thugs – The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
- Still D.R.E. – Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg
- Made You Look – Nas
- Get Back – Ludacris
- Got It Twisted – Mobb Deep
- Walk This Way – Run-DMC feat. Aerosmith
- Beats to the Rhyme – Run-DMC
- Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J
80’s Movie Montage
The last set of songs to grace this playlist were included to make you feel a little nostalgic. If you don’t feel it, then you’re probably too young. But if you can appreciate a good training montage from an old 80’s movie, then this is for you.
Still not sold? Let me paint you a picture. Imagine you’re somewhere in the Midwest. You live on a 200-acre property with your grandparents, who raised you. But alas, there’s trouble brewing in town. Grandma and Gramps are behind on their mortgage payments. The mayor and the game warden are conspiring to get their hands on that property you’ve hunted all your life. You and your ragtag yet loveable group of hunting buddies are all out of ideas to get the money. But there’s one hope: The town is holding its annual 3D archery shoot and the cash prize just happens to be the exact amount you need to pay off the farm. The only problem? You’ve never shot a bow. You’ve got two days until the shoot.
Cue the inspiring training montage of you becoming an ace archer—set to this playlist. Reprise your favorite song for the nailbiter finale: when you find out the mayor recruited ringer John Dudley to ensure no one else can win the prize money. (I’m fairly certain I just wrote the screenplay for the next Oscar-winner. Don’t steal my idea.)
- Break the Ice – John Farnam, from “RAD”
- No Easy Way Out – Robert Tepper, from “Rocky IV”
- Hearts on Fire – John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, from “Rocky IV”
- The Touch – from the animated film “Transformers: The Movie”
- You’re the Best – Joe Esposito, from “The Karate Kid”
- Hold Out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler, from “Footloose”
- We Are Not Alone – Karla Devito, from “The Breakfast Club”/li>
- Never – from “Footloose”
- Twist Of Fate – Olivia Newton John, from “Two of a Kind”
- Invincible – from “The Legend of Billie Jean”
I highly recommend you listen to this entire playlist (available on Apple Music and Spotify) in your truck, with the windows and volume all the way up. Alone or with passengers, each track will get you amped for your hunt. You’re welcome.