TRACY BYRD, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR
When we interviewed Tracy Byrd about his busy fall season–which included his being National Hunting and Fishing Day’s honorary chairman, and the October release of his new album _Different Things_–we couldn’t fit all of his comments into our September issue. Here’s the balance of that interview:
F&S;: Why did you agree to be the chairman for the second consecutive year?
TB: For a guy like me who loves the outdoors, it’s quite the honor to be the chairman. We know we are recruiting fewer fishermen and hunters, so I want to promote a day where everyone goes out and hunts and fishes. It’s not just about getting kids outdoors, but hopefully the kids are involved because I think that is the best time to hook someone on the outdoors.
F&S;: Did your dad introduce you to the outdoors?
TB: No, but we still fish together. Actually, it’s kind of neat because when I got to my teens my dad really got interested in fishing. I introduced him to fishing and now that he is retired he is a bass fisherman. It’s sort of a reverse thing as opposed to him taking me at a young age.
F&S;: So who got you started then?
TB: Most guys have their grandfather or father, but with me it was my grandmother who was an outdoors person from the word go. She lived way back in the woods and was into hunting and fishing as well as trapping and skinning. She started me out “perch jerking” with shiners and those old red and white corks. When we moved onto catching bass, I loved how the bass fought and from then on I was hooked.
F&S;: Are a lot country musicians outdoorsmen?
TB: Hunting and fishing is how I became friends with a lot country musicians–Andy Griggs, Blake Shelton, Gary LeVox with Rascal Flats, and my neighbor, Mark Chesnutt. We all love the outdoors, and to hunt and fish together. And, more so, we love to just sit on the bus and talk for hours about hunting and fishing.
F&S;: You have three children. Are they into the outdoors?
TB: Yeah, the boys are. It’s getting fun to take them fishing. Josh is eight and is now able to hunt and fish with me. This year we’re going to take him to (Josh) Beckett’s to see if he can get his first deer. Jared, my three-year-old, is pretty into fishing too. The other day he made these 8- to 10-foot casts for three and half hours. He wouldn’t let me help him so he didn’t catch anything. But my 11-year-old daughter Evee doesn’t want anything to do with it. She’s all girl. –Stephen Camelio