Johnny Cash’s Son Corrects the Record
“@outsiderdotcom Thank you for the mention,” Carter Cash posted. “Actually my father @johnnycash was an avid hunter. Here he is with @johnanderson back circa 1980 with a beautiful wild boar he killed in Texas. The next photo is the mount of that hog, still in my studio, which it one point was his. The buck on the wall in the last photograph he killed in the 1960s in California. He was mostly favored to small game hunting, but hunted big game also, including moose!”
We stand corrected! The impressive photos feature Cash with a massive wild boar and, on his wood-paneled wall, a mount of a beautiful antlered buck, among other animals.
In fact, Cash was a highly skilled hunter, according to a Newfoundland guide who went hunting with him in 1961.
Cash was up there hunting for moose, according to the CBC. The now 88-year-old Herman Whalen was Cash’s guide for the trip near Millertown in October 1961.
“Everyone thinks of Johnny Cash as sort of being a tremendous entertainer and a musician,” Whalen told the CBC. “However, I saw Johnny Cash as a real good hunter.”
Both Cash and Whalen were 29 at the time they met. While Cash would go on to become one of the most famous musicians of all time, Whalen remembers him as personable and down-to-earth.
“He was in the station wagon, introduced himself, and I introduced myself. And from then on I would say we were the best of friends,” Whalen recalled.
Getting That Moose
They had a meal together and then out came the guitars. The next day, it was time to go hunting. Whalen was anxious to see Cash bag a moose. But he needn’t have worried.
“About 20 minutes out of camp, he had a moose,” Whalen said.
“I found out later that he was quite happy to get the much smaller moose, ’cause he was looking for the perfect meat,” he added. “He wanted good eating meat, which is what he got. Generally, if I’m alone it would take me 10 minutes to field dress a moose. It probably took Johnny Cash an hour.”
Many Johnny Cash fans are unaware that Cash was such a good hunter, per Sportsman’s Guide. But in 1969, Gun World ran a feature about going moose hunting with Cash. And the movie Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music features footage of Cash enjoying the great outdoors with his trusty rifle, calling to and then successfully shooting a crow.
Cash’s hunting trip to Newfoundland came at a pivotal juncture in the musician’s career. It was soon after that that Cash began taking too many pills and struggling with the trappings of fame.
But the hunting trips offered Cash access to a different world from the world of jet planes and tour dates. And by all accounts, he excelled at the sport. Filmmaker Jonathan Holiff, son of Cash’s manager Saul Holiff, told the CBC that Cash really enjoyed hunting (including moose).
“Cash was an excellent hunter,” he said.