Michael Harter: All-American Outdoorsman

Talented Country Singer Hunts, Fishes And Camps
If you don’t know his name yet, you know his song “Holy Cowgirl.” Country music singer and songwriter Michael Harter just released his first solo EP titled Ride On through LMV Nashville/
Arizona Records. Previously, he performed with his siblings in a country music trio known as the The Harters. Born and raised in Tempe, Ariz., he is as comfortable camping, hunting and fishing in the wild country as he is in the studio making great country music. I had a chance to visit with him for this story and find out a little about Michael Harter the sportsman.

FRANK JARDIM How did you get involved in the great American outdoor pursuits of camping, hunting and fishing?

MICHAEL HARTER I got involved at a very young age. My Dad made sure of it – he was always taking us, my siblings and I, into the woods, deserts and lakes of Arizona where I grew up. I started camping and fishing by the time I could walk, and as soon as my hunter’s safety course was completed at the age of 9, I was hunting.

FJ What game do you enjoy hunting?

MH I think deer hunting has become my favorite, particularly since I moved to Tennessee. In Arizona, every deer hunt I went on involved lots of long days hiking and glassing mountainsides. I had never been in a tree stand until I moved here, and I love it! I think it’s the quietness of the woods and the solitude I enjoy so much. The tree stand is now a place where I can gather my thoughts and watch wildlife. My favorite hunt is one I take every year just outside Paducah, Ky. My good friend Jimmy O’ Daniel, with O’ Daniel Outfitters, always knows what stand to put me in on his 1,000-plus-acre farm. I have been successful every trip. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m not a bad shot with my Weatherby 7mm Mag either!

FJ What are your must-have pieces of equipment when you go afield?

MH My Wolverine Gore-Tex Scent-Lok boots are a must, as well as my Streamlight flashlight, and, believe it or not, my Energizer headlight. For deer, my Tinks No. 69 Doe Urine lure, my side arm Kimber .45 1911(also my concealed carry), and my best friend, a Weatherby 7mm Mag. Oh, and I have to be head to toe in Realtree and/or Mossy Oak patterns.

FJ Are you a trophy hunter or a meat hunter?

MH Both, more for meat these days though. I have enough trophies hanging at my cabin in Arizona to freak most people out! Whitetail deer, mule deer, horned sheep, buffalo, elk and nilgai (the largest Asian antelope). I’m not opposed to adding to my trophy collection if the right animal presents itself. I guess my standards are set pretty high. It’s all about those venison burgers, baby!

FJ They are delicious. What was your first hunting trip like?

MH I think my first hunting trip was a dove hunt with my dad. I wasn’t old enough to carry a shotgun, so I packed my Daisy air rifle. Obviously, I couldn’t shoot dove from the air with it, but every now and then one would land and it was game on!

FJ What was the most memorable hunting trip of your youth and your adulthood?

MH Geez … that’s like asking me to pick my favorite song I’ve written. I love ’em all!

FJ If you could travel anywhere and hunt any game on earth, what would your dream hunt be like? You seem like a guy who might hunt wild boar in Africa with only a chipped flint knife. Am I right?

MH Ha ha ha! I have hunted wild boar, only no flint knife and it was from the front of an air boat on the King Ranch in Texas with my AR-15. I would absolutely love a hunt in Africa. I could add an exotic or two to my trophies. If nothing else, I’d just like to see it, from the safety of a very large vehicle with a very experienced guide, of course.

FJ In that case I will make arrangements for you with my man in Nairobi and have a flint knife chipped to your specification. In the meantime, I hope you will please keep the great songs coming. WSJ

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