Editor’s Note: Craig Morgan has been hunting for 35 years, has been on the Mossy Oak Pro Staff for the last 4 years, hosts “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” on the Outdoor Channel and is one of the nation’s top country-music song writers and recording artists. This week we’ll take a closer look at this man who wears the Mossy Oak brand.
My big break in the country-music business happened when I got my record deal from Atlantic Records. After being with Atlantic Records for about 2-1/2 years, the record that really catapulted my career was “Almost Home.”
I'm often asked, “Craig, how many days are you on the road traveling, doing a TV show and your concerts?” I'm on the road about 250 days per year. Also, I'm often asked, “How long have you been working with Mossy Oak?” I was friends with Toxey Haas, the founder of Mossy Oak, for several years before I became part of their Pro Staff. Toxey and I had met several years earlier. At this time, I had a relationship with another camo company. Toxey and I talked about that. Toxey didn’t say anything bad about the company I was working with, or anything I was doing for that company. But he left the door open for me to become a part of Mossy Oak. Toxey said, “If your situation ever changes, and you'd like to work with us at Mossy Oak, just let me know.”
When I started my TV show, “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors,” I remembered Toxey. I went to see him about the possibility of working with Mossy Oak, and Mossy Oak sponsoring my TV show. I said, “Toxey I’d like for you to sponsor my TV show. I’d like to be a part of Mossy Oak, and I’d like to have you, your company and all the friends I've met at Mossy Oak to be a part of my life.” I really love what Toxey and the Mossy Oak family represent – conservation, family core values and the outdoor way of life. I’ve found that we share many of the same morals, values and ethics that are important to us. I don’t consider Mossy Oak just sponsors of my TV show. They're sponsors of my lifestyle, and I want to be a sponsor of the Mossy Oak lifestyle. My TV show “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” is not just a TV show. It’s more of a lifestyle show. The show is about how I integrate my lifestyle as a country music song writer and singer, who travels all over the country, and still has time to hunt and fish.
About 6 or 7 years ago, I was a guest on a good number of outdoor TV shows, and I was a pro staffer for a lot of outdoor companies. Because hunting and the outdoors always have been a major force in my life, one of the producers for one of the TV shows I was on told me I should consider doing my own TV show. Once my music career really had gotten in high gear, I felt like the TV show would be a good way to promote my music and the outdoors. I was already traveling from 180 to 200 days per year with my music career. When I told my wife Karen that I was considering producing a television show, I also explained it wouldn’t be that much more traveling than I was already doing. She has always been super-supportive. She knew that I was getting up early in the mornings before daylight and going on hunts. I’d come back in time to shower, eat and play concerts at night. So, the only major difference would be that we’d be filming those early-morning hunts and those evening concerts. However, we did add another 30 to 50 days on the road for hunting above my normal touring schedule.
Because I had met so many people at my music concerts from all over the country, I had made a lot of outdoor friends long before I had the TV show. Once I had set up my touring schedule, I would call a friend in the city where we were going to do a show and set up a hunt. For instance, I could call a friend in Columbus, Ohio, and say, “I'll be doing a show in Columbus on November 30th. Do you have a place I could go hunting before my show?” Those folks would find me a place to go hunting.
During hunting season, I try to hunt before every show. I have some band members who also hunt with me. When I first put my band together, a few of them didn’t hunt. But when they heard me talking about how much fun it was, and how much I enjoyed it, they started hunting too. We’ve had all of our band members on our TV show and also brought in members of other bands to go hunting with us. In the process of touring, band members from other country artists will ask me questions about hunting. Sooner or later, they end up going hunting with us too. For me, this is one of the coolest things that’s happened. One of the guitar players from Carrie Underwood’s band never had hunted until I introduced him to the sport. Now, he has hunting pictures, and he talks about hunting all the time on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. So, we've been able to share our love of hunting with quite a few musicians and recording artists through our TV show.
To learn more about Craig Morgan and his concerts and to see the photos and videos of him in concert, his touring schedule, and him hunting, go to his webpage at www.craigmorgan.com or http://outdoorchannel.com/craig-morgans-all-access-outdoors. Also, you can check out his Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/CraigMorganAllAccessOutdoors or https://www.facebook.com/craigmorganmusic or go to Twitter at https://twitter.com/cmorganmusic.