Antlers, Gills and Pigskin
With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, we wanted to spotlight some NFL players who are also outdoorsmen. We rounded up a list of 10 former and current players who are avid hunters and fishermen. We have to wonder, when their season is over, do they watch the big game or head out to their treestand or ice shack?
When Adam Vinatieri isn’t working as a placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts, he’s in the field hunting and fishing. In a 2005 interview with Field and Stream Vinatieri said, “Besides football and my family, hunting and the outdoors are my number one passion.” Vinatieri has an impressive trophy room in his Indiana home filled with game animals he’s hunted throughout his life.
This Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker loves hunting and fishing. Cole hosts a hunting program, “Blitz TV,” in which he and other hunters go after big game. Some of Cole’s notable hunts and fishing trophies include a massive bear he bow hunted in Canada and a 500-pound bull shark he caught off the coast of Florida.
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is well-known for being an avid hunter. When he’s not taking down quarterbacks, this six-foot-six, 260-pound outdoorsman is out hunting. According to his website, he’s killed a 200-pound wild boar with only a hunting knife and speared an elk and bison. In a YouTube video, Allen says he ate the heart of the bison for strength. Allen also has a hunting television show, “Relentless Pursuit.”
Brett Favre, “The Gunslinger,” has been an avid deer and bird hunter for most of his life. Since his retirement from the NFL, pictures of Favre hunting have popped up on the web. Fun fact: His 1993 Pro Line portrait card for the Green Bay Packers featured him in a hunting outfit in the woods with a deer right behind him.
Pittsburg Steelers All-Pro lineman Brett Kiesel bears a striking resemblance to a mountain man. Part of that’s due to his massive beard and grizzly-man appearance, but mostly from his lifelong experience as a hunter. In an interview with DeerandDeerHunting.org, Kiesel talked about learning how to bow hunt as a child in the mountains of northern Wyoming, and pursuing his passion during the NFL season.
Jason Babin is one of the NFL’s most active hunters. The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end learned how to shoot a gun and hunt with a bow and arrow at the age of seven. Babin teaches his kids how to hunt, and reportedly provides meat for his family with animals he’s hunted. He also occasionally hunts with Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Trent Cole.
This New York Giants defensive end is all about bow hunting. In an interview with Outdoor Life, Tuck talked about how he enjoys the challenge of bow hunting over shooting a gun. He also spoke about his big game bow hunting trip to Africa a few years ago, where he shot a hartebeest, zebra, wildebeest, hyena and a water buffalo with a bow and arrow.
Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas co-hosts “Outdoors Ohio With D’Acey Egan and Joe Thomas,” an Ohio cable-television program for outdoorsman. How much does he love hunting and fishing? Well, he turned down the NFL’s invitation to Radio City Music Hall for the 2007 draft weekend because he wanted to be fishing on his boat with friends instead. Enough said.
San Francisco 49ers number two quarterback Colt McCoy likes to hunt and fish in his home state of Texas. His favorite fishing destination is Devil’s River on Texas’s Lake Amistead, which happens to be one of the best places for kayak fishing in the US.
Former NFL lineback Brian Urlacher is no stranger to hunting. He was featured in a January 2006 article in Sports Illustrated that profiled him at the Coon Creek Hunting Club in Illinois where he hunted pheasants.