Cowboy Cerrone: Cowboy, Hunter, Friend: A man of many words talks about ranching, hunting, and much more.
Most people know Cowboy Cerrone as an MMA fighter in the UFC. He’s pulled together an excellent career, amassing 36 wins, 16 losses, and two national championships. The guy can fight. But you all already knew that about him. It’s the cowboying, hunting and other things that are lesser known. So, these are the things we asked him about during a recent sit down. He answered in true Cowboy fashion.
JH: How did you get into hunting?
Cowboy Cerrone: My dad introduced me when I was a kid. Just like my son. He’s three years old, and he bagged his first turkey last year, which is cool. My kids aren’t even going to know what television and video games are.
JH: How are you passing on the outdoors to your kid?
CC: We’ve got him a Henry single shot .22, which is all he can hold at this point. We have more guns for when he’s ready to learn. But he must know gun safety, hunter safety, and everything surrounding firearms. From bell to bell, you must be well-versed. But whether he wants that [or not] is on him.
JH: What does hunting with family and friends mean to you?
CC: Hunting with friends and family — that’s what I love. I love the group [aspect] and hanging out with pals. Sitting around the fire after hiking all day. Stories of the hunt are way more fun than the hunt itself. The experience and journey of the hunt is more than the actual hunt itself.
JH: Do you prefer to hunt on your own, or with others?
CC: My favorite thing is to bring a group of us packing in on horses hunting deer. Or, taking first-time hunters elk hunting who have never done it. They get to experience a new thing in a new way. I’ll bring guys on duck hunts who have never even seen or experienced it. They’re like, “Man, this is fun.” Then, they get stoked and get into it.
JH: What are your preferred outdoor hunting adventures?
CC: My absolute favorite is packing in on horses. Loading the scabbards up, putting rifles in there, and getting ready to go is the best part. Getting the boys rounded up and taking off is my favorite part. But my favorite hunt is chasing pheasants with dogs.
JH: How does being on the ranch and hunting tie in together?
CC: To me, I always wanted a ranch where I could shoot my guns, ride horses, ride dirt bikes, and build a life and family on. I slowly started chipping away at that. Now, every time I’m gone, I just want to get back to the ranch. To me, showing my kids that way of life, there’s nothing more I could ask for. Cities and craziness? No, I’d rather be at the ranch.
JH: What’s your advice to non-hunters?
CC: Hunting is a different animal. You must be willing to go out there, kill, and eat what you kill. Rather than other people killing it, wrapping it, and putting it in a grocery store. Some people are like, “How can you take a life?” I’m like, “What do you think you’re doing by going to Walmart and buying a brisket?” At least [hunting] is a more humane way. But trying to convince the outer ring is a battle I don’t know will ever be won. But I do take people duck and turkey hunting, and they’ll really enjoy it. Then, we come back, and I show them how to dress the birds. We cook and eat them that night. You see the wheels turning. We’re not just hunting for sport. We eat it.
JH: What’s it like talking hunting to a vegan?
CC: I get in conversations with vegans all the time. I talk about [whether] they understand how much animal-killing, insect-killing pesticides they put over their tofu fields. They eradicate the animals and insects in those areas to grow that tofu. Those guys are mass murdering. You know what I mean? It’s funny when you talk to them. They’re like, oh, I didn’t know that. I’m like, of course you didn’t know that.
JH: What’s the difference between wild meat and ag-raised meat?
CC: I try to explain it like [this]: The cattle, buffalo, and animals we raise on the ranch, I know exactly what they are eating. There are no hormones or unnecessary things injected into these animals. It’s better than the taco meat you buy, or what you get from the grocery store. Have you seen what a feed lot looks like? Have you seen how they pile cows, goats, or chickens on top of each other? You want to talk about humane? Hunt for your own food in the wild. They’re eating, grazing, and living life. Then, you hit them with a bullet and end their life immediately. There’s no suffering. There’s no walking down the slaughterhouse. It’s a totally different reality.
JH: What are your philosophical thoughts on being a cowboy?
CC: I don’t think you’re born a cowboy. I think you become one through experiences and living the life. I just put myself in position to be outdoors working the ranch and riding horses. It’s something I love. It’s a lot more than what people see on television. It ain’t just listening to country music, driving a truck, and riding a horse every now and then. It has a lot more to do with how you live your life.
JH: What are your philosophical thoughts on being a hunter?
CC: I thoroughly enjoy hunting. I’m primarily a turkey and bird hunter. I enjoy big game, such as elk. But I enjoy hunting. I think it’s awesome to raise and kill your own food. We do that at our ranch a lot with our own buffalo, cattle, pigs, and turkeys. So, to me, using the whole animal to feed your family, and knowing where it comes from, is cool.
JH: What does it mean to be a good friend?
CC: That’s a no brainer. I only have about five. Those are the people I can call any time of the night and say hey, I need something. And whatever I need, they’ll be there. To me, that’s what it is to be a good friend. No matter what, if they’re up, down, or just need help, you’re there for them. You’re there to support them like they support you. It’s a give-and-take kind of thing, not just one-sided.
JH: You’ve had a great fighting career in the UFC. What does the future hold?
CC: I’m grateful to have the platform, and everything the UFC has done for me. I’m trying to transition that into an even bigger career. Now, I’m going to be a movie star.
JH: Why do you hunt with a Henry?
CC: That’s the easiest question I’ve had all day. No. 1, because they’re made in America or not made at all. Plus, these [things] are reliable. Whether shooting or hunting, I’ve never once had one fail or misfire. They shoot true and it’s crazy how smooth they shoot.
Obviously, Cowboy Cerrone doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk, too. Watch this video to learn more about Cowboy Cerrone, and what he stands for.
Great Lever Guns for the Woods and Ranch
All things considered, it’s obvious that there are different needs and requirements. The good news? Lever guns satisfy virtually all of these. Fortunately, Henry Repeating Arms offers numerous lever-action rifles that exceed standards.
Henry Big Boy X Model
At the forefront is the Big Boy X Model. It’s perfect for shooting game from 100 yards and in. It’s also an excellent option for keeping things secure on the ranch. It holds seven rounds, and comes chambered in .357 Mag/.38 Spl, .44 Mag/.44Spl, or .45 Colt.
Henry Big Boy All-Weather Side Gate
Another fine option is the Big Boy All-Weather Side Gate. It’s a sleek gun that’s incredibly durable, reliable, and smooth. It’s an excellent ranch and deer hunting rifle. It holds 10 rounds and comes chambered in .357 Mag/.38 Spl, .44 Mag/.44Spl, or .45 Colt.
Henry Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate
Lastly, if you want a great lever gun that’s practical, serves as both a ranch and deer rifle, and looks incredibly slick, the Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate might just be for you. It looks incredible and shoots like a dream. It holds 10 rounds, and comes chambered in .357 Mag/.38 Spcl, .44 Mag/.44 Spl, or .45 Colt.