If you’re a fan of professional golf, you’ve probably heard the name Boo Weekley, the 33-year-old professional golfer from Florida who’s been garnering a lot of media attention since winning his first PGA tour victory at the Verizon Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 2007.
And while his golf game has been the primary driving force behind his recent success, equally appealing to the media and the general public has been Weekley’s candid approach to the game and his unapologetic love of hunting and the outdoors.
We caught up with Weekley—who’s an NAHC member—shortly before this issue was going to press to talk about his love of hunting, and his relationship with Mossy Oak Camouflage.
NAH: How long have you been hunting?
Weekley: For as long as I’ve been able to hold a gun in my hands. I had a Red Ryder BB gun when I was about 5-6 years old and that’s really when I started hunting—after I started shooting that BB gun.
NAH: Who introduced you to hunting?
Weekley: My dad.
NAH: What is it that you like about hunting?
Weekley: Just being outdoors, being able to be outside and being able to see and watch the animals.
NAH: What was the first game animal that you ever killed?
Weekley: A squirrel. I remember my first squirrel because the reason my dad got me that Red Ryder BB gun was because he said I couldn’t kill a squirrel with it. But after about 10-12 shots, it finally fell out of the tree. After it hit the ground, I picked that squirrel up and ran straight to the house to show all my family what I had done. It was awesome!
NAH: How many days a year would you say that you hunt?
Weekley: Well, I used to hunt about 3-4 months out of the year. But now with this job that I do of playing professional golf, I might now only get to hunt maybe 3 weeks a year.
NAH: Do your wife and son hunt?
Weekley: Yes, sir. In fact, after this here interview, we’re all fixin’ to go hog hunting near where we live down here in Florida.
NAH: What’s it like for you to watch your son in the woods as he learns to hunt?
Weekley: It’s pretty exciting. I mean, he ain’t very quiet; he likes to make a lot of racket in the woods. He turned 6 years old in August so he likes to make a little racket in the woods by throwing sticks around, hollering and hooting, you know. But he’s still just learning and that’s the only way for him to learn is by getting him out there in the woods.
NAH: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you in the woods while hunting?
Weekley: Well, my dad shot a rattlesnake off the side of my leg once. I walked up on it and I didn’t hear it, but my dad did. He turned around and said, “Son, don’t move. I’m fixing to turn around and shoot something.” He didn’t tell me what he was doing, he just turned around and shot.
NAH: Did you get bitten?
Weekley: No, sir, I didn’t get bitten, but after my dad shot I had to change my britches. I think I was about 9 years old at the time.
NAH: Do you hunt with a gun or bow, or both?
Weekley: I mainly hunt with a gun. Bowhunting’s exciting, but I don’t get to do it that often.
NAH: Treestands or ground blinds?
Weekley: Both. I do a lot of hunting from both.
NAH: Tell us about your relationship with Mossy Oak.
Weekley: Well, I think it was my first year on Tour in 2002, in Florida. They came down there and I just happened to run into them and meet them. And you know, I was a big fan of their clothing company and it just happened at the time that they were looking to get involved in professional golf. They’re big golf nuts and I’m a big hunting nut so it kind of matched out pretty well.
I have a charity event that they help me with every year called Camp Compass. It’s for inner city kids who don’t have an opportunity to go hunting or fishing. And what they do as part of Camp Compass is that the kids have to make good grades in school and they have to maintain their progress through school—you know, no getting into trouble. And if they do well then they earn their way to hunting trips.
NAH: What’s more exciting: Sinking a chip shot to win your first PGA championship or shooting a big white-tailed buck?
Weekley: I’d have to say making the chip shot.
NAH: Do you ever get an opportunity to hunt or fish while on Tour?
Weekley: Yeah, they have a few places where we can bird hunt, but that’s about it, really. We don’t get to do much deer hunting while on Tour, but we do get to do a lot of bird hunting and some fishing, too.
NAH: A lot of hunters have once-in-a-lifetime dream hunts that they aspire to do someday. What’s yours?
Weekley: Well, I think I’m going to get to do mine this fall. It won’t be a dream hunt for me, really, but I’m taking my wife to Texas this fall and I’m going to let her shoot a big, old buck. And whenever my son gets old enough, I’m going to take him to Texas and let him shoot a big, old buck. That to me would be awesome.