Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SWVA Today newspaper article

Here is the article Nate Hubbard wrote about me. I'm pleased with the article and I think that Nate did a great job! I hope I don't come across like I don't like country people because I'm a country boy myself. I just want people to know that those are not the only people who hunt. Also, I don't think of myself as a rock star, those were Nate's words lol! I'm grateful to Nate for giving me a chance to talk about hunting and a chance to help me get the word out there that the outdoors are for everyone!

From bass to bow
Mark Sage
Wytheville Enterprise: News > Bland County Messenger: News >
Wed Aug 27, 2008 - 10:48 AM


Tommy Nunley was a rock star.
Now he’s often alone in the woods.
And he couldn’t be happier.
Nunley, a Hollybrook native and 1992 Bland High School graduate, grew up hunting and getting outdoors before embarking on his music career as the bass player for popular local band Drivn.
While living the “rock star lifestyle,” Nunley said he shunned his roots as much as possible.
“I just got away from my beginnings,” he said. “I never was anti-hunting, but I kind of let myself buy into the stereotypes of a hunter.”
You know, those beer-swigging, white country boys piling in pickup trucks to go shoot up the woods.
Nunley, though, has now made it his mission to correct those stereotypes and get people to share in what has become a life-changing hobby for him.
The current Wytheville resident said there wasn’t a single moment or transformative event that brought him back to the woods.
“It was actually a gradual process,” he said.
As he started to realize a few years ago that hitting the clubs wasn’t as fulfilling as it once was, Nunley said he found himself in the outdoors more and more, initially doing activities like hiking and camping.
“The more I did those things, I really enjoyed it and I was kind of looking for more ways to spend time outdoors,” Nunley explained.
Suddenly hunting didn’t sound so beneath him anymore.
Nunley went out small game hunting and the experience immediately captivated him in a way that never happened when he glumly traipsed through the woods on hunting trips as a kid.
“I didn’t think it was ever going to be my thing,” Nunley said about hunting. “It kind of just got me hooked.”
Last October, Nunley finally quit the band for good (although he said he remains good friends with its current members) and began heading to the woods at every chance he could find – after work, on weekends, even taking all his vacation time for hunting trips.
Then last spring, Nunley applied to join the pro staff of Mossy Oak, a camouflage gear company.
The former hunting skeptic is now an ambassador for the Mississippi-based company, appearing at local outdoor shows such as the Virginia Outdoor Sportsmen’s Classic in Salem last weekend to promote gear and espouse the benefits of getting outside.
Nunley also blogs about his love for hunting at and said he hopes to develop a separate Web site in the future that will be dedicated entirely to debunking negative stereotypes and helping people get started in the sport.
In the meantime, he said he welcomes any questions about hunting at
Although his day job remains working for J.J. Haines and Co., a wholesale flooring company in Wytheville, the ex-rock star said he’d love to be able to turn his Mossy Oak Pro Staff position into a full-time gig.
In addition to continuing to write online, Nunley said he’s also interested in developing a hunting television show as a long-term goal.
“It’s my meditation I guess,” Nunley said about being out in the woods. “I love being out there. I love watching nature unfold in front of you. You’re sitting there wearing camouflage and you kind of just become part of it.”
While Nunley said he mostly enjoys just getting outside, he added that hunting provides an extra challenge to the experience.
He said he prefers to hunt with a compound bow, which usually requires the hunter to get within 20 to 40 yards of an animal before a shot can be made.
“To get that close to a wild animal is extremely hard,” he said. “That’s the real challenge of it.”
Nunley added that he’s reconnected with some of his old friends through getting back into hunting and has made plenty of new ones as well.
He said he’s especially enjoyed sharing the experience with his dad, Harry, who also had gotten away from the activity.
Whatever Nunley kills he eats himself or donates to a program called Hunters for the Hungry as he said he finds it “disgraceful” not to use the meat.
Being ethical and still enjoying the sporting aspect of hunting actually go hand-in-hand, Nunley said.
“You don’t ever want to just wound an animal and let it run off,” he said, explaining that you want to respect the animal and at the same time not miss out on a prize catch. “It’s very important to me that you honor that animal by making it a good shot.”
Now that Nunley spends his weekends in the woods instead of on stage, he said he can’t imagine a better place to be.
“I think people would be a lot better off if they got back in touch with where they come from and the outdoors,” he said. “It just kind of puts you in your place in the world.”
Nate Hubbard can be reached at 228-6611 or

No comments: