Nature and Hunting Lured Metallica’s James Hetfield to Colorado
Do you like the hustle, bustle and opportunity of big cities, or the laid-back, nature-based lifestyle of rural America? Although some hybrids tip-toe between soil and pavement, Metallica’s James Hetfield pledged his allegiance to nature recently by moving to Vail, Colorado.
In a two-hour podcast with comedian and radio-show host Joe Rogan, Metallica’s lead singer said he moved for multiple reasons.
One, his wife grew up in Vail. Two, the area offers lots of outdoor activities like rafting, paddle boarding and snowmobiling. Three, Colorado offers endless hunting opportunities. And, four, he was tired of the Bay Area’s “elitist” attitude and liked Vail’s peaceful atmosphere.
“Moving from California to Colorado was a great thing for me,” Hetfield told Rogan. “It’s quiet. There’s no traffic. I feel a part of nature there.”
And then Hetfield explained his motives for moving, which surely made hunters and most outdoor enthusiasts proud.
“I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there, a little bit,” Hetfield told Rogan. “They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it’s fine if you’re diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn’t fly in Marin County. My form of eating organic doesn’t vibe with theirs.”
The 53-year-old singer is happy he moved, and is grateful Coloradans don’t posture or play games. He said they’re natural and “less obsessed with stopping what you’re doing and more enjoying what they’re doing.”
That attitude makes Hetfield feel at home, because he has the freedom to do what he loves most.
“Whether it’s planting my own vegetables, having my own beehives, getting my own honey, or harvesting my own meat on the ranch, that’s what I love doing,” Hetfield said. “I love sustaining my family with organic [ingredients] as much as possible.”
If you fast-forward in the podcast to about 1 hour and 38 minutes — Warning: Expect some crude language — Hetfield discusses how hunting became part of his life, why he enjoys it, and how archery became a pastime.
He said he learned about hunting as a child, and recalls his father skinning deer in the garage. He also shot skeet as a youngster, and started his hunting journey after being invited to hunt ducks with his buddy. He later moved on to bigger creatures as his hunting experience advanced.
Hetfield visits the woods a few times each year to hunt elk, deer and turkeys. He said he likes venison, but could eat elk nonstop, and usually hunts with a gun.
“I go back and forth with the bow,” Hetfield told Rogan. “I’m a meat hunter, and that’s the way to do it. I have gone bowhunting and taken a nice elk with it, but I just like pulling it, and target practice and stuff.”
Hetfield admits missing shots with his bow and arrow, and said his main goal is to get the animal down.
Whether he chooses a bow or firearm, we’re happy Hetfield hunts. Further, although we can assume this heavy-metal musician explores nature to escape his loud and busy lifestyle, we also assume he might have deeper reasons to get outdoors.
Studies such as those in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” or “Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine” find that nature has positive effects on people. It provides measurable mental-health benefits and might reduce the risk of stress, anxiety and depression. In other words, a bowhunt a day can keep the doctor away!