Dale Earnhardt Jr. Recalls Blasting A Pheasant Right Over His Dad’s Head: “Feathers Coming Down On Big E”

Dale Earnhardt sr.
Dale Earnhardt

I live for a good Dale Earnhardt story… and with the Daytona 500 getting underway today (hopefully), there is not better time than now.

And this one is good.

On an episode of his podcast Dale Jr. Download a couple years back, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had his friend Hank Parker Jr. on, who is a longtime childhood friend of Jr.’s and a former NASCAR driver himself. His dad, Hank Parker Sr., is a famous bass fishermen and was a good friend of Dale Sr.

Of course, they had tons of great stories to share about each other and some of their wild memories growing up, but the funniest one was about the time Jr. and his dad went on a hunting trip with Remington, which was a sponsor of the Earnhardt’s back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

Jr. wasn’t much of a hunter, unlike his father, and he thought it would make the trip better if his friend Hank Jr. could tag along, too.

Hank Jr. was much more of a hunter than Dale Jr., and says that Dale Sr. (who he refers to as Big E), made the wise decision to separate them for most of the trip:

“The funniest thing that happened that day was, we went up there to go on a pheasant hunt. And Big E thought it would be appropriate, which was very wise, to separate us two.

We had been known for getting in trouble.”

And Jr. says he wasn’t happy about it, because he had been looking forward to spending time with his friend and dad together.

As it turns out, Jr. went off with some of the Remington guys, and Hank Jr. and Dale Sr. went in a different group together:

“I was so pissed off, ‘cuz we went to two different fields. ‘Cuz dad was like, ‘This is an appearance, you’re going on this hunt. Get up and be ready.’

And I was like, ‘Hey can Hank go? It would be fun for me if Hank goes.’ I wasn’t into this stuff. I don’t like to hunt. And I certainly wasn’t getting up in the morning and going hunting. And he’s like, ‘Yeah, he can go. That’ll be great.’

And we get there, and they’re like, ‘Alright, Hank, you’re going with them. Jr. you’re going with them.’ And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute!’ He got to go with dad. I wanted to hang out with dad and Hank Jr.

And they are going to a different field. I gotta hang around these Remington guys.”

As the day went on, the two groups eventually met up again on a hill, but Hank Jr. and Dale Sr.’s group were at the top of it, while Dale Jr.’s group was closer to the bottom.

Of course, the #1 rule of hunting or doing any kind of shooting is that you never shoot anywhere near where people are standing, for obvious reasons, but like he mentioned already, Dale Jr. was not a hunter in any capacity.

Hank Jr. said for really no reason at all, while everyone was standing around talking, a pheasant just up and takes off, flying not but 10 feet over Sr.’s head:

“So we get up on this hill, and we meet Dale Jr. and them. And Dale Jr.’s at the bottom of the hill, we’re kinda standing up the hill.

And the rule is, you don’t ever shoot around another person, I mean obviously, for safety reasons.

And this bird, we were sittin’ there talkin’, and this bird jumps up and he flies right in between us, Big E goes, ‘No!'”

Probably because he already knew exactly what his son was fixin’ to do…

Right about that time, Jr. pulls the trigger and smokes this pheasant directly above his dad’s head:

“And he gets about 10 feet over his head, Dale Jr. goes ‘Pow!’ and smokes it.

And all these feathers are coming down over Big E, he’s about to get mad, Dale Jr. goes, ‘Yes! I finally got one!’ I could not stop laughing, which got me in trouble.

But I didn’t even do anything wrong, I was just laughing! He’s out there celebrating.”

I can only imagine this whole scenario in my head, and luckily nobody got hurt, but it’s freaking hilarious.

Just the thought of all these feathers falling on Sr. as you know he’s about to rip his son a new one six different ways to Sunday for doing something so amateur, but he’s so excited about it, and has no clue he did anything wrong… classic.

And Jr. agreed, laughing while he admits it’s pretty damn funny to look back on now:

“The idea of the feathers falling around dad as he’s turning beat red in anger…”

The full episode is hysterically called Let The Feather’s Fly, and there are a few clips of it on Youtube, but you can find the whole thing with this story wherever you listen to podcasts.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock