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The Hilarious Story Behind Blake Shelton’s Forearm Tattoo

Shelton's enigmatic ink has puzzled a lot of fans over the years. Here's the story behind it and what it actually is.

By Tyler McCarthy

Blake Shelton tried to highlight his recent corn crop on Instagram but all anyone is talking about is The Voice and Barmageddon star’s “corny” tattoo. 

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Shelton continued his trend of posting about the crops he seemingly grows on his ranch in Oklahoma earlier this week when he showed one of his favorite things to harvest: corn. It makes sense given that the country singer even wrote a song in 2021 about how much he loves corn on the album “Body Language.” 

“Just time for the 4th of July!!!! God I love this country,” he captioned the image of himself holding a beautiful cob of half-shucked corn over a bucket of even more.

RELATED: Gwen Stefani Just Shared Rare Footage from Her and Blake Shelton's Wedding

His celebrity friends were quick to jump in the comments with Bryce Leatherwood joking it was a “corny” post and his Barmageddon co-star Carson Daly writing, “bet the farm he deep fries that.” However, others were quick to remark on the fact that the image gives fans a great look at Shelton’s infamous deer track tattoo. 

Now, we say “deer track tattoo” because Shelton has said in the past that he thought deer tracks would be an appropriate tattoo for him. However, after years of people mistaking it for ladybugs, Shelton eventually confessed the story is much more complicated than that. 

What is Blake Shelton’s arm tattoo?

Up close photo of Blake Shelton's deer track tattoo.

As mentioned, the “God’s Country” singer envisioned getting some deer tracks done as a cuff across his forearm. Sadly, he confessed to Oprah in 2013 that neither he nor the tattoo artist he visited knew what deer tracks looked like. So Blake drew his best rendition of a deer track thinking the artist would put his creative spin on them and make them look good. Instead, he simply ran Blake’s original drawing through a copier and slapped it on his forearm. 

Realizing that the ink wasn’t quite the cool homage to Oklahoma that he’d hoped, Blake eventually added rings of barbed wire above and below it that he hoped would distract from the bad deer track drawings that are often at best mistaken for ladybugs, at worst mistaken for deer droppings.

What went wrong with Blake Shelton’s tattoo?

Blake Shelton performing on stage.

In a word… alcohol. Speaking to Oprah, Shelton confessed that he had been drinking the day he went into the tattoo parlor with the idea to do deer tracks. He also joked that the person he asked to put the ink on him may have had a drink or two as well. That would help explain why neither of them could come up with a decent or realistic deer track sketch. 

Does Blake Shelton like his tattoo?

Blake Shelton kissing Gwen Stefani on the cheek after a performance together.

Always self-aware and good-natured, Blake will be the first to poke fun at his deer track tattoo. It was even used as a joke on Barmageddon as the starting line for Keg Curling. However, he’s kept it around and only added to it rather than taken any steps to get it removed. At this point, silly jokes and bad drawing aside, it’s a part of him. 

Even if he regrets it, he’s got some admirers. In 2017, Gwen Stefani shared an image on social media showing that her kids used a magic marker to recreate Blake’s arm tattoo on themselves in what became a great moment for the whole family. So while the tattoo may not look quite like he imagined, it’s certainly gotten him some good memories over the years. 

Catch Blake on past episodes of The Voice and Barmageddon on Peacock now.