(CNN) - Before taking off on a hunting trip with Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, an influential figure and highly sought-after endorsement in the state with the nation's first caucuses, Texas Gov. Rick Perry talked about his "love affair" with guns.
"As long as I've got memory, I've had something to hunt with," Perry said Saturday. "It was a long love affair with a boy and his gun that turned into a man and his gun, and then it turned into a man and his son and his daughter and their guns."
The folksy governor, while speaking with reporters near the hunting grounds, used the moment to defend gun rights and the Second Amendment, an issue he's long advocated.
"I think one of the great America traditions is taking your family to go hunting," Perry said.
King hosted his annual Col. Bud Day Pheasant Hunt at the 900-acre Loess Hills Hunting Preserve in Iowa. Former Pennsylvania senator and White House hopeful Rick Santorum will join the congressman for a hunt Sunday morning.
While King didn't signal who he'll back for GOP nomination, he praised the sport of hunting for creating "instantaneous bonds" and said that he and Perry had good discussions earlier Saturday.
"I'm conflicted on all of this because I have so much respect for all the candidates," King said. "I agree with what I've heard here this morning and we had a good in-depth conversation a couple weeks ago."
Perry also weighed in on the fiery exchange on immigration he had with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Romney attacked Perry for governing a state that's seen a sharp increase in the number of illegal immigrants since he took office, but Perry hit back claiming Romney had hired undocumented workers on his property.
"Mitt stands back and make statements about criticizing Texas for how they've had to deal with an issue that the federal government and people like himself are the problem," Perry said. "It was a passionate back and forth."
–CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.
How proud he must be. Shooting living things for sport. And he's taught another generation to do this. So much for his Christian roots of loving all of God's creatures.
Single digit in the polls and 15 millions in the bank is he need the hunting now
Must be a "SPECIAL" hunt, because Iowa's Pheasant Season doesn't open until next Saturday...
Another great American tradition is not lying all the time (like Perry does about his lousy fiscal record).
It's what they call deeeeep thinking in Texas...... I am happy for ol' Rick and his love of guns, now if it carried over to people, he might have something going for him. Perhaps, he could have volenteer to be the marksman at one of the executions that don't bother him at all.
Is that subtext, because Perry sounded like he outed himself :P
"It was a long love affair with a boy and his gun that turned into a man and his gun, and then it turned into a man and his son and his daughter and their guns."
Sorry, I just have a hard time beliving Perry knows which end is the business end of a gun.
Hunting on a Sunday is not something Christians do.
Ya' know. Devout Christian and gun lover do not belong in the same sentence together.
Rick Perry say he has a love affair with GUN , This man Is a Nut case. Don't get me wrong I have a gun but I don't say I have a love affair with It.
This guy makes W look smart.
Hard to believe as a lifelong Texan that anyone outside our state would take Perry seriously on any issue. Just a professional politician that has not done one thing in Texas to be proud of. I mean nothing. Look at our State statistics where we rank close to dead last in every category that would show he cares about anyone other than himself.
If you're hungry, hunting is OK. Since Perry is a coyote shooter, I think he and his family should have eaten it.
THE GOP Has the perfect Scam!!!
The Repubs keep pulling the same scam and the American people keep falling for it. They implement their "trickle down' economic policies, it makes the rich richer and then the economy starts to sink after the rich take all they can. Once the economy starts to sink, the American people look for change and vote for the Dems. The Dems get into power and the trickle down effect continues to hurt the average American. Then during this time, the GOP blames the Dems for bad economic polices. Perfect!! Break a window, and blame the guy who comes and fixes it.
Yes, Perry is on the hunt for credibility. His has been serverely damaged by numerous gaffes and unpopular statements and positions. The problem is, he has no ammunition except special interest money.
Its obvious he loves guns, killing and death. All the things that make a good christian. Lets not forget the thousands who die from lack of healthcare. Jesus would be so pleased to know christians want innocent men,woman and children to die from war,or no healthcare.
I don't care to be honest. The only thing I care is that you keep your guns out of my face. If I see one, I'm taking you to court.
Can't wait to see what he'd do as president. He'd have all sorts of weapons to hunt with.
I like that you're a hunter, Mr. Perry. I love hunting. However that is the only thing I like about you. Before I would vote for you for president, I would let a professional pick-pocket brush off my clothes. I think we've had enough Texas-born men in the White House for awhile.
how christian of him
just goes to show he's more in tune with the average american than mitt PERRY 2012
How about calling it respect for a tradition that goes back centuries in multiple cultures around the globe. How many living rooms and offices have pictures of British Fox hunts? How about the Clovis culture, the Yupik sea hunts, current eskimos and more. The tools used are irrelevant, the tradition is time honored and passed from generation to generation.
Live with Intention, DrBillTothCom/blog
we need less murdering thinking folks in the white house....haven't we lost enough men and woman over killing. I say yes! He had a love afair with a gun....who does he have coaching him...dahhhhhhh shoot yourself in the foot over and over...
Totally disgusting. This man loves to have humans killed with no chance for reprieve. In addition he needs to kill with his own hands, that he loves guns. Is that the kind of human America wants in the White House. A warmonger, killing machine. No wonder America is disrespected througout the world.
We produce practically nothing, we consume and now we are doomed.
Can we send Rick Perry hunting with Dick Cheney please?