Ryan on his love for the hunt
August 29th, 2012
03:41 PM ET
6 years ago

Ryan on his love for the hunt

(CNN) – Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says he remains passionate about hunting despite not getting much practice during the legislative session and not finding venison on many menus in Washington, DC.

Ryan talked about his love for hunting in an interview to be published in October's issue of Deer and Deer Hunting magazine. His start in the sport came in high school, after his father died when he was in the 10th grade, when his dad's friend took him hunting in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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"I got my first deer that year, when I was 16; a doe," Ryan said.

"Boy, I was nervous," said Ryan of his first kill. "I had a great old Winchester .30-30 lever-action like a lot of kids my age used, and it was a super gun. I remember every aspect and detail. There was snow on the ground, so you could see everything so clearly, too."

Asked about a TIME magazine photo of the congressman posing in his Washington office with a hunting bow, Ryan said the hobby was a "natural progression from gun hunting into archery." Ryan acknowledged that picking up archery lengthens the hunting season–presumably a necessity for the Republican who, in between being a congressman for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District and leading the House Budget Committee, is a family man.

"I bought our daughter a Winchester Model 70 in .243 for Christmas so she can start hunting with me. Wisconsin lowered the hunting age, and she's excited," said Ryan adding however, that he hunted more before he had kids.

"During the firearms season, I'll take a little more time to schedule some trips," said Ryan. "I'll hunt with my pistol in the morning from my bow stands, and then rifle hunt in the afternoons with one of our kids."

Soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped the 42 year-old fiscal policy wonk to be his running mate in Norfolk, Virginia in August. Soon after the announcement the pair campaigned in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin. Now, almost three weeks later, Romney and Ryan will accept their party's nomination in Tampa, Florida during this week's Republican National Convention.

Ryan's outdoorsy, outside-of-the-Beltway persona has undoubtedly warmed the ticket to the throngs of conservatives weary of Washington politicians. On the trail, the Romney team touts the duo as anything but Washington bureaucrats. Some, however, have criticized that characterization, noting Ryan's long Washington-centric career in politics began in 1992 as a legislative aide to Senator Robert Kasten of Wisconsin. He graduated from Miami University in Ohio with a degree in political science and economics in 1992.

Still, Ryan said he prepares his own venison and sausage.

"I have some big chest freezers in the basement for my pheasants, ducks, deer and other game," said Ryan. "My family is used to eating wild game."

"But they don't in D.C. That's foreign to them."

Though he does note that in the House he served as chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus for four years, a caucus focused on protecting habitat and access rights for hunting and fishing. So he hasn't been completely alone.

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Dorce

    Paul Ryan!! If you did not know much about him you better get to know him. This is the man that was and still is so dedicated to turn medicare, and medicaid to a voucher program and so him and his rich friends in congress can still making the millions that they are making. He want to change thing at your expense not his expense and his millionaires friends. He want to hand a voucher to evrey single senior and you know what that means with a voucher program. A voucher program is a fix amount of money that will be given to each seniors in form of voucher and if you get sick you use your voucher to pay for your insurance plan that you will have to buy on your own or your medical bills. If Then you are on your own wether your voucher is worth enough money to pay for your medical bills. Let say that your voucher is $3000.00 a month and your medical bills for that month is $20,000.00 you have to ccome up with $17,000.00 on your own to pay for your bill; what a smart and a very effective plan that will save the millionaires money and put the insurance companies back in power because you will have to pay what they charge you or you do not have any insurance. This is selfish and this is not the American way. We are supposed to look out for each other like president Obama said; the ones that are more fortunate need to pay a little more to help the middle class and the poor. And remember folks that the Ryan plan does not promise a better future because his plan is a trial plan that has not been tested and proove working anywhere in the world yet.

    August 29, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Dorce

    All I can say about president Obama critics and that they all are unfair and misguided people that do not know. I find it extremely outregeous when people tell that Obama did nothing come people it is only 4 years and you expect the same kind of miracles that Jesus Christ did from Obama. I understand that there were campaign promises on the campaign trail and which candidate who never make promise
    s and which candidate who always fullfil all of their promises? George W Bush promised us heaven and earth and he gave us a bad economy a great reccession that US has never seen since the great depression and two unecessary wars that was not even paid for. These were few of the messes that Barack had to clean. Barack promised Wall Street reform and he deliver on it, to end the Iraq war and he did and also Afghanistan like he promissed will come to an end soon. THese two wars are two of the major reason why the recovery is so slow. They cost billions of dollars a day that we are barrowing from China. Barack promised healthcare reform and he did and do you since when that we been talking about healthcare reform? Since Roosevelt was president. They all have tried and failed including Bill Clinton. I know that there is so much resentment because the GOP wanted someone different from Barack to have that big accomplishment under their belt that is why they constantly vow to repeal it. It is a jalousy from the GOP. Barack keep the auto industry alive and put regulation in place to regulate the banks and the insurance companies that is more accomplishment than George W Bush and George Hebert Bush combine and even more accomplishment than the successful democrat BIll Clinton. What I want to say if you do not have nothing better, I would say hush up and give the middle class and America a chance.

    August 29, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Wonder if he uses an AK-47 like his republican buddies?

    August 29, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. truth hurts

    Ryan is a real down to earth, normal guy. Sharp as a tack too. Poor Crazy Joe and his senility don't stand a chance in the debates. They'll have to stop it after 3 minutes. Ryan knocks him right out.

    August 29, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Joyce

    Rather than killing defenseless animals, he should be trying to help the poor of the nation....something he could be proud of.

    August 29, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. snoozie

    I think it is a prerequisite for becoming a member of the republican party that you have to like to shoot stuff. And then, you have to like to talk about shooting stuff. No non-hunters allowed. Even for women, right Sarah?

    August 29, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Curt

    So let me get this right. Its not okay to have an abortion but you can gun down a defenceless animal ( which is one of God's creatures ) Can't figure out these pro-life people.

    August 29, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. John

    If you are a Republican, you can never show your love for the NRA to much. No matter what the NRA body count is. Life is sacred when is comes to forcing a poor unwed teenager who has been raped to have her rapist's child. But if life interfers with the NRA and their evangelical gun crusade, life takes second fiddle to GUNS. MORE GUNS, more, more.

    August 29, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. mig

    Why do pro-lifers enjoy killing defenseless animals?

    August 29, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Darryl Miller

    why why why are people at the GOP Convention refering to black people as animals?

    The Republican National Convention was marred by a disturbing incident Tuesday night, as a black, female camera operator was apparently racially taunted on the convention floor.

    Current TV host David Shuster tweeted late Tuesday night: “GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African American camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals.’

    August 29, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Squigman

    Good. When it comes to being elected V.P., keep hunting.

    August 29, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. gord

    now he,s hunting seniors and poor folks and would like to gut health care and social security to feed the rich

    August 29, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. lulu

    Disgusting man!!!!

    August 29, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    Why didn't you use your AK-47 Ryan? I'm sure you and all the rest of the crowd own one. If not, maybe your M-16? BAR? Flame Thrower?

    August 29, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ryan lacks military training, so we need to help him. "This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for shooting, this is for fun."

    August 29, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |

    What a teapublican extremest loser who shouldn't even have a house seat never mind vp ,runing with the tax cheat romney the Gop failed govenor of mass and represents the likes of BACHMANN ,atkins ,cantor and mcconnell the mummy ,abortion bus wreck coming in Nov !!!

    August 29, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. B.

    Republicans like Ryan love to go out and shoot something, it is the great compensator for what is missing..

    August 29, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. DENNA

    Bow hunting is better than using a gun. It takes more skill. I love bow hunting. I can't believe that I have something in common with this man. I still don't think that he will be a good vice president. He's a Republican.

    August 29, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. jaimie

    Romneyhood .......... Give to the Rich take from the poor

    August 29, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. ronb

    I'd much rather him talk about medicare vouchers, his "legitimate rape" bills, and his support for all spending issues under the W administration...for starters. I could care less about him loving to hunt. Down here, I don't know too many folks who aren't champing at the bit to hit the first day of hunting season. Speak about your plans, Paul Ryan. Stop hiding behind nonsense.

    August 29, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Does this puppet of akin know that his buddy and new best friend is not into hunting? Does he know that he increased hunters fee four times while governor of Massachusetts?
    Just saying.

    August 29, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. cali girl

    The animal rights activists will be all over this. We already know about the dog on the roof.

    August 29, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Maxx

    America – where people hunt on a full stomach. So Paul, would you still do it if the deer had guns? Didn't think so. Another chicken-hawk just like Romney.

    August 29, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. William

    I like it. I grew up on ranch and married a girl from a big City. Camping, hunting, and fishing with your kids is an incredible family activity. My wife was a lot like all these other people who despised guns but once she found out how our kids loved it she was hooked. Too many people are missing so much by never being exposed to the outdoors. Hunters and fisherman are the largest group of conservationists in the country.

    August 29, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. jaimie

    Romney was required to file a financial disclosure form, less detailed than taxes, when he filed for president. In fact, he argued that he should have to release his taxes because the disclosure form showed everything important. But 23 different investment funds shown on his taxes did not appear on his disclosure form - and 11 of those are in those overseas, secret banking centers. That's a sign of what he's embarrassed to reveal - and it's also a felony, if the government can prove it was deliberate and not just a sloppy oversight.

    August 29, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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