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. Jack V

    I grew up in the most rural of areas & don't buy this cornball routine. This is a an act.

    August 29, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Tim

    HaHa..Democrats are now criticzing Ryan for hunting. That will go over well with independent voters..

    August 29, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. Susan

    So what is the point of this article? The only hunting that Paul Ryan is going to be doing that I care about, is the hunting for ways he can further rob the poor and middle class, to give to the rich.Also, the hunting for ways to deny women human rights is of a big concern to me.

    August 29, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. GOP = Greed Over People

    Sounds like if elected, Ryan will take the poor, elderly and disabled "canoodling".

    August 29, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. nolimits3333

    Paul Ryan wants to outlaw abortion in the case of rape or incest.

    Who arrests the rape victim, Paul?

    August 29, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. TheTraveler

    He loves to bow hunt so much that he introduced a bill to reduce the taxes on arrows in his state ...

    Quoting from another source:
    "The other time Ryan saw one of his bills become law was in December 2008, with legislation to change the way arrows (as in bows and arrows) are hit with an excise tax. Specifically, his bill amended the Internal Revenue Code to impose a 39-cent tax per arrow shaft, instead of a 12.4 percent tax on the sales price. The bill also "includes points suitable for use with arrows in the 11 percent excise tax on arrow parts and accessories."

    Seems a bit self-serving to me ...

    August 29, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable

    Well, he should have most of the skills needed for the GOP's "plan B" for Medicare after seniors exhaust the annual "voucher" amount!

    Hope he knows how to run a front loader to.dig the pits.

    August 29, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Joe User

    You liberals are so funny. How do you think that hamburger gets on your plate? So killing a deer in the wild is bad but raising a cow in captivity and putting a bolt gun to it's head to stun it then kill it is acceptable. This is why Liberals should be banished. You want to make everyone spineless like you.

    August 29, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Nietodarwin


    August 29, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. the real ib

    @Kate– you are supporting Biden for vp and you call Ryan a clown. At least Ryan knows what state he is in. Biden didn't even know he was campaigning in Va.; thought he was in NC.

    August 29, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    You will be hunting for a new job in November... Good riddance to bad trash!

    August 29, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. Hillcrester

    If you thought Bush/Cheney was bad, watch out–Romney/Ryan are evil AND competent AND clean up well enough to fake being decent. They cannot be allowed to take over this country.

    August 29, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. VA MClIN

    Such an American hero – shooting defenseless animals and loving it. Next up, victimizing the defenseless elderly with his Medicare plan.

    August 29, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Oh, goody. Today the voucher and tomorrow the vulture. Thanks GOP. It's been a laugh a minute.

    August 29, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. gt

    nice buck....obama lost the hunter vote...

    August 29, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. June

    Paul Ryan is such a LIAR along with Romney and can't be trusted. Congress is the reason why America is all screwed up and Paul Ryan is apart of that he plays a big role in this screw up. They are always talking about President Obama raising the deficit but he won't talk about he was part of the raising of the deficit with Bush on the wars and other things and didn't try to fix it then. Mitt and Ryan never tell you how they going to fix jobs and the deficit because the Koch brothers haven"t told them yet. Mitt talks about taxes but he won't show his. Mitt and Ryan won't talk about what their plan is for MEDICARE because they know they won't get elected who wants a coupon. They keep saying they can fix the problem but how what will they cut who pays for their action not the RICH. Mitt and Ryan are definitely for the Rich not the middle class or poor. If Mitt and Ryan was so sure of their ability to correct the problem why are they blocking the polls for people to vote. THAT INSECURITY TO ME any time you play dirty you know you are not right. And all this lying hopefully, will come back to bite them. They both say they believe in GOD evidently not because GOD do not like UGLY. Mitt is so DESPERATE TO WIN they have to lie and deny. Ryan has the same belief of Atkins the only thing is Atkins was man enough to say it not Ryan because he knows he will lose votes by the women. LIARS.

    August 29, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  17. Jillharbo

    I live in Southeast Wisconsin, not in Paul Ryan's district, but a very Republican district. I've been a democrat for 20 years, voted for Obama, but disappointed in his lack of leadership. Now I'm a swing vote. I was not sold on Romney..couldn't connect with him. I envisioned that maybe for the first time I may not vote. But Ann Romney, Chris Christie and Paul Ryan has restored my hope. Ryan is part of the Team, and I believe Romney chose Ryan for his insight. I will vote Republican and have great hope in Romney/Ryan team.

    August 30, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  18. George A Allen

    We are in uproar over these mass shootings and we cry for gun control. Where is the uproar for scalpel control on doctors who take the life of an unborn child.

    August 30, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
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