It's that time of year again when hunters pull out their gear, clean up their guns, sharpen their arrows and get to work. This year is extra special for GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Why? His daughter is 10-years-old now and can go hunting.
Gearing up for deer-hunting season, Rep. Paul Ryan bought hunting clothes for his daughter to go with the rifle the Republican vice presidential nominee gave her for Christmas.
"She's hunted with me but this is the first time she gets to do the hunting herself," Ryan said of daughter Liza. "She's 10 years old and you can hunt starting at 10. I got her a rifle for Christmas last year and so I'm getting her ready."
The outdoorsman went directly to the "Women's Camo" area to check out their assortment of camouflage items. He purchased his daughter gloves, a beanie and a bib and paid for the $101.14 bill in cash. With a couple items in hand, he explained to reporters the hat and gloves include carbon which helps block a human's scent.
"Hey, I'm a Catholic deer-hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion," Ryan first said in Carnegie, Pennsylvania on Aug. 21.
Liza, the oldest of Ryan's three children, received her first rifle for Christmas last year. "I got her a Remington 700 243 junior model – 243 is a caliber – it's a good gun," Ryan, an avid bowhunter, explained to reporters at the store.
"My daughter she's been hunting with me for years, watching me, but she's old enough this year to hunt on her own," he said. "She's really looking forward to it."
My dad bought me my first rifle with “Katie P.” embroidered on the shoulder strap for my 10th birthday and took me hunting for the first time when I was 11. There really is nothing better than sitting in a blind on a tank waiting for something to stroll in or hiking through the mountains and pine trees early in the morning, looking for that perfect elk.
The first time my dad put me in to draw tags for hunting, he was so excited he accidentally chose two hunts, elk and deer, scheduled on the same four day weekend. The deer hunt was all the way up on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the elk hunt was out near Williams, Ariz. We headed into camp near Williams Thursday night and grilled elk tenderloins from a previous season for good luck, it’s a tradition we have. We started out early on Friday morning at 4 a.m. It was cold and I was wearing my dad’s long johns underneath my over sized camo gear and an orange vest and beanie for safety. After a long two days, we still hadn’t gotten our elk. We packed up camp and headed up to the North Rim, driving five hours and 250 miles Saturday afternoon. The next morning, we found success. A deer was lying on the side of a hill in between some trees and I took the perfect shot. After we took pictures and cleaned up, my dad asked me what I wanted to do. I of course answered, “I want to go back to elk hunting (duh)!” So we made the long drive back to Williams after dropping off my deer at home. We had one more morning to get lucky.
We woke up early, hiked around and still nothing. Eventually it was 11 am, hot and the elk had bedded down for the day. It was over, I had school the next day, we had done our best. My dad parked me on a tank with my rifle while he went to go get the truck for lunch. All weekend I had been attempting to use his elk call (not sounding like an elk at all) and I thought sitting there alone would be a good time to practice in order to spare my father’s sanity. As I squawked away, something strange happened, an elk called back! “Whoa!” I thought to myself, so I kept calling and it kept calling back. Then my dad, who had no clue what was happening, came tromping into the tank in full view.
“Get down Dad! I heard one,” I sternly whispered. He didn’t believe me until all of the sudden a beautiful elk came right out of the trees at the perfect angle. Dad was shocked, jaw on the floor and everything.
I took two shots, the first missed and the second went right through the heart between the shoulders. We had our elk tenderloins and burgers for the season taken care of, not to mention an awesome story to tell.
When I got back to town, my dad’s friend wrote a front page story for the outdoor section of our local newspaper about what happened and of course they printed a picture of me, my deer and my rifle. This prompted a liberal woman to write into the paper saying, “I thought this young girl was sitting with her pet deer and I was mortified to find out she had killed it.”
Mission accomplished on so many levels.