Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan waves as he walks with his (L-R) son Sam, daughter Liza, wife Janna, son Charlie and mother Betty Douglas after accepting the nomination during the third session of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 29, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/JOE SKIPPER
TAMPA, FL -- Talk about conservative red meat.
Everyone knows Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan loves to hunt, but the Wisconsin congressman also butchers his own wild game and even makes his own venison sausages.
Excerpts from an interview with Ryan in the upcoming October issue of Deer and Deer Hunter were posted on the magazine's website Wednesday, the same day Ryan was to deliver what is potentially the biggest speech of his political career to date accepting the party's vice-presidential nomination here at the Republican National Convention.
The magazine's cover proclaims a camo-clad Ryan to be a "diehard deer hunter."
In the interview, conducted before Ryan -- a Tea Party favourite and the champion of fiscal conservatism in Congress who was picked as Mitt Romney's running mate -- Ryan recalls his first deer, a doe, at the age of 16 shortly after his father passed away.
"Boy, I was nervous. I had a great old Winchester .30-30 lever-action like a lot of kids my age used, and it was a super gun. Man, it was shaking in my hands," Ryan says in the interview. "I remember every aspect and detail. "There was snow on the ground, so you could see everything so clearly, too."
As a teen, Ryan mowed lawns to buy his first gun, a 20-gauge Browning BPS (pump shotgun) for pheasants, which he said he still has.
And while the congressman doesn't get out into the woods as often as he'd like, he does schedule time to take his kids hunting each fall.
Last Christmas, he bought his daughter a bolt-action rifle -- a Winchester Model 70 chambered in .243 -- so she can join him this year in the stand.
"Wisconsin lowered the hunting age, and she's excited," he said. "The kids love hunting and being with me in the stand. We have a great time.
"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."
And even though Ryan says he has a hard time finding deer meat in DC, his family "is used to eating wild game" and his Wisconsin home has "big chest freezers" for his "pheasant, ducks, deer and other game."
By contrast, the party's presidential candidate Romney is not a great outdoorsman having once proclaimed he had gone hunting for "small rodents" -- mice, maybe? -- only a few times.
It's unclear, if elected, whether Ryan would take hunting tips from former Republican vice-president Dick Cheney.
In 2006, Cheney shot an acquaintance in the face and chest with birdshot while quail hunting in Texas. The 78-year-old lawyer later reportedly suffered a heart attack because of the pellets left in his body.