Republican vice-presidential nominee and dad Paul Ryan is a deer hunter with little free time in his busy calendar for the upcoming deer hunting season or spending that important quality time with his daughter and two sons, ages 10, 8 and 7.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Ryan has combined two of his favorite activities by outfitting his 10-year-old daughter Liza with a new set of hunting clothes to match the Remington 700 bolt action junior rifle she received for Christmas in 2011.
According to a post by CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd, Ryan says he has taken his daughter hunting with him before but “this is the first time she gets to do the hunting herself.”
Walmart’s sporting goods sales representative at the Beaver Dam store in Wisconsin was shocked when asked if the Remington junior rifle they sell for $417 (the current version of the rifle Ryan bought Liza for Christmas) was the right size for a 10-year-old. She was certain a child under 12 was not permitted to hunt with their own rifle. However, according to an employee of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, there is a mentoring program for young hunters ages 10 and 11. Under the mentoring program, they can hunt with their own rifle, as long as they have permission from a parent or guardian, are within arm’s reach of an adult mentor who has completed the hunter safety program or is/was a member of the armed forces. The young hunters even get a discount on the hunting license.
So, yesterday, Ryan squeezed in a visit to the Bass Pro Shops in Cincinnati, Ohio where he purchased $101.14 worth of camouflage gear for his daughter. Ryan could have taken advantage of Bass Pro Shops online free shipping offer with a minimum $75 purchase. He would have saved a lot of time and maintained his family’s privacy.
However, shopping online means he would have lost the valuable photo op. Ryan has consistently positioned himself as a hunter. Even his Secret Service code name is “Bowhunter”. On his own website, paulryan.house.gov, over a dozen press releases refer to his avid interest in hunting with bow and gun. Ryan is a co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus which counts over 300 members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In an extremely complimentary May 2010 article in Worldmag.com, Edward Lee Pitts titled Ryan “The Quiet Weapon” for his love of bowhunting and his “quiver full of arrows” aimed at “the nation’s ongoing fiscal crisis”. However, as a vice-presidential nominee, Ryan is quiet no more.
In keeping with his connection to hunting, on Saturday, September 29, Ryan will speak at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance 16th Annual “Save Our Heritage” Rally at the Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus, Ohio. The event is sponsored by the Ithaca Gun Company.