hunting with me. Wisconsin
lowered the hunting age, and
she’s excited. The kids love
hunting and being with me
Paul Ryan in the stand. We have a great
42, Janesville, Wis. How do you balance your
love of the outdoors and know
Favorite season: Archery.
its importance in the United
Hunting partners: His children.
States with fiscal responsibil-
Interview by Alan Clemons ity for the Department of Inte-
Lead photo: Douglas Gorenstein
Deer hunting photo courtesy of rior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan Service? Is that a tough
It should be a user-fee
What is your hunting history? finance system. I served as
I took the state hunter chairman of the Congressional
safety course a little before I Sportsmen’s Caucus for four
was 12 years old because it was years, and the whole purpose
popular with my friends and I of the caucus is to protect
wanted to hunt. My father hunting and fishing habitat
wasn’t a big hunter, but some and rights. Lately, rights have
of his friends were, and (they) been the biggest challenges —
were the ones who took me access, things like ATV access
out and were my mentors. I for recovering game, other
started with rabbits, ducks and issues. But with respect to
pheasant before getting into resources, that’s what Pitman-
deer hunting. Robertson is all about.
I worked mowing lawns
when I was a kid to save money Do they ever serve venison
to buy a shotgun and bought at the Capitol?
a Browning BPS 20-gauge for everything so clearly, too. recent is a Z7 Xtreme. I killed a (Laughs) No, they don’t.
pheasants. I still have it. 140-class (buck) that weighed But at home I prepare my own
You love bowhunting? 260 pounds. We have some venison and sausage. I have
Tell us about your first deer. Yes, I got into archery from really big deer in Wisconsin, some big chest freezers in the
It was early in high school. friends who introduced me to and I try to age them on the basement for my pheasants,
Dad died when I was in 10th it, and I was able to lengthen hoof as best as I can. That Z7 ducks, deer and other game.
grade, and one of his buddies my hunting season. It was shoots so fast and quietly, too. My family is used to eating wild
included me in his deer camp. really just a natural progression game.
It’s common to have multi- from gun hunting into archery. Do you ever get to hunt? But they don’t in D.C. That’s
generational families and Then I got into 3-D targets, I hunted more before we foreign to them.
camps. It was up near Eau tournaments and 300 leagues had kids, and then after that
Claire, and I hunted with them and really took a liking to all of it dropped off quite a bit. I’ll
through my late teens and early that. Archery became a year- schedule some morning hunts
20s. I got my first deer that round thing for me. on weekends when I can and
year, when I was 16, a doe. The then work in the afternoons
season opened on Saturday, Do you get to practice in if I have to or will be with the
and I got it Sunday morning. Washington? That was a cool family. During the firearms
photo of you in Time Magazine season, I’ll take a little more
You probably remember with a bow in your office. time to schedule some trips.
every moment, don’t you? No, no target range, unfor- I’ll hunt with my pistol in the
Boy, I was nervous. I had a tunately. For that photo shoot, morning from my bow stands,
great old Winchester .30-30 I called my friend Jay McAninch and then rifle hunt in the after-
lever-action like a lot of kids my at the Archery Trade Asso- noons with one of our kids. We
age used, and it was a super ciation to borrow a Mathews have some two-man ladder
gun. Man, it was shaking in my from them. I hunt in Wiscon- stands, and (the children) really
hands. Quartering-away shot sin and also a little in Okla- enjoy going with me. For the full interview
… I remember every aspect homa, where my in-laws have I bought our daughter a and more photos, see
and detail. There was snow on a ranch. I shoot several differ- Winchester Model 70 in .243 deeranddeerhunting.
the ground, so you could see ent Mathews bows. My most for Christmas so she can start
106 | October 2012 www.deeranddeerhunting.com