The “Hunter” Hypocrisy of Politicians

elmer fuddEvery time a pivotal election rolls around, a few politicians in rural states come out with ads that tout them as “avid hunters,” even though they have not purchased a hunting license for many years or even a decade or more. To avid hunters like you and me, who do buy a hunting license every year, these people immediately become posers, caricatures, “Elmer Fudds” as people in the gun industry call them.

This year, with the U.S. Senate up for grabs, I give you the latest two Fudds.

The Tennessean reports that until the 2018 election year, Democrat Phil Bredesen, who is locked in a heated battle with Republican Marsh Blackburn for the Senate seat in Tennessee, had not bought a hunting license for 12 years:

Last month, Bredesen obtained a one-year sportsman license for hunting, trapping and sport fishing just weeks ahead of the start of dove hunting season. Prior to that, Bredesen last had a combo hunting and fishing license in 2006, when he was re-elected to his second term as governor.

Bredesen then went out to a dove field for a few hours (note the guy helping and instructing him in the linked photos, I found that telling) and afterwards his staff tweeted:

“I went dove hunting to mark the first day of the season. If you’re an avid sportsman like I am…”

I don’t know any avid sportsman who goes 12 years between hunting licenses, do you?

But for my money, here’s the Fudd of the 2018 election year, as reported by Fox News:

Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a red state Democrat running for re-election in one of the closest Senate contests this year, has campaigned as a big hunting proponent, sending out mailers to voters that show him on his farm with his gun in hand.

“As we gear up for hunting season, Montanans know that hunting isn’t just a sport – it feeds our families, and it creates lifelong memories with our kids and grandkids,” Tester says in the campaign flier. “Montanans are lucky to have some of the best access, longest seasons and greatest hunting in the world.”

But according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks records reviewed by Fox News, Tester hasn’t had a hunting license in six years. He last had one in 2012 – the same year he was last on the ballot.

Records dating back to 2002 indicate that the agency had no records of Tester having a hunting or fishing license for 12 out of the last 16 years.

In response, a Tester spokesman said, “Running a farm and defending Montana in the U.S. Senate doesn’t leave much time for hunting.”

According to the Fox report, Tester’s campaign went on to say that the senator kills gophers on his farm because they’re pests and shoots cows and pigs because he likes to eat them. The spokesman said Tester doesn’t need a hunting license for that.

Shoots cows and pigs? Doesn’t need a license for that? Please, give us some credit!

Look, we avid hunters out here in the real world really don’t give a damn if you hunt or not. If you are legit and do, great, but we can spot an Elmer Fudd a short rifle shot away.

What we do care about is your position on guns–do you support our Second Amendment?

Afterthought: It is incredible to me how out of touch politicians can be. If one thinks he or she might someday campaign on hunting, why don’t they just purchase a resident hunting license every year (maybe $20 and less than $50 most everywhere). That way they could always say even though I’m too busy running the country to hunt, I did my part to help support the state coffers and conservation. Still an Elmer Fudd, yes, but much better messaging.

4 thoughts on “The “Hunter” Hypocrisy of Politicians

  1. Jon Tester is too busy cozying up to Schumer to hunt/fish. Number 1 job of a Senator: get re-elected, no matter what it takes. I will say anything to anyone, I will sell my very soul if that’s what it takes. What a detestable lot.

  2. There is nothing a politician won’t do or say to get re-elected (that goes for both parties). It’s all just a big game to them. How most of them can sleep at night or look at themselves in the mirror each morning is beyond me. Watching or reading the news is just depressing. Thankfully we have hunting to get away from it all. If only fall would last all year long.

  3. I agree with all of it. Every election year we read about facts like these. Problem is, that it works. I wonder how many voters read the politics articles during this time of year instead of skipping over them. I know people like us don’t and we know that facts and we will vote accordingly, but I wonder if we are the majority? Blogs like this are truly helpful, thanks for the facts. In Montana, it’s three things…gun rights, hunting, and “whether your a real Montanan”. Some politicians will try to portray that they are a rancher with roots here, etc. It gets rooted out and backfires. However, like you wrote…Ii am most interested in whether you support the 2A, not so much about the rest of it. Good article.

  4. I read this yesterday, and came back to look at it again. Then a thought came to me: I think this is a terrible disservice to Elmer Fudd. At least Elmer (however awkward he may have been; and/or how unsuccessful he was at actually killing ‘Ol Bugs) was actually out there trying his best all while wearing authentic (and quite fashionable) hunting garb to boot (it’s a wonder he didn’t get any tickets for not wearing blaze orange). All joking aside being “crooked” seems to be paramount to being an American Politician (at the state and federal levels esp.). I tell everyone “If they aren’t crooked going in, they’re certainly crooked coming out”.

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