Senator Campaigns as a Hunter, but He ‘Don’t Hunt’

A Montana senator campaigns as a hunter, joining a string of politicians who claim to be hunters during election years. Problem is, this senator isn't licensed to hunt.

Senator Campaigns as a Hunter, but He ‘Don’t Hunt’

With midterm elections fast approaching, Montana Senator Jon Tester has been wearing his hunting label loud and proud, but as reported by the Washington Examiner, “that senator just don’t hunt.”

In fact, Tester hasn’t held a hunting license in 6 years. Yet, according to the Washington-based conservative newspaper, the Democratic senator uses his affection for hunting to appeal to Montanans in a recent campaign flier.

Here’s text from the flier:

“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. Montanans are lucky to have some of the best access, longest seasons and greatest hunting in the world.”

Related: Pennsylvania Democrat Takes Up Deer Hunting to Lure Trump Voters

Tester’s spokesman Chris Meagher didn’t make apologies or excuses, saying simply, “running a farm and defending Montana in the U.S. Senate doesn’t leave much time for hunting.”

However, the senator did post a hunting photo to his Instagram account last year, which is featured at the bottom of this article.

In case anyone is concerned, a hunting license is not required to shoot ground squirrels in Montana. The state classifies these animals as non-game wildlife and as agricultural pests. And while Tester’s social post suggest he’s shooting gophers, that’s not likely the case. According to Montana State University, ground squirrels are often mistaken for gophers in Montana.

Montana Extension Wildlife Specialist Jim Knight said, “true gophers in Montana are actually pocket gophers. They spend 99 percent of their time underground and look like rats.”

Ground squirrels are responsible for more than $7 million loss to Montana’s alfalfa growers alone.

Other Politicians Posing As Hunters

President Barack Obama did not claim to be a hunter during his time in office, but the White House did release photos prior to the 2012 presidential election of the President shooting skeet at Camp David. Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

But don’t be too hard on Tester though. According to more than one survey of U.S. hunters taken over the last decade, many have allowed hunting licenses to lapse citing lack of time as the main barrier to hunting. More so, many politicians have been known to tout their hunting lifestyles leading up to contested elections. Most recently, Congressman Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania took up deer hunting to appeal to voters in his district, an area that then-candidate Donald Trump won by 10 points in 2016.

There was also former presidential candidate John Kerry who made headlines in 2004 after staging a hunt as a last-ditch effort to appeal to pro-gun voters and rural Americans. And while President Barack Obama did not claim to be a hunter, the White House did release photos prior to the 2013 presidential election featuring the President shooting skeet at Camp David.


Featured photo: Senator Jon Tester Campaign (Twitter)



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