About The Author

Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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September 11, 2007

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The FSHuntress at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress.

The Hook and Bullet Vote

I’d been planning to kick off an election discussion at some point. With Fred Thompson announcing his candidacy, and Field & Stream’s news blog currently discussing preferred Republicans, I figure this might be a good time.
      I have a question, actually: How much do hunting and gun issues influence your vote? I first started really thinking about the nature of the hook and bullet vote in fall 2004, when Field & Stream ran a pair of Q&A’s with President George Bush and Senator John Kerry. At the time I was editing the magazine’s mail page, and I read every single letter that came in response to those interviews. That was by far the biggest, most raging flood of mail I’d seen, overwhelmingly from male readers, who seemed to be basing their vote solely on hunting and gun issues. I remember one lone reader stating that field-related concerns definitely factored into his vote, but so did health care, education, and the War in Iraq.
      When Field & Stream’s 2007 Women Hunters Poll asked, Do hunting or gun issues affect the way you vote? 78% said yes. So how much do field-related concerns influence your decision? How do you feel about Thompson—or any other candidate for that matter? Or what are your Election ’08 thoughts in general? –K.H.


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The gun issue is a major influence on my vote. I not only enjoy hunting with a gun--I enjoy gun sports and carry a hand gun wherever I go.

I have to admit that my safety in a high crime city such as the one that I work in is more important to me than a law that would tell me that I could not carry a gun. I would conceal and carry it anyways; as bad as that sounds. But for law makers to take my right away of the enjoyment of shooting sports or hunting is something I feel needs to be protected.

Meegan Turnbeaugh

The gun issue is also a major influence on my vote as well.

One thing I know is that criminals will have guns NO MATTER WHAT... so in my opinion carrying a gun (I have my carry and conceal license) makes me feel safer... and if the criminal does not know whether or not people are protected they will possibly think twice about committing a crime..... Just my thoughts.


I not only dislike the idea of not being able to hunt, I also dislike the idea of someone telling me I can't own my gun anymore. This is major issue when I'm considering my vote. I don't carry a gun, but I like the thought that I can if I want to, and no one can tell me otherwise. Besides, if there were no longer a hunting season, we would be so over-run with wildlife, there would be more car accidents and fatalities. They started a season for a reason! Food isn't the only benefit.


I was recently at a social hour at a confernce and someone was talking about the 04 election and how energy issues had flipped key states like West Virigina. I spoke up and said that Mountaineers are always free... It was the right to bear arms that made the traditionally Democratic state largely supportive of GW. It's not the only issue influencing my vote, but when in doubt I do consult the NRA ratings.


I would agree with all of you. I want to be able to own my gun and carry whenever I feel necessary for protection. It is totally out of the question for them to be able to tell the normal person they can't own or carry a gun. There are still people I am sure who depend on the game they kill to provide food for their families. I now understand that I need a gun more for protection than I did when I was growing. I don't really like that thought but it is unforunately true.

Sarah Rogstad

I agree with all. I enjoy my rights. And if they take my guns then things are only going down hill. Alot of these people who want to take away our right to bear arms either have never used owed or even held a gun. Prohibitiion has never worked. Why try it now. They take our guns and then the criminal population will grow and the crime (because I am not giving mine up so I will be considered a criminal) rates will grow.

Dana @ The Wild WoodsWoman

I'll jump out there and disagree with you all. Guns and hunting affect my vote only minimally. Why? Because I don't feel those rights or issues are as imminently threatened as others right now. If I perceived that they were going to be seriously threatened within the next 15 years, I'd feel more like you all do. However, there are more urgent and current issues that have a stronger influence on my voting at this point. (Dang, I just broke my personal rule of not discussing politics...)

Wanda Hyleman

It is a major concern for me, as I have hunted for the past 20 years and I have seen so many changes in those years.
I feel we have the right to bear arms just as our fore fathers have.
I do vote according to their views on gun laws & wildlife issues.
I can not imagine how my life would be if I didn't have the right to own firearms & to be able to hunt.

Amy (Boomer)

Honestly, being 21 yrs old...I don't know a whole lot about politics, nor do I really like to know, but when it comes to gun rights...I know it makes a big deal to me and my family. I've been hunting since I was 12 yrs old and even before I could hunt I was out in the field with my father. What better way to be ready for hunting than learning from your father before you're 12. I used to go out with him and just sit with him...I learned to sit and be very quiet at a young age. But I know that probably 90% of my vote deals with hunting/gun rights. That's probably the only time that I am actually interested in politics.