If you watch enough TV these days, you might just get the feeling that hunting isn't so popular with the celebrity crowd. Just a hunch. Posing nude for PETA has become so 2012 that the real question is, 'Who hasn't done it?'
In reality, though, there are plenty of high profile celebs who are eager advocates for hunting. From the ranks of British royalty to the sidelines of the NFL to the halls of Congress, there are faithful deer hunters supporting the cause.
Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin, was probably the most pronounced of these figures, choosing "Bowhunter"as his Secret Service code name during the 2012 presidential campaign. He was outspoken about the role of hunting in our American heritage, and was seen in online photos drawing back his Mathews bow in a suit in his office. And then there are the more surprising deer hunters, like the Royal Princess, Kate Middleton, and her regal husband, Prince William.
Now without further adieu, we give you NAW's 10 surprising celebrity deer hunters.
A dashing English gentleman next to his elegant wife, the lovely Kate Middleton, Prince William is known for his passion for hunting. Whether it's in Spain, England, or another rarefied part of the world, the Prince and his brother, Harry, have followed in their father's stead as avid game hunters.
Even better, as far as we're concerned, is that William drew the ire of PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk in 2012 when she criticized him for his hunting trips — which include numerous deer hunts — on the Huffington Post. Newkirk lamented that the Royals' 'sadistic pastime ' led to the killing of 740 partridges in one day. Drawing the rage of PETA and knocking down that many birds in one day? Damn fine show, we say.
Golden Globe winner Eva Longoria
, who apparently does everything from skin deer to butcher hogs, is a huge hunting enthusiast. Who says you can't be a famous Desperate Housewife and rattle in a few bucks? So much for all the old stereotypes.
When he's not chasing down Tom Brady for another Super Bowl ring, Justin Tuck often spends his time with a bow in hand, chasin' down wild beasts of all kinds. Recently, he joined the crew from Bowhunter magazine
for some Javelina hunting in South Texas.
Kate Middleton, the Royal Princess, was criticized by PETA in 2007
for going hunting with then boyfriend Prince William and his family in the Scottish Highlands. Seen with Prince Charles shooting rifles in her camo and pearls, Middleton even made deer hunting stylish. Long live the (future) Queen!
Like his Pro Bowl quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel — a.k.a. "Da Beard"
— spends a good bit of his time away from the NFL enjoying a favorite pastime, hunting. He hunts and he has a beard that makes the men from Duck Dynasty
proud — it just doesn't get any better than that.
Kristy Lee Cook
A one-time American Idol contestant and hunting show host, Kristy Lee Cook took heat from PETA
for her show, "Goin Country." Doing the hunting community proud, she fired right back: "Given that hunters have done more for American wildlife conservation than any other group in history, I make no apology for being one," Cook told Fox News.
A former Pittsburgh Steeler running back and now one of ESPN's top analysts, Merril Hoge kind of does it all. Whether he's hunting turkey, chasing whitetail bucks or firing a machine gun out of a helicopter with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Hoge knows his way around a gun or a bow. Hoge showcases his hunting adventures with videos on the 'Hunting with Hoge '
section of his website.
As the most recent Transformers star and Victoria's Secret model, Huntington-Whiteley
was raised in rural England with hunting all around her. Growing up on her parents' farm, she killed animals and became comfortable with the food-to-table process long before it was chic.
"I know where my food comes from. I don't get sad 'cause you don't build relationships with those animals," she told the Huffington Post. "I'm a farm girl."
One of the things we found out about Paul Ryan during his vice presidential bid is that he's an avid bowhunter. As a Congressman from Wisconsin, Ryan was proud to claim his hunting heritage
when vying for the White House.
Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert
Whether Blake Shelton is rocking it out on The Voice or doing other national appearances with his new wife, Miranda Lambert, they both share this in common — they're avid deer hunters. What else do we love about Blake Shelton? He got into a Twitter war with PETA
, which finally gave up and blocked him from their feed. We'll raise a glass to that.