Prior to the opening gavel for the evening session of the convention, Republican delegates put the finishing touches on their platform. It included the usual line for the GOP: strong national defense, tax cuts and reformed social security. But there wasn’t much language about sportsmen or their issues and concerns. So, the best place to find what mattered to gun owners, hunters and anglers was on the convention floor. From battleground states across the spectrum to the ultra-liberal ones, Outdoor Life looked for delegates’ opinions on hunting and fishing and the role it will play in this election cycle.

“I’m a member of the Gulf Coast Conservation Association. A big concern of mine this year is fisheries management, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. Redfish and trout have rebounded, and I’d like it to stay that way.”
-Richard Halliburton
Texas Delegate

“We’ve got a new law in the state allowing the use of crossbows for deer, and I support it. However, it’s causing a lot of controversy. Also, the second amendment is important for democracy, and folks should vote with that in mind.”
-Jerry Latham
Alabama Delegate

“I’ve got two yellow labs that I trained with a friend for upland birds and ducks. I saw a survey recently that asked ‘Which presidential candidate would you want to walk your dog?’ Well, I trust George Bush to do that. I’m an outdoorsman for Bush, and I believe he will protect habitat for upland birds.”
-Franz Igler
Wisconsin Delegate

“I’m a friend of the NRA, so gun issues are important for my vote. I fish a lot for bass and hunt for deer. In fact, my son just killed his first buck last year, and it’s important to me that he be able to do that with his kids in the future.”
-Phil Bryant
Mississippi Delegate and State Auditor

“In California we deal with a lot of anti-gun people. We had the ammunition tax, but it was repealed. Land access is another big issue, because the federal government owns so much in the state, but they won’t let anyone use it.”
-Mike Spence
California Delegate

“In western North Carolina we’re fighting the governor over buffer zones. I’m afraid that we’re going to lose a lot of land access in the mountains because the number of hunters is dwindling.”
-Charona Remillard
North Carolina Delegate