Presidential Candidate and Authentic Hunter?

Democrat presidential hopeful Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico has stepped forward to proudly proclaim his fondness for hunting and shooting. And this time, the story appears refreshingly genuine—for a change.

Remember how hunters cried fowl during the 2004 Presidential election over candidate John Kerry’s unconvincing goose-hunting photo op? How about Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s recent assertion that he was “a lifelong hunter,” when facts later surfaced showing he’d never held a hunting license in the four states where he’s resided?Oryx

“I would call myself a recreational hunter. I am not an avid hunter or an expert hunter,” Richardson said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

My goodness. The comment sounds downright candid and straightforward.

Richardson told the AP he personally owns a Browning 12-gauge and a 9 mm handgun (he also holds a concealed-carry permit). He says he has borrowed rifles to hunt elk, deer and oryx in New Mexico.

In addition, New Mexico Game and Fish records indicate he has actually held hunting licenses for several years in The Land of Enchantment.

Does this lead to an Outdoor News Hound early endorsement of a 2008 presidential candidate? Hardly.

But it’s an impressive fact that he has taken numerous game animals, proudly displays mounts of wild turkey and oryx in his home and has dined on elk steaks from an animal that he shot himself.

Good for him. Anyone else?