This political campaign season is like no other in modern U.S. history. The manner in which the presidential election has been conducted and the dynamic between the two candidates is without precedent, and given the intensity of the focus on the personalities of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, one of the chief casualties has been any clear-eyed discussion of policy.
This is doubly true for sportsmen’s issues.
Yes, we’ve heard about walling off Mexico and there have been plenty of jabs traded concerning ISIS, but real conversation about clean water, the stewardship of our wildlife, and the preservation of our fishing and hunting heritage has been utterly lacking. (The one exception here is gun rights, which both candidates have been vocal about.) These are among the issues that are vitally important not only to the millions of Americans who hunt and fish but to everyone who recreates in the outdoors.
Recognizing the importance of these topics, we reached out to both campaigns to learn their positions on issues that matter to sportsmen. You’ll see two stories about the Trump campaign by Frank Miniter. Miniter interviewed Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., both of whom are key advisors to their father. One story focuses on Trump’s official campaign positions and the other discusses how Trump’s sons became hunters and how they’ve influenced their father’s views.
Freelance writer Jodi Stemler contacted Hillary Clinton’s campaign and in conjunction with senior Clinton staff members assembled a bullet-pointed list of Clinton’s positions on sporting issues.
We also have an in-depth roundup of both campaigns’ positions on gun issues in a separate piece by John Haughey, who covers gun rights for Outdoor Life’s Gun Shots blog.
Lastly, we offer up two opinion pieces. One is an open letter by Outdoor Life editor-in-chief Andrew McKean to our incoming president on behalf of all sportsmen, and the other is by Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited and the former chief of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, urging our next president to be a positive force for conservation.
—Illustration by Chris Whetzel