Congressman takes time out of campaigning to pheasant hunt
Empty corn fields might mean the harvest is about over for the year, but for the many hunters in the state of Iowa, it means that pheasant hunting season is just beginning.
This weekend, hunters hit the fields for the first time in pursuit of those birds. Among the hunters, Congressman Steve King. He says even though the campaign will be a sprint to the finish, it was important to him to take time out for this tradition. It's one, he says, relates to the public well.
For months, Iowa Congressman Steve King has been on the campaign trail. His car now has racked up more than 200,000 miles.
"Our polls look good and the response out there across the district, and you know I wouldn't be here if I was very worried about this race, but I do think we've done an awful lot to earn the vote," said King.
Plus, he says some traditions, like hitting a different kind of trail with his good friends, are very important.
"As you can see, I have my priorities," said King. "I'm hunting pheasants this weekend. It's opening day and opening weekend, and that's what you do when you're in Iowa."
King was joined by several politicians and a group of eager hunters.
"It's also a way for us to give Steve some moral support. You know, it's been a tough year. I've been in some tough elections myself, so I know what it's like coming down the stretch," said Gutknecht.
A group of hunting dogs was almost as excited to work through the mile-plus course, racing through the brush and burs to gather fallen pheasants.
"This is really sort of the essence of growing up in this part of the world," said Gil Gutknecht, former representative from Minnesota.
Even getting some out of town guests to lead the way.
"I'm out here to show these guys what it's all about," said Tom Tancredo, a former presidential candidate.
"The country side is alive with human activity," said Daniel Warren Wells, owner of the Hole 'N in the Wall Lodge in Akron, Iowa. "The wild life's crazy. There's deer everywhere."
After hours of walking the trail, King's plan for the rest of his campaign: a sprint to the finish.
On Saturday evening, King welcomed area veterans and active members of the military for an appreciation night at the lodge.
Pheasant hunting season, by the way, runs through Jan. 10.
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