Why isn’t this guy running for office?
The presidential campaign has thrust Donald Trump Jr. into the spotlight as his father vies for the Republican nomination. Trump has used the opportunity to promote hunting and the outdoors, something he has been passionate about since his youth. But how does the son of a billionaire who lives in New York City become so involved in hunting? Trump recently spoke to the Times Leader to explain how his love for the sport began, his roots in Pennsylvania’s outdoors, discusses his plans to aid and protect hunting and the importance of hunting issues and outdoors to his entire family, the elder Trump included.
Being from New York City people may not associate you with hunting and the outdoors, but you’ve made it a point to bring up the topics while on the campaign. How did you grow to love the outdoors and hunting? “I got into the outdoors from my grandfather, who was a blue collar electrician from then-communist Czechoslovakia. He understood the good fortune we had with my family in New York, but between him and my father they said ‘OK it’s great, but there are also downfalls to that.’ My grandfather would take me to Czechoslovakia every summer. He would say ‘There’s the woods, go play.’ He taught me how to shoot a bow, shoot an airgun and how to fish. He got me into the outdoors. Now, over there hunting is an elitist sport. It wasn’t for regular people so I couldn’t do much of that.
When I went to the Hill School in Pottstown, we had a rifle range, trap range, skeet field. The head of students, Gordon McAlpine, saw my passion for it. One day he said ‘meet at the parking lot on Saturday at 6 a.m. and dress warm.’ He took me on my first upland bird shoot in PA. I just fell in love with it and haven’t been able to get enough of it since.”
You have a pretty strong connection to hunting in Pennsylvania. Do you look forward to coming back here during the campaign? “I know Pennsylvania hunting very well. I lived there for nine years. I went to boarding school in Pottstown for five years and I went to college at Penn. My first hunt ever was in PA. My original hunter’s safety certificate I got when I was in 8th grade back in boarding school in PA. I still have it from back in the early 1990s.
It will be really cool to get back there. I’m so close to it on the weekends, eastern PA, and I’m looking forward to getting back to most of the state. I used to fish Spring Creek a lot when I was in college in central PA by Carlisle. I know the state really well and it will be exciting to get back there.”
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