To many people, hunting is more than just recreation—it is a family tradition, a part of their heritage, and a way to both put food on the table as well as ensure the future of America’s wildlife. Little of this changes just because you’re famous, yet celebrities bear the brunt of public scrutiny. Other people stand up and take notice, whether they be fans, critics, or even animal rights groups that have a bone to pick. This is why it is important that famous hunters, whether they’re politicians or movie stars, defend their right to hunt. In doing so, they show that hunting is not something that should be hidden, but rather lauded and encouraged.
Here are seven additional celebrities that not only participate in the hunt, but they do so proudly in the public eye.
1. Kid Rock
Longtime followers of Kid Rock (born Robert James Ritchie) may know that this Motor City rock star has a soft spot in his heart for deer hunting, but many may not know that Kid Rock is a hunting buddy of another Detroit rocker: Ted Nugent. Ritchie is the only hunter in his family, although he does attribute his love of firearms and hunting to his rural upbringing. The singer-songwriter was born in Romeo, Michigan, where he tended to his family’s six-acre orchard and helped take care of horses. Although Ritchie is more familiar with the feel of a rifle, he recently got into bowhunting with some expert tutelage.
“Ted Nugent’s one of the best bowhunters in the world,” he told contactmusic.com. “He’s been bowhunting since the ’50s, so I called Uncle Ted and he said, ‘Come on, I’ll give you a little lesson.’ So we had lessons and now I’m ready to knock down a big one and get me some good venison meat. It’s like a rush. You’ve got to wait for that big monster to get right in front of your blind and then you’ve got to draw the arrow back. It’s quite an adrenalin rush.”
As you can see below, Ritchie has since nabbed that big buck of his dreams, and has moved onto more exotic game like mountain lions.
2. Tom Brokaw
Television journalist and former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw makes little secret of his love of bird hunting. From his ranch in Montana, where he recuperated from cancer treatment, Brokaw said that grouse season is one of the things he’s most eager for. Brokaw grew up in South Dakota and was well-acquainted with firearms—receiving his his first .22 rifle at the age of 12. Yet the journalist would not own a gun for many years as he pursued his career in New York. For about 20 years, Brokaw said he abstained from owning a firearm, but in the early 1990s, he rekindled his interest in guns. Coupled with the purchase of the ranch and a hunting dog tugging at the leash to chase birds, Brokaw delved into the world of hunting and never looked back.
“Tom’s love of the outdoors never disappeared under the pressures of a celebrated career, and in fact contributed to its gravity,” Tom McGaune, Brokaw’s neighbor and hunting companion, told The Star Tribune.
3. Nelson Mandela
Fame followed Nelson Mandela well after his time fighting apartheid and tenure as President of South Africa. Although Mandela passed away in 2013, he still remains a controversial figure to some, and a symbol of the battle against race inequality for many. One thing that not many people knew, however, was that Mandela was also a big game hunter and supported hunting as a means of culling overpopulated species and defending wildlife from poachers. Perhaps more importantly, Mandela argued that wildlife conservation is also dependent on rural development, and that it is through a balance between the two that South Africa’s wildlife would flourish.
“It is important for conservation and rural development to be combined,” he told The Weekly Mail. “Nature conservationists must take into account the needs of people around the reserves. They need to encourage education programmes about protecting wildlife and always act in co-operation with the local communities.”
4. James Hetfield
Metallica’s lead vocalist James Hetfield is not only an avid gun collector and hunter, but he is also not afraid of some criticism. The songwriter behind the heavy metal band signed on last year to narrate a documentary on bear hunting in Alaska’s famous Kodiak Island, and was promptly snubbed by some of his fans. Some even went on to protest the band’s performance at the Glastonbury Festival over the summer, but were too few in number to actually bar Metallica from the stage.
In response Hetfield, along with the rest of Metallica, produced a short and bizarre video poking fun at their detractors:
5. Tom Selleck
From the role of Thomas Magnum to Jesse Stone, Tom Selleck is best known for portraying men of action. Suitably, in his personal life Selleck is not only an avid outdoorsman, he is also a skilled marksman and previously served with the California Army National Guard. Selleck also enthusiastically supports the National Rifle Association and donated many pieces of his personal firearm collection to the National Firearms Museum in Virginia. What many of his fans may not know about him is that the actor has restored a 1910 hunting lodge in Ventura County and hunts whenever he is able.
This singer-songwriter and actress may not be as familiar to US audiences, but she is often recognized as the most successful solo female artist in Mexico. Having sold over 40 million records worldwide and since become a television icon, Ariadna Thalia Sodi Miranda has a considerable influence on both the world of music and film making. Yet this did not stop her from enjoying a bird hunt from time to time. In fact, Thalia has an extensive—and expensive—gun collection ranging from Beretta shotguns to custom crafted Fabbri firearms that can cost well above $125,000.
Surprising? Not for a girl who grew up as an expert handgunner in Mexico City. Thalia told the Wall Street Journal that she grew up around guns, and that few things relax her more than a game of shooting clays.
“Shooting is a great escape for us,” she said.
7. Roger Waters
Inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and acclaimed musician, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters rarely needs much of an introduction. His fans might be surprised to hear that he goes hunting on occasion. In 2005, when the United Kingdom banned fox hunting with dogs, Waters was so outraged that he joined with fellow musicians to hold a charity concert protesting the ban. Afterwards, Waters was so frustrated by the situation that he cited the Hunting Act of 2004 as one of the main reasons he moved to the US.
“I’ve become disenchanted with the political and philosophical atmosphere in England,” he was quoted in Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd. “The anti-hunting bill was enough for me to leave England. I did what I could, I did a concert and one or two articles, but it made me feel ashamed to be English.”