Let’s take a look at four Presidents who would’ve rather been in the woods than the White House.
It would be an injustice on Presidents Day if we didn’t take a look at President George Washington first. Not only was he the Commanding General of the Continental Army and our first President, but Washington loved being in the great outdoors. He was known as a great farmer and horseman, but his true passions were fox hunting, fishing, and dog breeding.
Diary Entry: “On Monday, November 2nd, 1789, Having lines, we proceeded to the fishing banks a little without the harbor and fished for Cod; but it not being proper time of the tide, we only cauhgt two, with w’ch, about 1 o’clock, we returned to town.”
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt
Despite being a conservationist and founding member of the Boone & Crockett Club, President Roosevelt was also a passionate hunter. He viewed hunting as both a sport, and as a way to learn more about nature and the Great Outdoors. After leaving the Oval Office, President Roosevelt embarked on the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition. During this time, Roosevelt and his companions hunted, trapped and documented approximately 11,400 animals, from insects and moles to hippos and elephants. In addition to his hunting adventures, President Roosevelt penned many books and was a lifetime member of the National Rife Association.
Famous Quote: “In a civilized and cultivated country wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.The excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wild life, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.”
Known as our 34th President and one of the nation’s greatest Generals, President Eisenhower was also a passionate fisherman. As a boy in Kansas, he fished Mud Creek where he caught sunfish, bullhead, carp and drum. According to the book “Fishing with Presidents” by Bill Mares, Eisenhower continued his love of fishing during his presidency and took over 40 fishing trips during his 8-year run in office.
Famous Quote: “There are three (sports) that I like all for the same reason — golf, fishing, and shooting — because they take you into the fields. They induce you to take at any one time two to three hours, when you are thinking of the bird or ball or the wily trout. Now, to my mind, it is a very healthful, beneficial kind of thing, and I do it whenever I get a chance.”
From his childhood in Georgia to his days as President, Jimmy Carter always found time to enjoy nature and the Great Outdoors. President Carter loved everything from bird hunting to fishing. One of Carter’s most memorable fishing trips occurred when he was fishing in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. According to President Carter, a rabbit being chased by dogs “jumped in the water and swarm toward my boat. When he got almost there, I splashed some water with a paddle.” When Carter returned to his office, his staff did not believe his story. However, the fishing trip and incident was captured by a White House photographer, and was later dubbed the “killer rabbit attack” by media.
Famous Quote: “I have used weapons since I was big enough to carry one, and now own two handguns, four shotguns, and three files, two with scopes. I use them carefully, for hunting game from our family woods and fields, and occasionally for hunting with my family and friends in other places. We cherish the right to own a gun and some of my hunting companions like to collect rare weapons. One of them is a superb craftsman who makes muzzle-loading rifles, one of which I displayed for four years in my private White House office.”