Montana candidate under fire for prairie dog hunting with Donald Trump Jr.
MISSOULA, Montana — Republican candidate for Montana’s lone seat in Congress, Greg Gianforte came under fire this week over his intentions to go prairie dog hunting with his guest Donald Trump Jr.
Earlier this week, Gianforte told a crowd in Hamilton, Montana that he plans to take Donald Trump Jr. out on the shoot on Saturday.
It’s important to note that shooting prairie dogs in Montana is completely legal, but at least one wildlife advocate says it is far from ethical.
Dave Pauli Senior Advisor for Wildlife Policy with the Humane Society of The United States said, “I was disappointed I guess that any national or international politician or celebrity would have the opportunity to come to Montana in the spring and their first choice of things they want to do is shoot prairie dogs.”
In a Facebook post posted on Wednesday, Pauli voiced his frustrations about the idea of Gianforte and Trump Jr. Spending their time in Montana shooting prairie dogs.
The Facebook post has garnered a lot of attention with more than 300 likes and 400 shares in just a few hours. And there are plenty of comments on both sides of the issue.
Local Ruth Gessler Farnsworth simply said, “Awful.”
While Jeremy Parish said, “totally legal and encouraged. Just like the coyote slaughter in most states.”
Gianoforte’s spokesman defended the action.
“Hunting is a big part of gain forte’s life; he’s a sportsman and an outdoorsman and tries to get out when he can,” Communication Director Shane Scanlon said. “He’s just looking to have a good time with Donald Trump Jr. and shooting some prairie dogs this weekend.”
Donald Trump Jr. arrived at Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell with Gianforte and Sen. Steve Daines Friday afternoon to a crowd of hundreds of supporters. During their many stops that day, Gianforte took time to talk about his hunt with the first son.
Later in the afternoon Gianforte and the first son traveled to Hamilton for a rally fundraiser at the Hamilton Fairgrounds. It was there that ABC FOX Montana’s David Winter asked Gianforte about the ‘backlash’ he received about his intentions to do some prairie dog hunting from animal activists.
Gianforte responded to Winter by giving a message to those who haven’t tried hunting prairie dogs….”You should try it, because its fun.” the candidate told us.
Also during his speech in Hamilton, Gianforte revealed a similar message to his crowd.
His supporters of roughly five hundred people cheered.
Gianforte is running against Democrat Rob Quist for Montana’s lone congressional seat.
This article was originally published by fellow CNN affiliate KTMF. It is used here with permission.