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Roosevelt honored as top sportsman among President

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In light of Tuesday’s Presidential election, the Sportsman Channel has recognized its list of the Great Eight Sportsman U.S. Presidents.

Theodore Roosevelt heads that list, and he is followed by Grover Cleveland, George Washington, Herbert Hoover, Andrew Jackson, Chester A. Arthur, Dwight Eisenhower, and Calvin Coolidge.

Today’s column includes excerpts from the Sportsman Channel’s press release that details why each President was selected as a Great Eight Sportsman.

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President, is well known as an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He first began his love for hunting when he was only 14. He had quite the passion for exploration and hunting, and he felt most natural and at ease out in the wilderness.

He hunted all types of animals and traveled all over in search of game. An accomplished writer, he penned numerous books on hunting and the wilderness.

He also had a profound influence on the American West and land conservation, establishing national parks and setting aside more than 125 million acres for national forests.

Grover Cleveland

At 5-foot, 11-inches and almost 250 pounds, the term “sportsman” doesn’t seem to relate to our 22nd and 24th President, but a sportsman he was indeed. Cleveland was an active outdoorsman who loved spending time camping, deer stalking, shooting, and fresh and saltwater fishing.

Some hint that for him fishing was an absolute obsession. It has been said that he fished almost daily during the 1890s, bringing some criticism from the press. In 1902, he wrote a book on fishing and another of his joys, game shooting.

George Washington

It’s well known that our first President was a military man and outdoorsman.

Most don’t know, however, that Washington’s favorite outdoor pastime was fox hunting on his land and along the Potomac River and its tributaries.

Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, covered more than 8,000 acres, affording him much land on which he rode his horses, hunted and fished. He also hunted duck and enjoyed fishing, both salt and fresh water.

Washington was a physical specimen for his times, and his physical stature helped him on frontier expeditions, during military battles, and while maintaining and hunting his land until his death at 67.

Herbert Hoover

America’s 31st President loved the outdoors and was happiest among nature, especially if that involved a fishing pole. Hoover had a lifelong passion for fishing that traces back to his childhood.

He fished across North America and even had a getaway camp on the Upper Rapidan River in Virginia, where he could steal away for trout fishing and much needed political escape.

A year before his death at 91, he published “Fishing for Fun—and to Wash Your Soul.” Hoover is credited with many great fishing quotes including, “Next to prayer, fishing is the most personal relationship of man.”

Andrew Jackson

The seventh U.S. President makes the list in the shooting category. Jackson was a true military man familiar with and fond of guns. “Old Hickory” was also an expert horseman who bred horses and raced them.

Known for dueling, legends puts his duels at 100 while historians say it was really around 15. Once in a duel, he got hit right in the chest, 2 inches from the heart. He didn’t even fall but merely aimed his weapon and shot his opponent. The bullet couldn’t be removed and remained in his chest his entire life.

Chester A. Arthur

The 21st President was a skilled and avid fisherman, especially at fly fishing. He belonged to the Restigouche Salmon Club, a group of New York anglers who fished in Canada.

His love of fishing made him the subject of many political cartoons of the day that poked fun at his frequent fishing trips. He once held and Atlantic salmon record along the Cascapedia River in Canada. Arthur, who is buried just north of the city of Albany, said, “There is nothing I loved more than fishing for salmon.”

Dwight Eisenhower

A fly caster and fine angler, the 34th President shared a love of fishing throughout his life.

While President, he frequented Camp David and Fraser, Colo., to fish for trout. Knowing his passion for fishing, hundreds of constituents sent him gifts of flies, rods, and reels.

Eisenhower said, “There are three sports I like for all the same reasons — golf, fishing, and shooting — because they take you into the fields — they induce you to take two or three hours, when you are thinking of the bird, the ball, or the wily trout. Now to my mind, it is a very healthy and beneficial thing, and I do it whenever I get a chance.”

Calvin Coolidge

The 30th President spent three summers away from Washington on fishing getaways Although hard to imagine in today’s political environment, the President spent the summers of 1926-28 (for up to eight consecutive weeks) with his family at beautiful, relaxing places with one thing in common: good fishing.

From the Adirondacks to South Dakota to Wisconsin, most of his summers were spent fishing and fly fishing. Although not at first a fisherman, Coolidge’s secret service agent introduced to fishing, and he was hooked.

Sportsman Channel

Launched in 2003, the Sportsman Channel delivers entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities to more than 82 million viewers. For more information, visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com.

CALENDAR

Today-May 1: Boaters must wear PFDs on vessels less than 21 feet.

Nov. 14: American Woodcock Season closes.

Nov. 17: Regular Deer Season opens in Southern Zone.

Dec. 2: Regular Deer Season closes in Northern Zone.

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