Hunting and Subsistence Fishing Accomplishments

We Eat, Therefore, We Hunt

For Gov. Palin and her family, moose hunting – all hunting – is not about sport or bagging a trophy. Alaska state law requires that all meat from hunted animals be used (Severson, 2008, ¶11-12). Even meat from moose accidentally killed by vehicles is recovered and distributed to the needy (Severson, 2008, ¶14-15). Alaska’s hunting regulations are very well documented. Leftists spout nonsense that Gov. Palin either shoots or approves the shooting of animals from aircraft – which contravenes Alaska’s hunting laws – see page 18 of the regulations.

Sarah Heath and her family and friends butcher and process a moose.

In remote parts of Alaska, shooting a moose means the difference between life and death for many families. Liberal environmentalists overlook this very simple fact. They similarly overlook it with the issue of wolf-hunting. Wolf packs decimate moose and caribou – and have killed humans. Alaska’s wolf control program was in place long before Sarah Palin was governor.

Life in Remote Alaska

These two videos show how Alaska’s Natives live off the land and give a good insight into hunting and fishing for various species. While Gov. Palin is not mentioned in these videos, the conditions she has encountered most definitely are. Thanks to Tracey Porreca for sharing.

Living Dena’ina, Part I

Living Dena’ina, Part II

Hunting in Alaska – As Dangerous for the Hunter as the Hunted

Temperatures drop as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. These are actual temperatures, not wind chill factors, and are most likely to be encountered when hunting porcupine caribou, which are commonly known as reindeer. Caribou are significantly larger than deer, weighing up to 460 pounds, standing up to five feet tall, with antler spreads up to three feet. Alaska Moose stand up to seven feet tall, weigh up to 1,500 lbs. and have antler spreads up to six feet.

Photo Courtesy Todd Palin as published in Going Rogue: An American Life

Our wonderful friend and commercial fishing partner Nick Timurphy, originally from the Native village of New Stuyahok, is ready to help me field dress the caribou I just shot. It may not look like a trophy, but it’s good eating, and I’m thankful to help fill our freezer with some of the cleanest organic protein on God’s green earth. We eat, therefore we hunt.

Grizzly bears lurk and can attack at the slightest provocation, particularly a mama grizzly who perceives a threat to her cubs (which is why conservative women are referred to as mama grizzlies). But angry moose are an even greater threat, attacking more hunters than the bears do (McIntyre, 2008, ¶19). Rutting males can be even more aggressive, and moose hunting season coincides with the rut. Avalanches, blizzards, and hurricane-force winds go with the territory.

Read this account of two men who went on a moose hunt – one started off rather dismissive of Gov. Palin and came to respect her as the hunt went on.

Associated Press Photo of Gov. Palin and Track Palin alongside a caribou taken.

Why Gov. Palin’s Hunting is an Accomplishment

Gov. Palin is a petite woman standing about 5′ 5″ and weighing 120 pounds. She looks so tall and stately, that people tend to forget this. Moose hunting is a group activity, as it is a monumental task for one person to handle alone. The dangers to a lone hunter are significantly aggravated. To go out in these conditions and shoot an animal weighing 900 – 1500 lbs; with antler spreads reaching up to six feet across, gut, clean, field-butcher, then get the usable meat (1/3 of of the moose) back home, and do final butchering, processing and cooking is an accomplishment in its own right. It requires solid crisis management skills, team work, and sharp intellect as the wrong move could very well mean that Gov. Palin and other members of her team never make it back home.

Young Sarah Heath with Ptarmigan she took.

Gov. Palin shined a bright light on women, hunting, and firearms, a factor in her winning the National Rifle Associations’ 2010 Sybil Ludington Award, the organization’s highest for female members. (Disclosure: US for Palin’s Publisher Ron Devito was one of the nominators). While women hunting and shooting is quite common in Alaska, it was rare in the Lower 48.

How Hunting Skills Translate to the Political Arena

A skilled hunter knows her prey’s habits, knows the terrain and habitat of her prey, its strengths and its weaknesses. She knows when to take the shot and when not to. She knows her own limitations and how far she can push the envelope. She times and places her shot to hit accurately, precisely – her prey has no idea of what hit it. Gov. Palin’s nickname from her high school basketball days, “Barracuda” is also an allusion to hunting. The real barracuda is a saltwater fish with two rows of razor-sharp teeth up to .75 inches long. Barracuda circle their prey in the distance, then strike with such great speed and ferocity, that their prey is dead instantly.

Gov. Palin in a small boat fishing on Lake Lucille

Gov. Palin and one of her daughters with a stringer of six fish she caught.

Photo retrieved from

Politics is a lot like hunting and anyone who follows Gov. Palin and has seen her in action knows that her hunting skills most absolutely do translate. She hits like a skilled sniper at the time and place of her choosing, striking fear and loathing in the hearts of her enemies. All who have under-estimated her have done so at their own peril.

Gun Control: The Sarah Palin Way

Photo retrieved from Annotations by Ron Devito

Shooting is a skill that demands great discipline and responsibility. This is even more true when a petite woman is tasked with accurately shooting and properly controlling large caliber, high-powered weapons.

The recoil from a 12-gauge 3.5″ turkey shell slams Gov. Palin’s shoulder with 70 pounds of force; that’s more than half her body weight (Hawkes, n.d.).

Even the .375 H&H Magnum “only” produces about 36 pounds of force with 15 – 20 pounds for the .308 and .30-06 and from 20 to 45 lbs for the standard 2.75″ 12-gauge shells. The .223 round fired by the M4 produces a mere three to four pounds of recoil force (Hawkes, n.d.).

Handgun calibers suitable for defense against grizzly bears such as the .44 Magnum and the .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum produce from six to 20 pounds and 25 to 46 pounds of recoil force respectively (Hawkes, n.d.). 

A pronounced forward lean; drawing a breath and releasing half; squeezing, not jerking the trigger; rolling with the recoil, and not flinching in anticipation are skills that must be mastered, along with accurately calculating bullet drop and doping the wind. Many shooters do this from the comfort of a range bench in balmy weather. Gov. Palin does it under some of the harshest field conditions on earth to feed her family.

This is kind of gun control we support!

Photo retrieved from

How Shooting Skills Translate to the Political Arena

In politics, words are the bullets. Delivered precisely and accurately, words can change the course of a nation. Spewed wildly by a loose cannon, words can make the speaker look like a blithering idiot. Gov. Palin’s words have felled many of her political adversaries, and shaped the debate on numerous issues such as health care, cap and tax, and national security. She is a disciplined shooter and a disciplined speaker. The lessons she learned in the field, at the firing range and on the basketball court have served her well in the council chamber, the mayor’s office, a chairman’s office, and the governor’s office through 2009. Those same lessons may well carry Gov. Palin to the Oval Office, where she would apply them every moment.

Gov. Palin at the McCain-Palin Rally, Bethlehem, PA, October 8, 2008
. The Real Women Hunt Moose bag was gifted to Gov. Palin by its creator and is sold on the creator’s eBay store.

Gov. Palin at the McCain-Palin Rally, Bethlehem, PA, October 8, 2008
. The Real Women Hunt Moose bag was gifted to Gov. Palin by its creator and is sold on the creator’s eBay store.

Gov. Palin at the McCain-Palin Rally, Bethlehem, PA, October 8, 2008
. The Real Women Hunt Moose bag was gifted to Gov. Palin by its creator and is sold on the creator’s eBay store.


2010-2011 Alaska Hunting Regulations, Governing general, subsistence, and commercial uses of Alaska’s wildlife. (2010). Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Retrieved October 10, 2010 from:

Hawkes, C. (n.d.) “Handgun Recoil Table”. Guns and Shooting Online. Retrieved October 17, 2010 from:

Hawkes, C. (n.d.) “Rifle Recoil Table”. Guns and Shooting Online. Retrieved October 17, 2010 from:

Hawkes, C. (n.d.) “Shotgun Recoil Table”. Guns and Shooting Online. Retrieved October 17, 2010 from:

Mcintyre, B. (2008, October 1). “Moose-hunting Sarah Palin style”. The Times Online. Retrieved October 10, 2010 from:

Palin, S. L. H. (2009). Going Rogue: An American Life. (New York: Harper). pp. 146-147.

Severson, K. (2008, September 16). “A Political Punch Line Is Dinner in Alaska.” New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2010 from: