Remarks by U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi on the Senate Floor
The One Shot Antelope Hunt
September 20, 2004
Mr. Enzi: Thank you, madam president. I wanted to take just a few minutes and talk about an historic event that just reoccurred in Wyoming this last weekend. We just completed another weekend of the One Shot Antelope Hunt. This is one of the earliest annual competitions in America. It's been done annually since 1939. I first heard about it when my grandfather told me about it. He considered it to be one of the great competitions and followed who was in it. They allowed 24 hunters to be a part of it each year and tie it in with some great conservation efforts. I'd like to thank a few people for putting this on each year in Lander, Wyoming.
The president this year was Scott Harnsberger. Organizers are also helped by the Shoshone tribe and Chief Darwin St. Clair did the blessing of the bullets. Medicine man Willie LeClair provided medicine bags. My greeter was Rick Fagnant. He was a CPA, and I appreciated that since I'm the only accountant in the Senate. Skip Hornecker, was my guide for the hunt.
As I mentioned, my grandfather had told me about this hunt and I started hunting with him when I was about six years old. We would go out, take this rifle that he had and sighted in. It was his intention for me to someday have that rifle. As we'd sight in, he'd always take three shots and go check the target and he'd say, the rifle was shooting four inches high and four inches to the right. and as long as that's happening we do not change a thing. If you ever change it, it will never be the same again. So I'm pleased to tell you that 54 years later it's never been changed. It still shoots four inches high and four inches to the right. That's the rifle that I took on this hunt. When I sighted it in this year they have some professionals there to make sure that you have it just exactly right. I told them if it was four inches high and four to the right, I would not change it. My first shot was four inches high and four to the right. The second one, of course, I compensate for that, was right in the bull's eye.
Part of this One Shot organization provides water for wildlife. Many people would not know that Wyoming is high desert. Much of it gets less than 15 inches of rainfall a year and yet we have an increasing amount of wildlife because the hunters of the state have been concerned about it and are working to provide different habitat improvements for wildlife, none of which helps it more than water. There are people who would claim that in some places in Wyoming, if you saw an antelope, it would be carrying a water bottle because it would be so far from any other kind of water. People work very hard during the year to get contributions and to plan water projects at places that will be particularly helpful to the wildlife.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus, a group that works all year long to watch out for legislation that helps conservation and that provides greater access for hunters and sportsmen. The caucus involves members of the Senate and the House in the outdoor sports so that those who have not had an opportunity to experience these activities will be able to see what it's all about.
A favorite quote of mine is that it is better to take your child hunting than to be hunting for your child. Fortunately, there are not only parents who are involved in this activity but a lot of people who sponsor and participate in activities with kids to teach them about hunting. I know that it makes a great difference in Wyoming and suspect that it makes a great difference throughout the country.
It was a great pleasure to take part in the annual One Shot event and see the people who have participated for years and years. It was a great time for me to remember my grandfather and all of the lessons he gave me as I grew up, not just in the area of hunting or in fishing, but the respect that grew out of those activities that allowed him to talk to me, that allowed him to talk to me about absolutely anything. So even though my grandfather passed away a number of years ago, I just finished having a great weekend with my grandfather.
I yield the floor.