On His Belly

From Mark Steyn today:

[John Kerry] was in Wisconsin the other day, pretending to be a regular guy, and was asked what kind of hunting he preferred. “I’d have to say deer,” said the senator. “I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach… That’s hunting.”

Kerry better pray that little whopper never makes it south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Any faint hope he might have had for picking up a Southern state will be gone with the wind if it does.

(For you city folk, the only thing you’re going to bag “crawling around on your stomach” is a random pile of deer poop. You’ll never lay eyes on an actual buck if you follow the Kerry Method.)

Man, my kingdom to be a fly on the wall when Ted Nugent reads about this…


48 Responses to “On His Belly”

  1. Stephen Green Says:

    And who hunts deer with a shotgun???

  2. Mike M Says:

    That’s not hunting, that’s stupid(it’s also a good way to get shot). You hunt deer from a tree stand or a blind and don’t move. Even a city boy from Ohio knows that! Please keep this guy away from firearms!

    Maybe he can just stick to hockey…where he can use his bat and swing for the end zone…

  3. Frank Martin Says:

    you have got to be kidding me, he actually said that? He think you use a 12 gauge to hunt deer?

    Only a city boy from Boston would use a shotgun to hunt a deer. Jeesus, this is really really dumb.

  4. Jim Says:

    Some use one large slug ammo to knock the deer down, it’s not your typical shot filled ammo — is my guess. Rifles are preferred for range and accuracy though.

  5. Rich Says:

    Some hunters have to use a shotgun (with slugs) because they live in an area that forbids the use of rifles.

    But, if you are in such an area, like many areas in New England and Mid-Atlantic states, you sure as hell aren’t going to be crawling around.

    What a twit.

  6. HoosierDave Says:

    He’s trying so hard to appear normal that he just keeps making a fool of himself. Anyway, doesn’t he have a game-keeper to handle his venison acquisition issues?

  7. rosignol Says:

    Yes, slugs are one way to do it. The other is called ‘buckshot’. I’ll give you one guess why they call it that…

    Oh, and that ‘get up in a tree and wait’ thing isn’t hunting, it’s sniping. Doubly so if you’ve set out bait.

  8. Frank Martin Says:

    Everyone queue up your DVD with “The Deer Hunter” when Deniro explains why one shot is necessary when hunting deer.

    I think Deniros Assessment of Kerrys hunting technique is fairly accurate

  9. JFH Says:


    Do you know anyone that uses buck shot on dear? I, sure, don’t know anyone.

  10. Brian J. Says:

    Using buckshot on your dear is illegal in most states.

  11. Grayson Says:

    Hey Rosignol,

    Can I guess? Huh, huh? Ok, here goes. Buck comes from the Old English, bucca, for goat. The word used to be two, but was probably merged around the 1100s when European languages started to really standardize (etymology fans will notice a lot of action around this time).

    So buckshot probably comes from the kicking action of the gun, rather than the ammunition used therein. Also, it’s possible that the term comes from a gambling game (redundant, I know) where you pass around what was known as a buck (think Truman), which was thrown into a pot of cash. Thus, the buck was passed around, shifting responsibility. Take “shifting responsibility” and think, “one bullet” or “a lot of little pellets”. Either way, crawling around in the dirt is still a good way to end up dead hunting deer, and trying to kill one with a shotgun using buckshot is incredibly hard being that it’s a large, large animal (with a lot of meat and bone surrounding those organs) that can live from a collision with a Volvo.

    And, um, sitting in a deer stand is still hunting. Sniping is one form of hunting, from the tactic used to hunt snipe, a long-billed shorebird. Hunting does not require that you put on face paint, wear a thong and make your own spear points.

  12. Sigivald Says:

    Like everyone says, some people use shotguns to shoot deer, depending on restrictions of area and season.

    However, people doing that use a pump or automatic with (generally) a rifled barrel; you never use a double-barrel.

    (I mean, I would if I was a frontiersman and it’s what I had, but there’s no excuse for Kerry doing so, if he actually does, which I doubt.

    A frickin’ .30-30 is under 200 bucks, used (under 300, new). He could buy that with what it costs to have someone look at one of his Land Rovers, and have a proper deer hunting tool.)

  13. SayUncle Says:

    John Kerry: Sportsmen

    My ass:

    [John Kerry] was in Wisconsin the other day, pretending to be a regular guy, and was asked what kind of hunting he preferred. “I’d have to say deer,” said the senator. “I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my s…

  14. Steve V Says:

    Here in Cajun country, deer is hunted almost exclusively w/ buckshot.
    Most deer hunting is done from a blind on the ground, or just stalking through the swamp.
    If we crawled on our bellies, we’d drown!

  15. Timmah Says:

    Up here in the Rockies, we use a 30-06 or better and get out and beat the brush and hills for the wiley mule deer. Shotguns here are for the birds (literally)

  16. ss Says:

    “Hunting” from deer stands should only be endorsed when its the only legal alternative. It’s the moral equivalent of truck hunting, i.e., driving up to deer and shooting them. How’s it fun to shoot from above an animal without the instinct or neck muscles to look up? Actual hunting involves traipsing around in the woods, as noiselessly as possible, getting as close as you can, then BLAMMO! In an open field this might, in fact, involve getting down on your stomach so you can brace your elbow on the ground. You might also go down on your stomach in cresting a hill. Walking tall over a rise would likely spook any deer on the other side.

  17. Steve Michaels Says:

    —And who hunts deer with a shotgun???—

    If rifles are not allowed, shotguns are used with deer slugs. But I never heard or seen anyoneusing a double barrel. Evidently John hasn’t either.

  18. JFH Says:

    LOL Brian J… Having real problems typing correctly today.


    Using DEER stands is really the only safe way to hunt when hunting in the same area as others. Even bow hunters typically stay in one place where I hunt.

    Your method of hunting sounds very dangerous; I sure hope you don’t hunt in my area.

  19. McGehee Says:

    However, people doing that use a pump or automatic with (generally) a rifled barrel; you never use a double-barrel.

    Obviously Kerry learned to hunt from watching Elmer Fudd hunt Bugs Bunny.

  20. rosignol Says:

    So buckshot probably comes from the kicking action of the gun, rather than the ammunition used therein.

    Heh. Oooookay.

    Now explain why the shells containing a lot of smaller pellets are usually referred to as ‘birdshot’.


    …and trying to kill one with a shotgun using buckshot is incredibly hard being that it’s a large, large animal (with a lot of meat and bone surrounding those organs) that can live from a collision with a Volvo.

    Well, we have slightly different standards for these things. In my book Elk and Moose are ‘large, large animals’, your typical whitetail or mule deer is medium at most. Of course, I’m not using a Volvo… I suppose that would be a bit more challenging than using a Remington.


  21. Seppo Says:

    Sorry, girls, right about the belly-crawling, but wrong about the shotgun.

    I shot my first buck with a 16-gauge double barrel with rifled slug when I was twelve years old, back before I could afford a rifle, too. Moving deer at about fifty yards, in brushy mountain cover. A single slug in the shoulder brought him down fast. Never used anything but a rifle since that first year.

    By the time that first deer season rolled around I had a bit of experience with that double-barrel, after grouse and turkey and pheasant seasons.

    Some parts of NY state and New England forbid rifles, too much worry about stray shots in populated areas. Rifled slugs or buckshot are allowed.

    Kerry’s an obvious, clueless poseur (that even sounds French)

    Belly-crawling for bucks, right…

  22. Frank Martin Says:

    Ok ,I consider myself newly educated. I’ve never stood in a blind for anything but ducks and I can’t imagine hunting deer with a shotgun. My guess is that deer in the west are also considerably larger than they are in the east.

    I still seriously doubt that Mr Kerry has ever bagged any deer in any season in any state with any weapon( rifled or smoothbore),except for the volvo scenario mentioned above.

  23. Tony Says:

    One of the more interesting things I learned traveling through the rural areas of the US is that hunting varies a great deal depending on where you are. Sometimes even in the same state the “normal” equipment and technique used will be very different. But I’ve never heard of anybody crawling on their belly with a double barrel before.

    You’d think a politician would try to avoid the comparison to a snake in the grass.

  24. Greg_Y Says:

    Here in the lovely Richmond, VA area you can hunt deer with a black powder rifle (single shot) or a shotgun (two different seasons).
    OO (double ought to you city folks) buckshot is a highly effective round against deer at close range.

  25. Chad Says:

    In Iowa rifle hunting is verboten. The only choice is a rifled slug and while feasible, never in a double barrel. DB’s are for birds and clays. Because the range on a slug is so short you have to find a frequently used deer trail, position yourself on the ground or in a tree down wind and hope a deer decides to come within a couple hundred feet during the 5 hours you sit freezing your tookus off. It takes as much skill as sneaking up on one and pluggin it from 300 yards with rifle and scope. Where’s the challenge in that?

  26. Cybrludite Says:

    In coastal Mississippi, where I hunt, it’s second growth pine forest with heavy underbrush. And while it is hilly, you do have population density issues. Unless you’re able to hunt a field or a recently cut stand of pulp-wood, a shotgun with slugs or shot is plenty enough. Rifles are still prefered, thought. Using a stand ensures that if you miss, the bullet will bury itself in a half meter of sandy soil instead of someone’s den.

  27. Grayson Says:

    Still think you’re wrong, Rossi. Sorry.

    Etymologically, birdshot isn’t necessarily directly related to buckshot. It’s like saying automobile is necessarily directly related to autoerotica. The auto in this case is (roughly) the same, but the subject, alas, bears no resemblance, unless you really love your car. (This is logic, kiddo, follow the bouncing ball.)

    You could quibble with my lighthearted use of “large, large”, but what then, oh understated, chuckling hunter-man, do you call cape buffalo, zebra and elephants? That’s right, big game. Big? Large? Oh, who knows, but cape buffalo and elephant (“big game”) are well, bigger than elk and moose (or what you would call “large, large”). Why not “big, big”?

    Sarcasm [chuckles] aside, deer is nevertheless a pretty big animal. And difficult to bring down with shot (bird, buck or put). That’s why all these hunters prefer rifles (you may notice a trend).

    Of course, you could argue that the spandex hero is a particularly intrepid hunter, but I doubt it very much — and I doubt you’ll convince anyone of that.


  28. Jim Says:

    Previoius commenters have already verified the use, often mandated by law, of shotguns utilizing rifled slugs.

    What’s not been adequately mentioned is the sheer effectiveness of this combination.

    This is a Browning Gold Rifled Deer Hunter 12 ga. gas-operated shotgun. That’s an eeeeevil Semi-Automatic for any GFWs out there.

    Shotguns such as this are capable of sub 3″ groups at 100 yards, with rifled slugs. Accuracy can improve to just over 1″, by installing a rifled-barrel, which is legal in some states.

    And any deer well-hit with a full ounce of lead moving at over 1,000 feet per second tends to go down rather instantly. And stay down, too.

    So for y’all skeptics who think Bambi can’t be bagged with anything less than a .300 Weatherby Magnum, try a properly set-up 12 ga. in the brush sometime.

    Oh, and they’re deadly on hogs, too.

    Sloop New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  29. Jim Says:

    Oh, I forgot something.

    Kerry’s still a lying sack of weaselshit trying to impersonate a real hunter.

    And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere within 10 miles of him with a loaded gun of any kind in his hands.

    Not that he’s that much of a danger to me, but I don’t think I could bear to watch him try for another self-inflicted Purple Heart.

    Sloop New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  30. ss Says:

    JFH –

    I sure hope you aren’t hunting where I’m hunting too. If there’s a guy within twenty miles of me I’d be pissed off.
    Let’s just face it. Hunting out east is not hunting. You and 700 hundred other guys sitting in trees with HUD-approved porches built onto them, *hoping* one of the 50 deer in the area will walk up to you, instead of walking up to the guy who you hear sniffling a few trees away. That’s not hunting. That’s just killing deer.

    Actual hunting involves planning, intuition, knowledge of the surroundings, and walking for miles in inhospitible country and freezing weather. Hunting is a sport you should have to be in shape for. Whatever you shoot you have to drag out. And when you’re done you should be covered in cuts, scrapes, thorns, deer guts, frozen mud, and icicles.

  31. Upside Says:

    geez, everyone of you hunter types would swoon at a picture of Kerry taking a bite out of the heart of a deer he’d freshly killed.

    Though, this being Kerry, it’d probably be the deer’s liver and he’d probably call it pate.

  32. JFH Says:


    You win. Me, I do it for the meat and watching nature. I’ve watched a grey fox sneaking up on a group of wild turkeys. Many times, I’ve just watched deer feed in a meadow without taking a shoot.

    This is how I “hunt”:

    About a 1/2 before sunset, drive the 0.75 miles from the house to near one of the deer stands (walking a WHOLE 200 yards to the deer stand). Sit in the dear stand for about 90 minutes.

    If your lucky (aprox. 1 out of 3 times; have lots of doe tags plus staying on a barrier island with few hunters makes it easy to “manage” the population) shoot a deer, drive the pickup to where the deer is and pull it into the pickup. Drive to deer processor 20 minutes away, drop off deer. Home in time for cocktails with the extended family.

    You probably have nothing but contempt for me calling this hunting.

  33. Grayson Says:

    You’re right. We’re having a problem understanding what the questions are. What’s hunting? Some assert hunting isn’t sitting in a stand and waiting, suggesting that it has to be hard to do to be hunting. It strikes me as a) ahistoric, b) akin to saying “the Founding Fathers didn’t use ‘assault rifles'”. Well, yes they did (for their time), and hunting is getting food in a way that is not scavenging, trapping (and that’s questionable), fishing (and that’s questionable), planting or foraging/gathering. For thousands of years, if standing still was the way to hunt, that’s how you hunted.
    For thousands of years, using flint spears was how you hunted. Pachyderms.
    So you’re crawling around with a rifle – or a shotgun with buckshot (what’s grapeshot used to kill, BTW?). Does that mean you’re cheating?

    It might mean you’re unsafe. And it might also mean you’re unwise (and unsuccessful). Technology doesn’t make one more or less “hunting.” Bow hunting is certainly more challenging than using a 30.06, but you’re still not scavenging or killing for pure opportunity (otherwise, why not shoot from the pickup?).

    The topic is “Is John Kerry credible?” As the rifle hunters will attest (rifled, bullets, rifled barrels, whatever), double-barrelled deer hunting from your belly is POSSIBLE, but not CREDIBLE.

  34. ss Says:


    Yes, but it’s a contempt tempered by jolly, eye-rolling amusement.

    Go get ’em, tiger.

  35. rosignol Says:

    So you’re crawling around with a rifle – or a shotgun with buckshot (what’s grapeshot used to kill, BTW?).


    The term comes from how the shot is linked together before it is fired- there is a slight resemblence to a bunch of grapes.

  36. ThomasD Says:

    States in which I have hunted deer:

    New York (Bow and Shotgun)
    Pennsylvania (Rifle)
    Florida (Bow, Shotgun, & Rifle)
    Montana (Bow and Rifle)
    Arizona (Bow and Rifle)
    Idaho (Bow and Rifle)

    I have used just about every legal technique from stand hunting to still hunting (stalking to non-hunters) and have even hunted from the upper deck of a moving swamp buggy (legal in Florida.) I have seen several deer taken with buckshot and have OCCASIONALLY had to crawl short distances to get within shooting range of a critter. But I have never seen, nor heard of ANYONE, EVER using a double barrel shotgun for big game. Side-by-side, or over-and-under it really doesn’t matter. Nobody uses them to shoot slugs or buckshot. Some reasons are practical (slugs don’t do well out of certain chokes) and some are just plain esthetic (your friends/acquaintances will call you goofy.)

    Kerry’s statement is so transparently foolish one wonders who he thought he was talking to; non-hunters would certainly not be impressed, anti-hunters might be offended, and hunters certainly would find it laughable. I must concur with the previous poster – I seriously doubt Kerry has ever hunted a deer in his life.

  37. MarkD Says:

    This also might give Bush a shot at Michigan after all.

  38. Steve V. Says:

    Before y’all jump on TommyD, he said. . .
    “double barrel SHOTGUN for big game”

    There are double barreled RIFLES in huge calibers that are extremely reliable in bringing down Elephants.
    . . .
    I would like to second an earlier post, if J.F’ing K. so much as touched a B.B. gun, I’d want to be in the next state!

  39. Jim Says:

    Side-by-side shotguns are not practical for shooting slugs as the barrells are not parrallel but in fact converge – usually around 40 to 45 yards. Makes sighting very difficult.

    Some of the more specialised deer shotguns are accurate to 200 yds. Which is more than enough in my state where almost 80% of deer sre shot at under 100 yards. 12 16 or 20 guage slugs are extremely effective at putting deer down. 410 slugs are not legal in most states.

    In some areas, bely crawling is likely to end with an unpleasant encounter with a rattlesnake. Not that Kerry would have to worry – professional courtesy and all that.

  40. Denise Says:

    Although I have never hunted in my life, my father and brothers have, as well as my husband. In Missouri, hunting from the pickup is a definite trip to jail. Hunting from a tree stand is not unfair, as you really need an idea where to put the stand in the first place in order to be successful.

    This story on Kerry has been out for a while now. I blogged on it July 20. Scroll down to July 5 to see how he bird hunts. It is even more laughable.

  41. Conrad Says:

    Well folks, I grew up hunting deer. I’ve killed 19 and every one of them was killed with a shotgun loaded with buckshot. And I’ve spent plenty of time crawling on my stomach while getting into cover.

    I’m certainly no Kerry fan, but the criticism on this statement is way off base,

  42. Slartibartfast Says:

    Ok, now I’m confused. Why on earth would anyone use rifled slugs in a smoothbore shotgun? Or did I misunderstand?

  43. Billy Beck Says:

    Yes: people use shotguns to hunt deer. Yes: people use buckshot loads to hunt deer. No, you bloody moron: it’s not called “buckshot” because of the recoil. Stop being a moron. Yes: some people use a double-barreled shotgun to hunt deer. (I once watched a person tap a deer at about forty yards with a twelve-gauge slug, and then knock him down with the second shot when he didn’t go down on the first shot. It was a doubled-barrel twelve, with slugs.)

    I know this because all of it has happened right here on my father’s land in Cortland County, in The Vampire State, where we’ve also used rifles even though the commissars disapprove.

    Jesus H. Christ in a chicken-basket: it would be lovely if people knew what they were talking about, to include that idiot, Kerry, and that rot about stomach-crawling.

  44. Billy Beck Says:

    Ps. — one uses rifled slugs in a smooth-bore weapon in order to gain the benefit of rifling with a smooth-bore weapon. It’s why the bleedin’ slug is rifled.

  45. rosignol Says:

    Ok, now I’m confused. Why on earth would anyone use rifled slugs in a smoothbore shotgun? Or did I misunderstand?

    No, you understood what was being done, what you didn’t get was why.

    You see, most shotguns fire shot, a bunch of little (or not so little) pellets. Rifling the barrel doesn’t do shot any good (bad for accuracy, hard on the barrel), so someone invented rifled slugs as a way to get a bit more accuracy out of a smoothbore shotgun when firing slugs. There are also rifled shotgun barrels intended to be used with slugs, but you generally don’t want to fire shot with those. I suppose someone might have invented a rifled shotgun barrel that was fine for shot while I wasn’t looking, but I haven’t heard of any.

  46. Slartibartfast Says:

    Normally I wouldn’t threadjack like this, but what the hell, others have done worse.

    I’m still not seeing how a rifled slug in a smoothbore weapon makes sense. What’s the rifling going to do? A round in a rifled barrel gets spun up, which carousels out the force disturbance caused by slight misalignment between the center of gravity and the center of aerodynamic pressure. The force vector literally gets spun around rapidly enough so that the round doesn’t get pushed off course. Now, put any round (Rifled, smooth, what the hell? How can you rifle a round, anyway? Can you tell I’m dumber than dirt about shotguns?) in a smooth barrel and it doesn’t get spun up, which means less accuracy.

    So, either I still am possessed of a huge gap in understanding, or…

    Anyway, thanks for the response, Billy.

  47. Addison Says:

    “I’m still not seeing how a rifled slug in a smoothbore weapon makes sense. What’s the rifling going to do?”

    Spin the projectile. Uses air to spin, rather than the metal in the barrel, but stabilize the round, and prevent it being deflected/curving due to minor inconsistancies in the front.

    Rifled slugs will spin, when being fired out of shotguns not really designed for it – apparently in the 60s and 70s, lots of places passed laws mandating shotguns only. Then the specialized slug “Shotguns” took off in the mid-to-late 80s, at about the same time the saboted .50 slugs showed up (sabots took the dings from the barrel/choke, whatnot – leaving the slug itself undamaged, and so even out of unrifled barrels they were pretty accurate, out of rifled barrels.. well, you really have a huge rifle now.)

    Yes, you *can* use buckshot for deer (I’ve done it). I suppose, you could use a double barrel, no reason that’s wrong, if the chokes are set up for it. (most DB’s aren’t set up Full/Full, but that’s not a definate, it could be that way).

    But I still think Kerry was putting us on. Heck, tell you what,though. Deer season is 2 weeks from this weekend in my home state of S.C. I’ll be happy to take Kerry hunting, and report back on how much he knows.

  48. Slartibartfast Says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, Addison. That actually makes sense. And…hey, I learned something today.

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