When it comes to rating the coolest celebrity figures of the bowhunting world, there are certainly different factors to consider. Somewhere on the list of criteria has got to be an overall propensity for badassery, willingness to stick it to the anti-hunting crowd and pure dedication for the sport.
In the past year alone the bowhunting community has received support from a number of potentially surprising sources, like vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, whose code name during the 2012 campaign season was "bowhunter." Not only did Ryan pose in a business suit with his bow at full draw, he also lent his voice in support of a hunting culture that's older than America itself. Supporting our hunting heritage isn't always a popular endeavor, but Ryan stood behind it with commendable resolve.
There are a few names on this list that might surprise you, while others you'll recognize right away. From the diamonds of Major League Baseball to the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, we've put together our list of the most awesome celebrity bowhunters. Be sure to check out our list and tell us who your favorite star-studded bowhunters are.
Besides being an NBA legend, Utah Jazz great Karl Malone, aka 'œThe Mailman,' is an avid hunter with a hunting cabin
in Alaska. He\'s been a pretty outspoken supporter of gun rights and hunting in the U.S., which makes him a perfect fit for our list.
Like his Pro Bowl quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel
— aka "Da Beard" — spends a good bit of his time away from the NFL enjoying a favorite pastime, hunting. He hunts and he has a beard that makes the men from Duck Dynasty proud — it just doesn\'t get any better than that.
A native of Illinois, Matt Hughes
is a nine-time world champion in the UFC, with an amazing 45 wins and a Hall of Fame career to boot. In his prime, he was considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time. He\'s since hosted his own hunting TV show, where he brings the same level of intensity as in his MMA days.
Nashville Star finalist and certified country girl Miranda Lambert can hunt and fish with the best of them
, including her husband, Blake Shelton, and the couple shared some wedding venison for their nuptials. Proud to be a bowhunter, proud to be country and we\'re proud to have her on our list.
One of the things we found out about Paul Ryan during his vice presidential bid is that he\'s an avid bowhunter
. As a Congressman from Wisconsin, Ryan was proud to claim his hunting heritage when vying for the White House. That\'s enough to put him on our list — and to get some mad props from the bowhunting faithful.
Randy Couture loves to bowhunt — and he\'ll also smash your face in, which is reason enough to put him on this list. Couture is one of the most decorated UFC fighters of all time, competing in a record 15 title fights and collecting five world championships. Now that he\'s retired, he has more time to bowhunt and do a bit of acting. He starred in The Expendables 2
with Sly, Arnold and Bruce, and therefore must be considered one of the most awesome bowhunters in town.
When he\'s not chasing down Tom Brady for another Super Bowl ring, Justin Tuck (right, pictured with Bowhunter editor Curt Wells) often spends his time with a bow in hand, chasin\' down wild beasts of all kinds. Recently, he joined the crew from Bowhunter
magazine for some Javelina hunting in South Texas.
Ben Roethlisberger is not only one of the NFL\'s elite quarterbacks, he\'s also an avid bowhunter and supporter of BowTech
. He shares some of his hunting time with fellow Steelers Brett Keisel and Merril Hoge, who both know their way around a treestand or blind. If you time it just right, you\'re bound to see him at the Archery Trade Association Show
, where he comes out to support the cause.
Even though his Hall of Fame baseball career spanning over 15 years is officially over, Chipper Jones is still one of the most respected MLB players of any generation. He\'s also a passionate bowhunter, hosting Major League Bowhunter
with Matt Duff and Jeff Danker. He\'s done some work with the boys at Buck Commander
and, oh yeah, he was an alright ball player. Great guy, great bowhunter and on our list as one of the most awesome celebs you\'ll likely come across.
Whether Blake Shelton is rocking it out on The Voice or doing other national appearances with his new wife, Miranda Lambert, they both share this in common — they\'re avid deer hunters. What else do we love about Blake Shelton? He got into a Twitter war with PETA
, which finally gave up and blocked him from their feed. We\'ll raise a glass to that.