Donald Trump Jr. will spend the next two days in Montana with Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Their schedule is packed with rallies, fundraisers, and pumping prairie dogs full of hot lead.
“As good Montanans, we want to show good hospitality to people,” Gianforte, a tech entrepreneur, told the AP. “What can be more fun than to spend an afternoon shooting the little rodents?”
For ranchers in Montana, shooting prairie dogs is more recreational target practice than a real hunt. They’re classified as “agricultural pests” in the state, the AP notes, though their numbers have been dropping in recent years. Still, it’s perfectly legal for a couple of millionaires to blow their furry limbs sky high with high-powered rifles.
The Humane Society on Thursday put out a statement condemning the hunt and noting that this time of year, female prairie dogs are likely pregnant or nursing. The statement says these animals need to be “protected,” not shot.
Gianforte wasn’t very sympathetic to that appeal when speaking to the AP. “Clearly they’ve never shot a prairie dog,” he said. “They don’t know how much fun it is.”
Trump Jr. will no doubt agree. The avid outdoorsman is a known hunter, although he typically likes his kills to be much bigger.