It was revealed by GQ magazine that Paul Ryan’s Secret Service code name is “Bowhunter” because of the Wisconsin Congressman’s prowess as a hunter.

Ryan, the vice-presidential nominee, also is featured by Deer and Deer Hunting magazine, in which he explains his hunting history and his passion for the sport.

He began hunting at 12, after mowing lawns to earn enough money to buy a 20-gauge shotgun.

He bagged his first deer when he was 16, not long after his father had died and Ryan was invited by one of his father’s friends to a deer-hunting camp.

“Boy, was I nervous,” he told the magazine. “I had a great old Winchester .30-.30 lever-action like a lot of kids my age used, and it was a super gun. Man, it was shaking in my hands.”

Ryan then took up bow-hunting and archery. He talks about some of his favorite deer-hunting moments but says he began to hunt less frequently after having children.

However, he bought his oldest daughter a rifle for Christmas and says his entire family likes to get outdoors and hunt.

Asked jokingly if venison is served in the White House, Ryan responded: “No, they don’t. But at home I prepare my own venison and sausage. I have some big chest freezers in the basement for my pheasants, ducks, deer, and other game. My family is used to eating wild game. But they don’t in D.C. That’s foreign to them.”

Ryan explained to the magazine’s editor what he loves most about hunting: “Studying the strategy, preparing food plots, the strategy of where a dominant buck is living or will be moving and then being in position to get a shot, that’s really exciting.”

Of the new code name , J.R. Absher of Outdoor Pressroom writes: “We figure the moniker will prove especially appropriate when Mr. Ryan heads to his tree stand–bow in hand and agents in tow–on Wisconsin’s opening day of archery deer season Sept. 15.”

–Image of Paul Ryan is courtesy of Deer and Deer Hunting magazine