Donald Trump Jr. was in Prince George, B.C., Wednesday afternoon, sitting in the airport restaurant during a layover.
The son of U.S. President Donald Trump told CBC he was on “vacation” and declined to answer further questions.
However, the mayor of Fort Nelson in remote northeast B.C. said he’d been told the president’s son had been in his community on his way to the mountains, though he hadn’t seen him personally.
“He had no business with the municipality,” Streeper said. “I think on this kind of thing, they do like their quiet time.”
The timing of the visit coincides with a hunting trip planned by Trump Jr.’s friend Jason Hairston.
Companion on hunt for stone sheep
In February 2017, Hairston told CNN that he was friends with Trump Jr. and the pair were planning a summer hunting trip.
On July 28, Hairston posted a video to Facebook revealing he was going stone sheep hunting in northeast B.C., though he made no mention of Trump Jr. and the president’s son declined to confirm whether he had accompanied Hairston on the trip.
Hairston is a former NFL linebacker and founder of the outdoors company Kuiu, which specializes in ultralight hunting gear and clothing.
In February 2016, Trump Jr. tweeted an article about Kuiu along with the words “Congrats to my buddy Jason Hairston.”
The president’s son is an established big game enthusiast, attracting controversy in 2012 after photos of him and his brother Eric posing with a dead elephant and other animals were posted online by activists.
He has told followers on Twitter that his favourite North American hunting experience is mountain sheep.
@halshaffer that said still love the mountains and pack trips so elk and sheep are the if I travel choices.
@littlebair1 I hunt a lot. Love it. My fav pastime w fishing. Love sheep & africa hunts but really anytime I can get in2 the woods is good
Hunting ‘one of the backbones of backcountry B.C.’
Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. vice president Mark Warner said he did not know about the trip, but he welcomes visitors from around the world seeking to enjoy the province’s hunting opportunities responsibly.
“That’s what makes the backcountry economy go round and round,” he said.
“It creates jobs in rural B.C … it’s one of the backbones of backcountry B.C.”
Stone sheep are a blue-listed species in British Columbia, meaning they are of special concern but not deemed to be at risk or endangered and are classified as a “secure” species in the Yukon.
Warner said money from hunting helps fund conservation efforts.
“The species is well looked after,” he said.
He also said sheep are among the most challenging hunts available because of their mountain habitat.
“If you can’t actually hike up the mountains, you’re not going to do a sheep hunt,” he said.
Russia controversy continues
The visit to Canada comes as questions continue to swirl over a June 2016 meeting attended by Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner, the president’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
On July 11, Trump Jr. posted a chain of potentially self-incriminating emails about the meeting and continued to tweet prolifically until his account went silent July 30, the date of Hairston’s trip to Fort Nelson.
Shortly after being seen in Prince George, Trump Jr.’s account retweeted one of his father’s tweets from earlier that day.
And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. – Deuteronomy 8:18