Gov. Tim Pawlenty has taken a drubbing from hunters for not tracking down a deer he shot on opening day of Minnesota's firearm deer season.

A headline on calls the possible presidential candidate a "slob hunter" for wounding a deer on Nov. 7 and then leaving for a Republican fundraiser in Iowa before the animal could be found.

One contributor wrote: "What kind of slob hunter goes out opening morning and shoots a deer knowing full well you won't have time to retrieve it or tend to it? One whose presidential ambitions override his hunting ethics, that's what kind." says: "A responsible hunter, who is also an ethical hunter, will be prepared to spend hours trailing a wounded deer; even come back the next day if needed. You must make every effort to retrieve a wounded animal. It's the right ethical thing to do."

Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and an organizer of last weekend's hunt, said Pawlenty and his hunting party did everything they could to find the animal.

After the governor shot the deer at 7 a.m. from more than 200 yards away, he and his brother Dan, an accomplished hunter, went to where they last saw the animal.

Finding blood but no deer, they returned to base camp for breakfast and to consider their next move.

Due in Iowa that night for a fundraiser, Pawlenty left while others took up the search. By dusk they had found nothing and stopped. There has been no sign of the animal since.

Pawlenty has bagged only one deer -- in 2004 -- in his seven years as governor.


Jesse Ventura, investigator

Blow the dust off that old copy of the Warren Report. Jesse Ventura's got a new TV show.

Minnesota's former governor and one-time pro wrestler is gearing up for the Dec. 2 premiere of his new show on TruTV called "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura."

Every week, Ventura and "an investigative team" will "examine nefarious plots, schemes and claims," according to a network release.

Hot Dish Politics has uncovered details on the first episode: a government research facility in Alaska that may or may not emit radio waves to alter weather patterns and control people's minds. It certainly sounds nefarious.

"Jesse Ventura and his team head to Alaska to investigate, but are stopped at the gate of the facility, unable to enter and see its real purpose first-hand," says a description of the episode provided by a network rep.

Thankfully it doesn't end there.

Several "experts and eyewitnesses" are on hand to talk about the facility in Gakona, Alaska, home to the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).

The description of HAARP on its website may be what roused Ventura's conspiratorial senses:

"HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes."

The show premieres Dec. 2 at 10 p.m.


Fig leaf slippage

Iowa, Florida, New Hampshire.

All states crucial to any serious presidential contender. All on Gov. Tim Pawlenty's travel schedule.

The governor, who publicly demurs on any 2012 aspirations, gave a televised speech to Iowa Republicans this month, was in Florida on Friday to address the monied Naples crowd and will enjoy New Hampshire's lovely winter weather next month when he drops in to raise funds for politicians there.

Pawlenty's new PAC helps fund his travels and seed others' campaigns.

To paraphrase the great philosopher and singer of "Sk8er Boi," Avril Levigne: Could he make it any more obvious?