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Porcupine Hunting With a Republican Watchdog

2 minute read

It’s like they always say: You’ve never been porcupine-hunting until you’ve been porcupine-hunting in the snowy hills of Park City, Utah, with the Republican incoming chairman of a congressional committee and his 14-year-old daughter.

I tagged along one December day with Rep. Jason Chaffetz—who was then on the cusp of his fourth term representing Utah’s Third District but his first as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (Subscribers can the full story here in the Feb. 2 issue of TIME.) Chaffetz’s new perch means he’ll have the White House in his sights as Congress’s top watchdog. He’ll try to surface scandals that make the administration look bad.

Our expedition mercifully involved a Canon Rebel TI1 camera rather than a rifle; Chaffetz says he prefers the challenge of a bloodless hunt. Wildlife photography happens to be Chaffetz’s favorite recreational activity at home (this has something to do with a 2005 leg injury that keeps him off Utah’s renowned ski slopes). And the particular challenge on this day was to find a porcupine before sunset. Chaffetz had photographed elk, moose, wild horses and even a bald eagle before, but he had never captured the spiny rodent.

To see the fruit of Chaffetz’s labor, take a look at 12 photographs the Republican has taken over the years. As you will see, in this gallery of Chaffetz’s photos, the man got his prize.

Jason Chaffetz
When in Utah, Chaffetz likes to photograph wildlife with his 14-year-old daughter KateMichael Friberg for TIME
West Utah County, Utah
West Utah County, UtahJason Chaffetz
Near Tibble Fork, UtahJason Chaffetz
Near Mormon Row, WyomingJason Chaffetz
Near Jackson Hole, WyomingJason Chaffetz
American Fork Canyon, UtahJason Chaffetz
Tooele County, UtahJason Chaffetz
Near Gros Ventre River, WyomingJason Chaffetz
American Fork Canyon, UtahJason Chaffetz
Gros Ventre River, WyomingJason Chaffetz
Summit County, UtahJason Chaffetz
Summit County, UtahJason Chaffetz
Utah County, UtahJason Chaffetz

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Write to Jack Dickey at jack.dickey@time.com