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Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks hunting and fishing

November 23, 2009 |  9:05 am


I plucked the December/January issue of Outdoor Life from the mailbox Sunday afternoon, shortly after learning that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered what was believed to be a mild concussion in a losing effort against the Kansas City Chiefs.

By strange coincidence I turned to the back page first and there was Big Ben, whose team is the defending Super Bowl champion, talking about how much he loves the much safer pastimes of hunting and fishing--and boasting about how he once bagged three ducks with a single blast.

Here's the brief Q&A:

Outdoor Life: How did you start out?

Ben Roethlisberger: I grew up in Ohio and have been fishing and hunting as long as I can remember with my dad and grandpa. Whether it was bobber-fishing for bluegills or spin-fishing for bass, I'd do it. I'd get out often.

OL: What's your favorite place to fish?

BR: Anyplace there's water! Seriously, though, I've taken my dad to Wyoming to fly-fish and it's been a great experience.

OL: How about hunting?

BR: I've always been more of a bird hunter than a deer hunter. I love to hunt ducks, geese, quail, grouse and turkeys.

OL: What's your most memorable hunting experience?

BR: As a kid, hunting with my dad on the Ohio River, I once got three ducks with one shot.

OL: How does playing football compare to hunting or fishing?

BR: I think my dad said it best when he said, "Being outdoors is still  better than anything else you can do." It's hard, but we always manage to get a day off and I'll get outdoors.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger warms up before a game against the Detroit Lions this season. Credit: Leon Halip/US PRESSWIRE