Meet father-son duo, Cole and Buddy Eastman of Hiram, Maine who have been selected for Outdoor Life‘s 2014 Grand Slam New Mexico elk hunt. Cole and Buddy are headed for a hunt at Vermjeo Park Ranch next month and each received a Nesika rifle, apparel from Sportsman’s Warehouse, a Hawke Frontier ED 8×43 Open Hinge Black Binoculars and Hawke Endurance 30 SF 4-16×50.
In this episode from the Grand Slam hunt, Cole stalk elk herds across Vermejo Park Ranch with his dad and guide Randy Chambers. Watch him harvest a mature cow—his first ever elk.
After Cole takes his cow the first night of the five-day hunt, Buddy spots an opportunity to harvest a mature 330-class bull elk. Watch the episode right here:
Stay tuned for more episodes!
Cole & Buddy Eastman
How were you introduced to hunting?
I have been in the woods with my dad since I can remember. I started hunting when I was 7 and am now 12. I found this article while sitting in the doctor’s room (waiting to be tested for Lyme disease) and couldn’t believe it.
You see, to me and my dad, hunting is our life. My dad and his dad (my grampy) go hunting every Saturday during hunting season. My grampy gave me his .44 that he used to hunt with. Hunting gives me and my dad special time together. I know a lot of my friends don’t have that. I also know my dad gives up a lot of time to teach me his hunting ways he learned from his dad.
I hope someday I can repay him for all he does for me. My dad has been my baseball coach for the last eight years and also my football coach for the past seven. He was also my Cub Scout leader for three. My dad gives up what spare time he has and devotes it to me and others through coaching, which makes me feel proud since so many kids do not have that. He inspires me to do good and be a better person. Hunting brings us closer and we share special times in the woods, just me and my dad.
Describe a typical day in the field when you and your partner hunt together.
My dad likes to be prepared, so we start getting ready for hunting the night before. We get all of our orange, clothes and rifles out. My dad wakes me up at 3 a.m. and we get dressed and head out. We get to our hunting spot and try to walk very quietly to our tree stand. Sometimes it is so cold I can see my breath. Sometimes it is raining. That doesn’t stop us. We go in any weather and give it our 100 percent.
You never know when or if you will even see a deer, but my heart starts pounding and I hold my breath every time I hear branches crack. Hunting has taught me to have patience, which is not easy because I have ADHD, and waiting for anything or sitting is extremely hard for me—and my dad, I’m sure. We take a break and stretch our legs and walk through the woods to see if we can spot anything. This is what we love to do. It is our passion and one of the things we can always share together, no matter how old we get. There is no place I would rather be.
Why would participating in Outdoor Life’s New Mexico Elk Grand Slam be a life-changing experience for both you and your partner?
My dad does so much for me, and if I could surprise him with this trip it would be a dream come true for both of us. We always talk about going on a hunting trip together. To win this trip would mean I could maybe repay him in a small way for all he had given me and taught me. It would show him how much I really do appreciate the time he spends with me.
I would love to see the look on his face if I can surprise him with this trip. My dad deserves to go on a trip just for him, and it would be something we could do together and remember forever. I can’t say enough about my dad. He teaches me to be responsible and be a good person, help others, and work hard. This trip would show him I’ve been listening to his life lessons. Thank you for considering me and my dad.