Eagles Defensive End Trent Cole Talks Hogs, Football, and 500-Pound Bull Sharks

? I grew up outside of Xenia, Ohio. My stepfather was a big rabbit hunter, and I got interested in … Continued

? I grew up outside of Xenia, Ohio. My stepfather was a big rabbit hunter, and I got interested in rabbit hunting with him. I remember being in the fourth grade when I got my hunting license. I started out with air rifles, and then in fifth grade, I got a 12-gauge shotgun for Christmas. That same year I also got a bow–my mom told me if I got good grades, she’d buy me one.

? I still go back home and hunt rabbits with my brothers and my stepdad. It’s a family tradition. But there’s nothing like hunting whitetails. Ever since I started deer hunting, it has just exploded as a hobby for me.

? I prepare year-round for a three-month fall deal. It’s a big process. I clear trees on my property and plant food plots. I’m always working hard to improve the quality of my properties.

? It’s fun to go down South for hogs, and I also like to do some fishing down there. But Ohio is still really my favorite place to hunt. There’s no place like home, no place like Ohio.

? I’ve been fishing all my life, ever since I could pick up a pole. I particularly love bass fishing. When I started playing for the Eagles, I started also going deep-sea fishing out East for stripers and sharks.

? I got the chance to go down to Jupiter, Florida, to fish. I caught a 500-pound bull shark a quarter mile offshore. That was an experience. I had no chair–I was standing up. It bit on chopped up bonito bait.

? Hunting and fishing keep me from getting bored during the off-season.

? When I was a kid, my friends and I used to watch TV shows of hunts, then take our parents’ video cameras with us out in the woods to play. When we started to hunt when we got older, we realized that we were harvesting a lot of trophy animals, so why not go ahead and try to film them?

? Lucky me, I made it to the NFL, and all my buddies were looking at me like, “Somebody’s got to buy the cameras and equipment.” [laughs]. So I bought some professional cameras and we started filming. We formed a pro staff, and it grew from there into Blitz TV [coleoutdoors.com].

? I get three days to hunt every week during the season. I also have bye weeks. Also, Ohio has an extended deer season compared to a lot of other states. I balance it all out pretty well.

From the September 2012 issue of Outdoor Life magazine.

Photo by Drew Hallowell