The difficult-to-find grouse from our first day hunting turned into a birds-aplenty affair on the cooler second day of Steve Chafin’s Grand Slam Adventure–and Chafin seemed to have worked out all his shooting kinks as well. Check out this amazing photo as captured by Outdoor Life photo editor Justin Appenzeller–and, no, it isn’t Photoshopped. Sometimes grouse just seem to be anywhere… Click here to see Day 1 of the Chama Slam.
…and everywhere.
A grouse in the hand…
…is worth a bird on a plate.
Chama Land and Cattle’s Cassie Wood served up the spoils from our first day’s spruce grouse hunt as prepared by Chef Kirk Vandermaat. Breasts were braised in white wine while legs and thighs were braised in red wine and grouse stock then wrapped in bacon. Oh my!
The panoramic vistas of Chama country are awe-inspiring as are the almost radical increases in elevation.
With a second-day limit of three spruce grouse cleaned and in the cooler, the Grand Slam team turned their attention to trout fishing. Anglers at Chama Land and Cattle have access to more than a dozen Alpine lakes that are chock-full of trout. Here, guide Pat Carpenter rigs the rods.
Deputy Editor Gerry Bethge worked out his fishing kinks by quickly landing a nice rainbow.
The fish activity was remarkable as rising trout continually leapt a foot or two out of the water feeding on surface flies. Our job was to try to keep switching offerings in order to match what they were eating.
And leap they did! Carpenter prepares to release a rainbow that jumped right into his boat!
High country is synonymous with rapid changes in weather which we witnessed first hand. Blue skies and sunshine switched to clouds, showers and high wind every few minutes. There’s not much that could damper Chafin’s enthusiasm…
…not even a missed strike at a rising trout.
When the sun popped out again, Chafin pounced on his next opportunity.
A smallish rainbow comes to hand.
Pretty hard not to grin when you’re having this much fun…
…or just taking in some of the incredible sites of the Chama region. This pinnacle is called Diamond Rock.
This formation is the self-titled “Luckiest Guy In The World” or LGIW as we began calling him.
Deputy Editor Gerry Bethge waits on a trout before calling it a day.
With his long-awaited elk hunt at hand, Chafin headed to the rifle range for some last-minute dialing in of his Mossberg 4X4. Chafin’s ammo of choice was custom loaded by Nosler.
Cabela’s, Leica, Mossberg, Garmin, Plano, Nosler and Chama Land and Cattle are all supporters of the Chama New Mexico Grand Slam Adventure.
Fire in the hole–time to get down to the brass tacks.
Chafin prepares to put his Mossberg through its paces.
Ready to roll.
It’s getting there. A few minor adjustments later and both hunter and guide were confident that any bull that walks out within range will be in trouble. Come back tomorrow as Steve Chafin’s elk hunt of a lifetime unfolds on

Come along to Chama, New Mexico for one lucky reader’s dream hunt of a lifetime!