Chris Cote of Peru shot a moose, a bear, a deer and a wild turkey this year to earn hunting’s grand slam. His daughter, Sam Cote, who accomplished the same feat in 2015, stands with him with his moose. Submitted photos

PERU — Some hunters set a reasonable goal of completing Maine’s big game “grand slam” — tagging a moose, a bear, a deer and a wild turkey — over the course of their hunting careers.

Chris Cote of Peru accomplished that feat in a single year, five years after his daughter, Sam, 24, did the same.

Chris said the two have hunted together since Sam was 10 years old.

“She’s the boy that I never had,” he joked. “Sometimes, she’s the one driving me to go hunting and sometimes it’s me driving her. It all depends upon what day of the week it is. I think what’s more rare than anything is that two from the same family get (the grand slam). That probably doesn’t happen very often.”

Chris said his daughter ribbed him from time to time about her feat, one which had eluded Chris. The big roadblock was winning the moose permit lottery. Chris got his moose permit this year for the first time since 2007.

He accomplished the grand slam in a period of just three months — the bear on Sept. 4, the moose on Oct. 1, the turkey on Oct. 5 and the deer on Nov. 14.

Of the four, Chris said it was a deer that was giving him the most stress, “knowing it was the last piece of the puzzle that I needed to get. Where I wound up shooting my deer is the spot where my daughter had just checked out three days prior. She actually sent me in the direction where I ended up going.”

He added that shooting a turkey is a real pain because they’re difficult to find “when you’re trying to hunt ’em. If you’re deer hunting, you see them all the time.”

Chris said Sam was with him when he shot his bear and his moose.

“She was my subpermittee on the moose hunt as was I back in 2015 when she got her moose permit,” he said.

The highlight of the grand slam was the moose hunt. His permit was in Zone 6 near Ashland. Chris said he was familiar with that territory because Sam’s moose permit in 2015 was the next zone over.

Recalling the moose hunt, Chris said he had the first available week of the moose hunting season. and the weather was not cooperating at all.

“It was hot on Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “We couldn’t seem to get anything moving on calls. We had some coming in, but we couldn’t see them. We were seeing at least two moose a day, sometimes before legal and sometimes after legal. Sometimes during legal, but it was a cow,” he said.

By Tuesday night, Chris said they were getting a little discouraged, and it was only two days into the hunt.
It wound up that one of the family friends, a Maine guide, was actually in the same area where they were. Sam was talking to Rumford native Matt Laubauskas, who said the guy he was with tagged out, and offered to tag along with the hunting party with Chris.

Chris said Laubaskas went out with them on Wednesday morning, but it was rainy and windy, and the moose weren’t moving that day, and he called it quits after half a day.

He said Thursday was going to be a perfect morning, nice and cool, weather was decent with light winds.

“So we went up to one area and tried calling, couldn’t get anything to respond back,” he said. “Then we decided to go find a couple of different cuts. We found one, went in and Matt did some calling for us, and immediately we could hear some moose. And it wound up, it was in the cut on the opposite side of the road that we were at.”

Chris said they had to scramble across the logging road to get to the other side.

“The cow was calling and it managed to actually get the bull coming up,” he said. “We could hear ’em, but he never came out to present us a shot. He was just far enough in the woods that we couldn’t see him.”

At that point, he said they did some more riding around, scouting out a couple other areas to see if they could get something going, and managed to shoot a few partridge while they were out.

“We turned around and came back out, and just ahead of us, coming out through there, Matt was in front of us with his truck. In front of him was a nice big bull on a trailer that someone has just shot.”

Chris said they ended up talking with the guide that was with them and they said they’d seen three or four bulls up in that area.

“We said we’d come back and possibly check this area out on Friday morning,” he said. “We went and did some more riding around. While on a dirt road, my daughter and my son in-law happened to see a moose in a cut. We immediately stopped the truck and got out. I couldn’t see it and didn’t even know where it was.

“They said it’s right there on the edge of the cut. I took the first shot. Then it started running out toward the dirt road. I took the second shot and my daughter took a shot. It came back into the road and headed out back in the woods.”

He said Laubauskas said the moose was hit with two or three of the shots they took.

“So we waited a little bit, walked up the road. We thought it was maybe 50 yards off the road, where we saw some trees moving. But it was literally just 10 yards off the road,” Chris said.

“I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m a meat hunter, not a trophy hunter,” he said. “Whatever’s legal, I will shoot. Sometimes, you never have the opportunity to get something if you pass up something.”

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