Late last year, as many of us were licking our wounds after unsuccessful deer seasons (or was that just me), I received word of a local junior hunter who had recently completed quite a year.
Unfortunately, as other stories developed, I never shared the tale of Kaleb Goodine’s grand slam.
Today, after some well-deserved prodding from members of Kaleb’s family, I’ll set that right.
The 12-year-old Goodine proved his hunting prowess over the course of 2013, completing his “grand slam” on Nov. 20 when he bagged a deer.
But to be fair, Goodine’s grand slam wasn’t a grand slam at all. In fact, I’m not sure what you call it when a hunter tags a bear, a moose, a deer and two turkeys in one season. A grand slam and a quarter? A five-run homer? A Goodine?
Whatever you call it, the feat is pretty impressive. And consider this: Kaleb completed his grand slam and a quarter during a span of just more than two months.
“Kaleb helped bear bait last year and this year,” his father, Walter Goodine reported. “He got a small bear last year. The weekend Kaleb got his bear his uncle and two family friends also shot bears, 269 pounds, 246 pounds and 220 pounds. Fun weekend.”
Kaleb passed on two smaller bears earlier in the season, but on Sept. 7, decided it was time to pull the trigger.
“This was the last weekend, due to sports, that he was going to be able to hunt,” his dad explained. Kaleb’s bear weighed 135 pounds.
Five weeks later, Kaleb was back in the woods in search of a moose.
“We saw moose every day,” his dad reported.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Kaleb filled that tag, bagging a 524-pound bull.
“We saw one moving from one strip cut to another. Kaleb got into position and placed a good shot at about 80 yards,” Walter Goodine wrote.
Come November, Kaleb started out focusing on turkeys. On the first day of the month, he shot two birds — one in the morning, before heading to school, and one in the afternoon, after returning from school.
And finally, he completed the grand slam (plus one) on Nov. 20, when he shot a 130-pound buck.
“He shot the deer at 173 yards with the sun in his eyes,” wrote Walter Goodine, who was away at deer camp at the time. “Kaleb and his mother could not find the deer, but the next day after school they went looking for the deer. There was no blood, so he followed the tracks in the leaves and was on his hands and knees, looking for sign.”
His tenacity paid off: Kalebe found the deer about 150 yards from where it was when he shot it.
Kaleb’s grandfather, Ken Cole, was especially proud of the achievement.
“I could wish for nothing more than to have Kaleb’s accomplishment recognized for something I never accomplished, even if the motive was for a different reason,” Cole wrote. “In my day, hunting was not only comradeship, among my dad and four brothers, it was an annual event to supply meat for our family.
“If I have learned anything about hunting it is a sense of appreciation, respect, thankfulness and admiration to the animal that I harvested,” Cole wrote.
A belated congrats to Kaleb for a stellar 2013 hunting season.