Coles Spey Story
My name is Cole Dutton and I’m in a wheelchair. This is the story of how I hunted in New Zealand with Spey Creek. The first night we went out in the Ranger. We got up to the top of a mountain and starting glassing with our guide Wyatt. We saw a lot of Fallow does then we saw a big ram on a mountainside about a mile away. When we got over there we had the choice of shooting another nice one but we decided to keep going for the big Arapawa ram. We got closer and got prone for a shot with the 7mm Best of the West rifle. I slowly squeezed and hit him in the chest 510 yards away and he immediately died. He was the biggest ram Spey Creek has ever shot by half an inch.
The second day we didn’t get anything but we spotted a stag that I really wanted. We tried to get him but it got too dark. The next morning we went to where he was. We took the Ranger as far as we could. The stag was feeding with two other stags. Then we went as far as we could with my wheelchair. Then my dad and guide rolled up hill onto a berm cause we had to stay low and I can’t crawl. I then got a shot with my single shot 308 Marlin. I cocked my gun and squeezed the trigger and down the stag went. My red stag scored about 360 SCI at 300 yards.
We went out the fourth day looking for a Chamois. We got on a couple of different Chamois but just could not get one. The last morning we went out. There was plenty of wildlife. It was too foggy to hunt Chamois so we just decided to look around. We found an 8x8 Elk in the valley and got on him with my 308 Marlin. I squeezed and heard the gun go off; he stood there a while. It seemed like eternity he was standing there. Then he fell and died. I shot him at 280 yards. He was the biggest animal Id’ ever shot and by far the widest rack I’d ever seen.
The fog lifted so we went after Chamois again. There were some guides on a mountain nearby and they radioed us and said there was a Chamois on the mountain in front of us. We found him but he got over the mountain. So we went to the other side to a spot we called Cole’s hill. We called it that because it was a little knoll where we’d had a couple of encounters with Chamois. We found him and I shot him with the 7mm Best of the West rifle. I hit him a little back and as he was running off I gave him one more shot hit again. We had to catch our flight so we left. They found him 3 days later.
I couldn’t have done it without my dad, John and Wyatt McBride and the Spey Creek Guides.
“Magic” Cole’s Story by Wyatt McBride
In 1999, a lifelong dream was realized! My father and I started a premier hunting ranch in New Zealand, Spey Creek Trophy Hunting. Over the years, Spey Creek has become one of the top hunting destinations in the South Pacific. More than the business success, the best part for me is I get to work side by side with my dad. My dad has always been someone that I have looked up to and who has taught me how to be a good businessman. The number one thing he says to me is to “live by the 10 commandments and, practice the golden rule and you will be a good man.”
My fondest memories in life are of hunting with my dad. We have hunted all over the world first with rifles, and now primarily with bows. Before I could even walk, he would load me up in my car seat, and off we’d go dove hunting. It is a passion that we have always both shared, and now we have the sheer joy and pleasure to work together doing what we mutually love. I could go on forever telling you endless stories about the fun and excitement of our many hunting adventures, but this story is about Cole, a young man who changed my life!
First, a little about me. I am 36 years old, never married and never had the pleasure of having my own children. Someday I hope I will have the pleasure, as I love being around kids. Many people say I am still a kid at heart, so maybe that’s why I enjoy them so much! Their energy and desire to learn makes guiding young kids the highlight of my season.
Spey Creek Trophy Hunting, with its luxurious lodge and abundance of record breaking animals, attracts clients from all over the United States. Spey Creek hunters hold the record for the largest stag in the world for the past several years both with rifle and bow. Several others are also in the top ten of the record book in the rifle, muzzleloader, bow, and crossbow categories. The old adage, “Records are meant to be broken” has become the norm at Spey Creek, year after year.
Outfitting is so enjoyable, as you meet great people and develop long lasting friendships with many of them. Our guests arrive as strangers, and leave as family. When you think about it, how better could it get, than go to a beautiful country, meet great people, stay in a first class facility, see an abundance of wildlife right out your bedroom window, eat delicious food, and hunt in a hunter’s paradise! It just doesn’t get any better than that!
I’m getting a little off track here. Back to the Cole story.
In 2013, we had a very special guest visit Spey Creek Trophy Hunting. In June my life was irrevocably changed for the better. A boy from Boerne, Texas, rocked my world in a way that will bless me for the rest of my days. David Dutton, a true cowboy and well-known horse veterinarian in the Texas Hill Country brought his son, Cole, to hunt with us. His son Cole is 11 years old and is different from most kids; he was born with muscular dystrophy. At the age of 10, Cole lost the feeling in his legs and is now in a wheelchair full time. He can still use his arms and he is making the most of the time he has left with that mobility.
Cole’s passion is hunting and he says he will hunt until he can’t pull the trigger. Cole is smart, kind and polite, not something you always see in an 11 year old these days. The first words out Cole’s mouth are “yes sir” or “yes ma’am.” He is very wise and mature beyond his age. Adversity becomes his challenge. Cole is a strong-hearted young man who knows God has a plan for all of us, and the best we can do is live the time we have to the fullest. He is blessed with parents who make sure he gets to do just that!
The first night out hunting at Spey Creek, Cole, his father David and I spotted the biggest Arapawa Ram I had ever seen. The only problem was we knew Cole's 308 single shot wasn't going to be able to get the job done. If Cole had the ability to walk, we could have closed the distance to 100 yards without any problem, but that wasn't an option. I asked Cole, “We have our Best of The West Rifle with Huskama scope in the truck but it's a 7mm, can you handle that?” He replied, “Wyatt if you can get me prone I will give it a try!”
We were pushing dark with only 10 minutes of light left. Time was of the essence, so I called for backup. Getting Cole an animal was the top priority in camp, and to get this huge Arapawa Ram would be the best thing ever. Two of us carried Cole to a small knob about 50 yards up the hill by making a seat out of our hands, with him griping onto our shoulders for dear life. The trust Cole put in us to get him safely up the rugged terrain humbled me. We laid him on his stomach, loaded the Best of the West 7mm, secured the gun and dialed the scope to 500 yards. I asked, “Cole, you see him?” He answered “Yes Sir”. I cranked the scope to 20 power “Can you still see him?” Once again he said could. “Cole, when you’re comfortable, take the shot.” He took a breath to steady himself and then BANG! Every breath was held. We watched with intensity all hoping that the animal fell. Only a mere second passed but that second lasted an eternity. Then it happened. I yelled, “You got it! You got it!” We all celebrated Cole’s great shot with smiles, congratulations , and tears.
Let me tell you, no animal taken at Spey Creek was as special to me as this ram. It stood for so much more than another trophy on someone’s wall. It was symbolic of a little boy who had been dealt a tough hand and was making the best of every moment that he was given, who wasn’t willing to let life beat him. It was about a father’s love, to travel thousands of miles and countless hours with a child in a wheelchair, just to make one of his son’s dreams a reality. It was so much more than an Arapawa Ram. It was life altering for every person on that hillside that day. It was priceless to see a young man who couldn’t walk shoot the biggest ram ever taken at Spey Creek, and at 505 yards! Tears of happiness were flowing from us all.
The hunt continues! At day break the second day, we loaded Cole in the front seat of the Polaris ranger with his seat belt on and his feet wedged into the dash to keep him upright. In Cole’s own words: “The second day we didn’t get anything but we spotted a stag that I really wanted…” The next morning we located the stag. We took the Ranger until it would go no farther, then loaded Cole into his wheelchair, and off we went. Cole said he was comfortable shooting his .308 Marlin 300 yards. We were able to close the gap with his wheelchair, and then set Cole up for the shot. Slowly, he squeezed the trigger and down went the stag! Two shots, two animals! All celebrations started again!
Once again, we were out hunting the next morning when we spotted a huge 8X8 elk. By this time, Cole had gained my total respect, and at the same time stolen my heart. I told him that if he thought he could take it with one shot, it would be my gift to him. After a discussion with his dad, he received the green light to give it a try. With the same confidence he displayed with his two previous animals, Cole squeezed the trigger one more time, and down went the elk! “He’s the biggest animal I’ve ever shot and by far the widest rack I’ve ever seen! Thank you Wyatt!” Priceless!
We were all sad when Cole and his dad had to leave early the next morning after breakfast. They were returning home to Texas after a successful trip, meeting new friends and taking home some well earned trophies that would remind them of memories that would last forever. I personally was left with a much greater gift. The gift of knowing that with a positive attitude and the refusal to give up, anything is possible! Cole proved that!
Since then, I returned to Texas after our season ended in July, and Cole and I have gone on several hunts together. He continues to amaze and impress me. His dream is to hunt and guide, so today Cole’s dad and I are trying to help him live is dream by taking people to the Dutton’s private ranch in the Hill Country for exotic hunts.
Cole has impacted my life so much and has shown me why God has put me where I am to do what I love…so I can share amazing stories like his with others. Cole never complains and knows the time he has on earth is shorter than most, so he makes a point to enjoy the time he has. The lesson I learned from Cole is we should stop for a minute and look at our life. Make sure we are living our dreams, and be thankful for what we have. We only get one shot at life, so live it to the fullest! I thank God for bringing Cole into my life. God bless Cole!
Hi, I’m Wade Sundell an award winning saddle-back bronc rider.
Growing up as a shy kid on a horse farm in the town of Boxholm, Iowa, I always had one goal in mind. I knew from a very young age that being in rodeos was my dream and nothing was going to stop me from fulfilling that dream of becoming a champion rider. I was truly blessed as a child to have a family that supported me in everything I did. My dad was a former bronc rider and taught me a great deal about the sport as well as what it takes to be a good man. He has been my role model throughout my life and has been instrumental in my growth as a person and as a rider.
While I had success in other sports growing up such as wrestling where I went to the State tournament numerous times, nothing compared to the feeling I got when competing in rodeos. Once you’re in the saddle and the horse starts bucking, you never know what’s going to happen. It is truly an amazing feeling when you are able to conquer the animal, one that is unique to our sport.
In pursuit of my dream to become a Champion bronc rider, I knew the path would be tough. Fatigue from eight months on the road and injuries become a way of life. The worst injury I ever had occurred when a horse came down and stepped on me lacerating my liver and causing internal bleeding. I had to spend 3 days in the intensive care unit but I knew this was only an obstacle in my path. I was determined to be back in the saddle competing in rodeos again and nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal.
Some of my achievements so far include qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo for the fifth time in 2013, qualifying for Calgary Stampede four times and winning the Calgary Stampede Champion Saddle Bronc rider twice. The highest score I have ever received was 93 points.
In addition to competing in rodeos, I enjoy hunting and fishing and have even hunted in South Africa. I have killed all sorts of animals ranging from buck deer to warthogs and cape buffalo. My dream hunt is to one-day hunt red stage in New Zealand and I am planning on going there this coming summer. Through my love of hunting I have been fortunate enough to meet John and Wyatt McBride with Spey Creek Trophy Hunting who have been great supporters and sponsors. Without sponsors in this this sport it would be tough to make it down the road.
One day when my riding career is over I’ll settle down on my farm and continue raising performance horses and cattle, however, until that day, I continue to strive to win rodeo championships and become one of the best riders in the World. While the road is tough and the ground is hard, through hard work and perseverance the sky is the limit.
“Hi, I'm Wesley Silcox 2007 Bull-Riding World Champion.
Its been said that I've had a rope in my hand since the age of two, being a cowboy has just always been in my blood. Growing up on a dairy farm at a young age I learned what hard work was. My older brother and father both being bull riders you just kinda grow up in the atmosphere. I didn't really care much about bull-riding until my Junior year of high school. It all just took off from there.
It’s not your typical nine to five job, but it’s what I love and what I know. Being on the road ain't for the weak hearted. I've had a lot of sleepless nights driving from state to state to get to the next rodeo, missed a lot of family events and holidays. I've also made a lot of life-long friends and a lot of memories. Bull-riding comes with a lot of injuries and broken bones but also gives me a chance to chase and accomplish many of my life long dreams.
Young or old, every cowboy wants a chance to compete at the National Finals Rodeo. Having made it there two years before I somewhat knew what I was in for. It was the 10th round and I knew it was an all or nothing ride. I didn't find out the bull I drew, I didn't care. I knew I had to ride. Getting in the chute doing my routine of drinking my water and slapping my face I prepared just like any other ride. The moment my feet hit the ground I knew it was it. I had finally accomplished what I had always set out to do. I heard the crowd roar and the announcer said that's it folks meet your new 2007 World Champion. I remember looking up to my family and feeling proud. It was and still is one of the best moments in my career.
Making the finals another three times since that night, the fire still burns deep. It’s a feeling you can never shake riding into the Thomas and Mack the first night and seeing what you've worked so hard for all year. It’s chilling. Injuries have kept me from the NFR the last couple years but I ain't done yet.
In 2010 I married my wife Jerika. Being married to a rodeo man could never be easy, but she does a pretty good job at it. She's always there to support me and is my rock when I need it. In 2012 we welcomed a Beautiful baby girl into our lives. These two are my biggest accomplishments in life my. Being a dad is the best thing I've ever done. There's something about a little girl to really whip you in shape. When I'm home from the road, my family and I like to just hang out and be together. We buck our bulls, go boating, and do things any other family does. I like to be outside and in the mountains, hunting being another one of my passions. Thanks to Spey Creek another one of my life long dreams will soon be fulfilled as I make my way down to New Zealand and the beautiful ranch of Spey Creek to take myself a nice Red stag!
Like I have mentioned bull-riding comes with its injures. Unlike other pro athletes we don't get paid when we are sidelined with an injury. We ride hurt and beat up because we have to put food on the table or gas in the truck to make it to the next rodeo. Working with Spey Creek this year has been awesome, they have helped me be able to provide for my family when the paychecks haven't been rolling in due to injuries or a roll of bad luck. Even when things are going my way the cost of living for a man on the rode isn't cheap. Entry fees, travel and food add up quickly. Spey Creek has been there for me time and time again. They've gone from being a great sponsor to really great friends.”
Another Stellar Season at Spey Creek
At Spey Creek Trophy Hunting (SCTH), we pride ourselves on providing the ultimate hunting experience for each and every one of our guests, and the 2012 season definitely didn't disappoint! Every one of our hunters harvested the animals they came to shoot and MORE, and left their adventure at Spey Creek with beautiful trophies and big smiles.
In addition to the successful hunts and fantastic friendships made, the 2012 season also brought a number of new world records, including the currently pending #1 Red stag in the world, ranked at 662 SCI and taken with a bow. This is the LARGEST stag ever taken by any weapon!
"Records are meant to be broken, and that is certainly what happened this year at Spey Creek!" said owner and guide, John McBride. "This season's hunters actually broke records achieved by past Spey Creek Trophy Hunting guests. An all-round fantastic season."
Other world records claimed by SCTH hunters in the 2012 season include the No. 3 scoring stag (602 SCI) taken with a bow, and several others pending in the top ten, including one taken with a muzzle loader rifle.