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Retracing Our Hunting Heritage

In August of 1957 my grandfather, Gordon Eastman headed into the high country of Alaska with an 8mm film camera in hand to document an Alaskan hunting adventure. This would become his first of many films titled, Hunting Alaska Today and is probably one of the earliest hunting adventures ever to be laid down on film. I’m sure at that time he had no idea his grandson would head back into some of the very same country nearly 60 years later to retrace those very footsteps across the shale and tundra.
I think all hunters have a yearning and gravitation to relive a hunt or two from families hunting heritage, whether a bull elk hunt dad went on in Colorado or an epic adventure to the Yukon that Gramps took dad on nearly 50-years ago. Hunters are just like that, although some of the roughest, toughest grittiest survivors of our sometimes too-modern society, hunters can be a very sentimental bunch sometimes, and I am no different.
After lying cramped inside a down bag on a ridge-top high above a glacial valley inside a fly tent for three long days in an Arctic white-out blizzard, a few rams were finally turned up, but a closer look was needed to ensure legality.
Later on in the hunt a barren ground caribou was bagged and much to my surprise once I returned home, the bull is nearly identical to the bull my grandfather killed almost 60 years prior. Sometimes coincidence can be a pleasant surprise.
Join me for this very special two-part adventure that will air on the Outdoor Channel on January 6 and 14. Check the Eastmans.com website for details and air times and be sure to set your DVR. Also, feel free to head over to our Facebook page (facebook.com/eastmans) and let us know what hunt you would like to retrace in your hunting heritage.

-Guy Eastman

About Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

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  1. Kevin Schwinkendorf

    Guy, you are in good company in retracing the hunt of your grandfather. Fifty years after Theodore Roosevelt went on his epic African safari in 1909-1910 (“African Game Trails), TR’s grandson Theodore (Kermit’s son), retraced his safari, and wrote about it in his book, “A Sentimental Safari.” The NRA made available a TR collection of his hunting books a number of years ago, and was one of my best investments ever. Nostalgia and history are great!

    • Kevin Schwinkendorf

      Sorry, I should have proofread better. The author of “A Sentimental Safari” was TR’s grandson, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. Kermit (who often went by KR) was TR’s son, and went with his father on the 1909-1910 safari. Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., took his two sons, Kermit and Jonathan, on the retraced safari fifty years later. Kermit Jr relates in his book how different the political landscape was by 1960. The colony of British East Africa (BEA) had attained independence from England, and had become Kenya, and many other changes – a very good read.

  2. For a long time I blew the Eastman name off as far as outdoorsmen. I figured these were just the trust babies from the George Eastman conglomerate genealogy ; just guys with too much money to have to worry about earning a living getting in the way of hunting and fishing. The more I get into Gordon’s clan the more I find these scrappy survivors to be hardcore woodsmen etching a living out of a competitive industry…and doing it with far more class than the normal pot bellied, “Nascar” hair styled, poor grammar spouting, whoopee-up killer chest bumper. I haven’t seen this much class on TV since I last watched Flip Pallot on ESPN.

  3. Guy,
    I look forward to seeing the hunt on the Outdoor Channel in January. I live in Omak, Washington, and had the opportunity to hunt in a camp with Billy Kohls, Stan Harriman and Gordon for mule deer in Okanogan County when I was growing up. I saw all his films and remember the local news clips when Gordon was lost on the Artic ice with their Super Cub when he was involved in a Polar Bear hunt. Gordon literally scraped together money for camera equipment and hunts. He was a true pioneer in the industry. Congratulations on continuing the legacy.

  4. stan stout Guy I knew gorden a little , also saw a lot of his films and really enjoy them as well as your shows on t.v keep up the good work. sure would like to get a Montana mule deer buck, also dan gebbers is a personal friend really liked the program with dan talking about his hunts with gorden

    • guy I forgot to mention that im from malott wa and I think that gorden hunted mule deer on our ranch one time . stan stout

  5. Like Bonanza,The American sportsman, and many other icon shows, we dont often spend to much brain activity remembering the satisfaction we got relaxing or dreaming about what was presented to us in the old films. Sitting in a school auditorium waiting for the Eastman film to begin was one of the last great memories I have reconjured in a long time. Guy’s presentation brought back a flood of sensations, like cleaning My old 270 after watching those great adventures in the north country nd vowing some day to follow suit. Thanks for the memories, and keeping us always on the quest.

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