Seven-year-old Eli Askew and his family have celebrated a memorable accomplishment recently. Last weekend, Eli competed in the Arkansas Big Buck Classic competition and his 11 point antlers won the Biggest in Hempstead County for 2021! This was not a youth category either; this particular competition scored all the entries of the county, including the adult submissions. Another noteworthy detail of this win? Eli bagged this buck with a crossbow, and it was his very first time to bowhunt deer! Eli and his mom, Ashlee Askew, sat down with SWARK.Today to describe the details of his big win.
Eli said he has been hunting for three years now and that his dad has taught him how to hunt. On the day he got the deer, Eli said they had just gotten to their location when they spotted the buck. “He was chasing a doe and it ran off,” Eli said. “But then he came back chasing another doe, and that’s when I got him.” Ashlee said Eli was so happy and proud, and one of his very first questions was, “Daddy, can we take this to the Big Buck Classic?” However, Eli said he never thought he would actually win, so he was shocked when his name was announced as the winner for Hempstead County. Even more than surprised though, he says he felt excited.
Eli told the SWARK team there are few people he wanted to thank for helping him. He said, “I want to thank James (Westbrook) for letting me hunt on his place, and my dad for teaching me how to hunt.” Eli said his dad has spent a great deal of time with him teaching him how to shoot a crossbow, and they would spend hours practicing with a target.
While Eli shared his story with SWARK.Today, he kept a big smile for the entire interview, and his delight in his accomplishment was evident to all in the room. So we asked Eli if this was the best experience he’s ever had in his whole life. His reply was sweetly honest, and he said, “Yes, but no.” When we asked why he also said no, he replied with a charming smile, “Well, we went to Disney World.” Well, it’s pretty hard to top that! But, now we know that winning at the Arkansas Big Buck Classic is a pretty close second to going to Disney World. Eli says he is ready to try again. He said his goal now is to get an even bigger buck next year so he can go back to the Arkansas Big Buck Classic.
Good luck Eli! Maybe we’ll be celebrating another win next year!