Craig youths claim 1st bucks on hunting trips
Hunting has been a way of life for 12-year-olds Tiana Nichols and Blake Juergens for quite some time, even before they were allowed to register for the sport.
And, in their first year being able to fully enjoy the pastime, they nailed it.
Nichols and Juergens both harvested their first deer in October during the second season, and neither had to travel too far to do so.
For Nichols, the experience was on the property of some family friends outside of Craig in rural Moffat County, in a spot that was well stocked with hooved residents, much to the delight of her and her father, Gary.
“By the time we got to the blind, there was already a deer coming into the field, and he was mine,” she said.
Though there were some nerves involved, she downed the 4×4 buck easily, having notched plenty of shooting proficiency growing up in a hunting family, eagerly awaiting the day when she would be able to pull the trigger on one of these trips.
For Juergens, the site was at Trapper Mine, able to get on the land thanks to his grandfather’s former employment there.
“It has wide options,” he said. “You know where to find does or big bucks, and we have a little secret area where we go.”
Juergens claimed his own kill, a 6×6 buck, at the location.
“I’m probably never going to get one that big the rest of my life,” he smiled.
Both Nichols and Juergens said this will hopefully be the first of many trophy animals they see, coming to appreciate the importance of the timing involved in hunting, the early rising and above all, the patience it can take.
“You can’t go to the deer, you’ve gotta have them come to you,” Juergens said.
As someone who’s achieved the top prize in past years, Matt Ounsworth was more than willing to accept runner-up in this year’s Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.