Buckner Downs His First Elk

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Brandon Buckner, a 13-year-old, seventh-grade student at Rim Country Middle School, capped a successful youth hunt last week by downing his first elk.

Hunting with his father in Unit 4A, Brandon was able to coax the cow elk out of a nearby canyon using a bull elk call.

When the cow meandered to within 40 yards of Brandon, the youngster dropped the animal with one shot from his .243 rifle.

Brandon's father, Buck, called the hunt "perfect and successful."

The teenager tagged the outing "a big thrill."

One tough kid

At a time and age when many of our school district's PE teachers struggle to coax complaining students to participate in required mile runs and other physical activities, Alchesay's Blaine Goklish is a breath of fresh air.

As the defending Class 3A state cross country champion, Blaine pulled off an achievement last week that most wouldn't even consider attempting.

At the Alchesay Invitational Friday afternoon, Blaine competed in the 3.1-mile event and easily ran his way to the boy's title.

Later that evening, Blaine played wide receiver for the Falcons in their 21-8 win over Monument Valley.

The following day, Saturday, Blaine boarded a bus and made the almost four-hour-long round-trip drive to Tempe Kiwanis Park where he competed in the Conley Invitational against the state's best cross country runners.

Although he was outdueled by Phoenix Trevor Browne's Kevin Billington for the gold medal, Blaine stamped himself an athlete of steel by finishing second.

According to locals who were in Tempe for the event, Blaine's athletic achievements were the talk of the meet.

Two cross country meets and a football game in the course of 24 hours is the stuff legends are made.

DU a hit

Local Ducks Unlimited members are continuing to tally the proceeds of their annual banquet held Sept. 30 at the Mazatzal Casino.

Chairperson Bruce Wilson says the banquet was a tremendous success and many wonderful prizes given away to the 230 persons who attended

The success of the event, Wilson said, was due mostly to the tremendous support offered up by the organization's many sponsors.

At a later date when tabulations are complete, Wilson will detail proceeds from the banquet and what DU's commitments and plans will be for the funds earned. Last summer, Wilson said the local chapter is committed to several good causes including sponsoring all-fifth grade students in Payson, Pine and Tonto Basin into DU's Greenwing program.

Fishing Pole Loaner Program

Fishing poles and mini tackle boxes are available at the Payson Parks and Recreation office, 1000 W. Country Club Drive.

You must be 18 years or older to check out the fishing poles, but anglers of all ages may use them free of charge.

The program is sponsored by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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