by Deb Goalby

Alyza Flores, a twelve year old junior shooter from a loving family in Sahuarita, Arizona, first experienced the thrill of shooting at age nine with her dad, Carlos. In preparation for her first hunt, Alyza’s dad took her to a local shooting range and she has been “bucked” up for learning and improving her marksmanship skills ever since.

Alyza, being a sharp and talented young shooter, progressed quickly from a bb gun to a .22 caliber and finally mastered a .243 caliber rifle. Her rifle preference depends on the game that she is hunting. One evening while Alyza and her dad were tracking deer in the Aravaca area of Southern Arizona, they spotted a 2×2 buck. It jumped a fence and circled around them. Alyza shot twice. Her first shot went over the bucks head and the second shot dropped him. Alyza cried tears of excitement over successfully bringing down her first buck.

Last year on her first elk hunt, Alyza was challenged by the low visibility of a dense forest. However, she remained calm and used her expert skills to finally bring the elk down with several shots.

Aft er any successful hunt, Alyza and her dad carefully approach the animal and then take a few minutes to field dress it. Once the animal has been dressed, Carlos and Alyza deliver their trophy to the Wild Game Processing Butcher Shop in Tucson.222

Alyza is a seventh grader at Corona Foothills Middle School in the Vail Unified School District. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and holds a 4.0 GPA. In addition to excelling academically, she is an accomplished athlete. Cheerleading, volleyball, soccer, Tucson Girls’ Golf, Tucson Youth Football and Spirit are just a few of the sports under Alyza’s belt. She has even been named “Athlete of the Week” by the Marana newspaper for her participation in the Marana Junior Rodeo Association. Her rodeo events included: mutton busting, team roping, breakaway, goat tying, barrel racing, pole bending and dummy roping.11111

Alyza’s passion for hunting and her other many diverse interests are all embraced by her family and she is thankful for their loving support.

Deb moved to the White Mountains in ‘06 aft er years in S. AZ. Love the small town, clean air, neighbors and activities! Former Art teacher with 20 years in Education now enjoying semi-retirement and writing from my cozy log home.