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1:13 PM Fri, Dec. 14th

Family shares in javelina hunt

Destiny Kogianes (center) and her brother Colten, along with their father, Socky, are all smiles after Destiny bagged her first big-game animal in Arizona. The javelina was taken in Unit 18B on a youth-only hunt.

Photo special to the Miner.

Destiny Kogianes (center) and her brother Colten, along with their father, Socky, are all smiles after Destiny bagged her first big-game animal in Arizona. The javelina was taken in Unit 18B on a youth-only hunt.

When a family goes on a hunt together, it builds bonds and memories that will last forever. It is truly what the hunt is all about.

A Kingman family was able to go on a hunt that has made memories that they will never forget.

Destiny Kogianes is 10 years old and she enjoys the great outdoors. She is in fifth grade at Manzanita Elementary School in Kingman. She is the daughter of Socky and Brittany Kogianes.

After graduating from a Hunter Education class last summer, Destiny put in for a youth javelina hunt in nearby Unit 18B, which is east of Wikieup. She drew one of the 100 tags that were issued for the hunt.

This youth hunt, because it is close by, is a favorite hunt for locals who want to spend time with their children and mentor them in all facets of hunting, which include glassing, shooting firearms and field dressing the animals.

Destiny had been taught how to properly use firearms by not only the Hunter Education staff, but by her father as well.

She started off shooting a .22 rifle, and then moved up to shooting a 20-gauge shotgun. Finally, Destiny was ready to utilize a rifle that could take big game.

Socky is an avid long-range shooter and had built a custom long-range rifle. It is built on a Remington model 700 action and is chambered for a 6.5 x 284 cartridge. It is topped with a 5x20 Huskamaw scope. This round is very accurate and low recoil, perfect for a young hunter to use on her first big-game hunt.

Destiny shoots her dad’s rifle well. She practices a lot at the 7 Mile Hill Range and is more than capable of hitting steel targets on a regular basis out to 500 yards. Practicing shooting the rifle was something that Socky wanted her to be comfortable with before they ever went into the field.

So when the hunt arrived, Socky was sure that when given the opportunity that Destiny would do her part. The only problem was this is hunting, and finding the animals you are pursuing is never guaranteed.

On opening day, Socky, his friend Cody Jalbert, and Destiny were glassing in an area north of Bagdad. Despite their best efforts, only one javelina was seen by the hunters. It was a long way off. After a three-mile hike ,they found that the pig had given them the slip.

The next two days the hunters did a lot of glassing, but no pigs were seen. Inclement weather wasn’t helping the hunters locate any pigs, though they knew from past hunts, there were pigs in the area.

It was the fourth day of the hunt and in the field that day was Socky, Destiny and her 6-year-old brother Colten. It was to be a true family experience.

The weather had gotten better and Socky found what they were looking for. He spotted a large herd, but they would have to go up and down and through two steep canyons to get to them.

Destiny and her brother were up for the challenge and off they went.

After hiking through the rugged country, the trio got within 380 yards of the herd. They could get no closer due to the terrain without spooking them. Destiny got into the prone position and set up for the shot. It was a situation that she was well prepared for.

The first shot hit home, but the pig stayed on its feet. Her brother, who was watching through binoculars, urged Destiny to shoot again. She did, and the boar fell over and it was done.

The group worked their way over to the pig, got some pictures and quartered up the pig. With the additional load in their packs, it took the family almost half the day to get back to their vehicle.

Destiny wants to get a European mount on her first big-game animal, so Socky is going to have it done and dipped in pink camo.

“It was a great experience, and getting to hunt with both my son and daughter together just made it that more special,” Socky said.