Upton’s Young Guns are here for the kids

Braden Schiller

Submitted courtesy of Nick White

Triston McNutt, Tevon White, Brendan Sanderson, Nathan Sanderson, Ryan Baker, Trevon White and Xyla Rehling pose with their awards at this years regional YHEC tournament.


Braden Schiller

NLJ Reporter


Upton is the proud home of a plethora of yellow-shirted children who love learning about responsibility and shooting sports.

“The Young Guns are the only youth shooting group that’s not age based or like a scholastic clay shooting club in the state. So we would be the only club that, like, covers multiple things,” Nick White said.

The Young Guns follow the National Rifle Association’s Youth Hunting Education Challenge, which consists of eight events. Four shooting events are muzzleloader, .22 rifle, hunting, archery and shotgun. The four responsibility events are orienteering, wildlife identification, hunters safety trail and hunters responsibility exam.

Young Guns was founded in 2011 by Scott and Ladena Buckley, when their children, Colton and Kjersti, were competing. Scott said that Colton was shooting in YHEC tournaments and had been contemplating going to nationals. 

When Colton decided to go to nationals, the family opted to fundraise for the trip to Rancho, New Mexico, along with two other kids. Scott served as coach, and during their time at nationals, they formed the idea of starting a team.

“The nice thing about the Young Guns is that there are a lot of kids that, you know, they’re not football players, some of them. Some of them are doing everything, but there’s a few kids that don’t play football, the girls don’t play volleyball or basketball,” Scott said. “There’s nothing really to do. It’s just another little focus for him, you know. It would be a lot of work, you know. It’s eight disciplines. You’ve got to be able to do them all to do well, you know, and the coaches are great.”

Five years ago, the Buckleys handed the Young Guns off to Nick and Cassie White, who have continued to teach the members of Young Guns and expanded the club. This year the Young Guns took home awards at regionals, which was held July 19-24. Tevon White received third place in Junior Shotgun, Jude Harrell received second place in Junior Wildlife Identification, Trevon White  received third place in Muzzleloader, and Brendan Sanderson received second place in Safety Trail.

The Young Guns also have been helped by the community. The Upton Gun Club hosts the Young Guns indoor practices and helped put on a fundraiser with the group. The Young Guns were also gifted a tag by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to help fundraise.

“I think in Upton nobody could argue that we’re super youth based. I mean, a lot of everything that’s done is for the kids. And so, anyway, that’s pretty cool. That’s what makes Young Guns possible,” said Nick.


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