A 15-year-old girl won a lottery to hunt bighorn sheep in Nebraska, then made history when she fired the fatal shot, reports say.
Kiersten Black of Sidney became the second femalewoman and second teenager in Nebraska to harvest a bighorn sheep after killing the ram Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Chadron State Park, according to Nebraska Game and Parks.
Simply getting the chance to hunt the ram is considered a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity,” Nebraska Game and Parks said. The lottery is open to all Nebraska residents, with the single winner gaining free guide access with a $29 application fee.
Proceeds from the hunts, state officials said, are vital for the conservation of the animal.
“I was just so excited. I couldn’t believe it,” Kiersten said of winning the lottery of 3,524 applicants, she told Game and Parks.
Beginning in September when she won the lottery, Kiersten and her father began deciding where in the state they should hunt for the sheep, they told Outdoor Life.
They chose Chadron in northwest Nebraska, where coincidentally Kiersten’s high school basketball team was playing Dec. 1, Outdoor Life reported. After helping her school to a victory, she began her hunt.
Kiersten, her father, younger brother and family friend spent seven hours searching for the ram Saturday before spotting it with 25 minutes left in Kiersten’s legal shooting time, state officials said.
“She got her opportunity from 284 yards as the ram stood broadside at the top of a ridge,” Outdoor Life reported. “Kiersten fired one shot prone with her .308, and they watched the sheep roll down the hill. It was dead before it hit the bottom.”
But their work wasn’t done. The Omaha World-Herald said it took six people to carry the ram away, and the family now plans on doing a full-body mount of the trophy sheep.
The sheep is believed to be 10.5 years old and in the final stages of its lifespan, according to Game and Parks. Its horns measured 190 inches, the World-Herald reported.
“They call it a once-in-a-lifetime hunt,” Kiersten’s father, Trevor Black, told the World-Herald. “I would call it a once-in-a-multi-lifetime hunt.”