On a recent pheasant hunt in Kansas with CZ-USA, I met 15-year-old Makayla Scott and her dad, Telford, from White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Right from the start, I knew this bubbly young lady was something special. Not only did she greet everyone, looking them straight in the eyes, she also joined in conversations and held her own the entire trip.
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This rising star in the shotgun sports comes from quite a difficult background. After the devastating loss of a parent at a young age, she found herself neglected and in abusive situations in foster care. Throughout her time in foster care, she attempted various recreational sports, none of which she had confidence in or enjoyed. Thankfully, at 9-years old, the Scott family adopted her. Now, she has 2 older and 2 younger sibling; yes, she’s the middle child.
Makayla’s attributes her introduction to the shooting sports to her older brother, who is now a U.S. Marine. When he joined 4-H Shooting Sports, he invited Makayla to come along. Once she broke her first clay, shooting American Skeet, she knew she found her sport.
Prior to us heading out on our hunt, we had a chance to shoot some clays for practice. That’s where I first saw her shine. She continually broke clay targets, often more than once per target. The entire time she smiled and giggled, she was in her element.
Makayla enjoys shooting many of the shotgun sports, including Olympic Trap, ATA Trap, American Skeet and Sporting Clays. Last summer she qualified for the Junior Olympics competition in Colorado Springs. After dreaming about the Olympic Training Center for years, she finally had the chance to shoot and compete with some of the USA’s greatest shooters – which was an experience she will never forget.
While on the way home from the Junior Olympics, Makayla met up with her 4-H team in Nebraska where they were shooting in the 4-H Nationals. She had been shooting a gun that was beating her up and was looking for a new one … that fit. As luck would have it, she walked into CZ-USA’s demo trailer and met Dave Miller, Shotgun Product & Special Event Manager for CZ-USA. After hearing her story, he handed her the SCTP Sterling Southpaw to try. Together, they shot a round of American Trap. When Makayla shot 25 straight, using a shotgun she had never shot, she knew it was the gun for her. Dave also knew it was a perfect fit, and soon after, invited her to be an ambassador for CZ-USA.
In October, Makayla was recognized at a National Sporting Clay Association national banquet in San Antonio, Texas, for having more than 5,000 competition rounds last year. She also won ATA Sub Junior WV State Singles Champion and was the 2018 4-H State Champion. These ranks as amazing accomplishments for such a young competitor.
As for the pheasant hunt, Makayla quickly learned the etiquette of staying in line while walking and muzzle discipline. Her excitement throughout the 3 days of hunting never diminished. In fact, she even went out hunting the morning they were leaving, before starting the long truck ride back to West Virginia. This young lady is driven and very passionate about anything to do with shotguns. She’s definitely one to watch for in future Olympics and in the shooting sports.
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. View all posts by Michelle Cerino