Anza Lions Club holds its last Turkey Shoot of the season

Logan Larson moves to the next shooting position as his father Lorne looks on at the final Anza Lions Club Turkey Shoot of the season Sunday, Nov. 19, at the range at Minor Field in Anza. Diane Sieker photo

A tight knit group of shooting experts, beginners, friends and family converged on the Minor Field range for the last Anza Lions Club Turkey Shoot gathering of the year Sunday, Nov. 19, for awards, prizes, friendly competition and a potluck lunch.

Fourteen shooters participated in the event. Light breezes, mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine made for a fine time popping off the shotguns at the clay “pigeons” flung high out over the field.

“It was a fun day, and weather was great,” organizer and competitor Carmen Paz said.

The Anza Lions Club provided three “real” turkeys as prizes for the competitions held that day.

Dahlia Serrato took the turkey for the Annie Oakley shoot, Lauren Larson won the Chip Bird Shoot and Richard Esparza also took the prize for the Annie Oakley shoot.

The winners for the Perpetual Trophy were Victor Paz as Grand Champion, and the Ladies Grand Champion was Carmen Paz.

A “turkey shoot” is a shotgun shooting contest where frozen turkeys are awarded as prizes. The targets are paper or clay pigeons, commonly called “skeet” and made of a biodegradable ceramic-type material that decomposes into the soil. The skeet targets are flung from a remotely controlled machine and fly quite a distance, making for great sport. Original turkey shoots long ago were contests in which live turkeys were shot at distances from 25-35 yards, but that is no longer the case. No live birds are harmed at the Lions Turkey Shoot. The group has much concern for the stewardship of the wild birds as well.

“Wait, there’s a hawk flying back there, no shooting!” one of the contestants said as a red-tailed hawk glided through the area beyond the shooting lane. No chances were taken while the raptor was in the area.

People of all ages and skill levels were welcome to enter the contests.

“We have women and kids, 7 or 8 year old the youngest,” organizer Jeff Hawhorn said; he was pleased with the turnout, but he said that participation has declined somewhat in recent years.

Competition rules are used for the event and are followed closely. Gun safety and shooting safety is the main aim of the competition, even before fun. The cost to participate ranges from $3 to $15.

The next Turkey Shoot season will resume in March and will be announced as the time approaches.

For more information, contact Anza Lions Club President Mimi Brown at (760) 637-9173 or by email at mimispecialevents@gmail.com.

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