Turkey shooting for Jesus
Event raises funds for Hunter First Baptist mission trip

Photo by John Bryant
A contestant in Satuday's turkey shoot at Misty Waters Bait and Camping comments to a fellow shooter after taking his best shot. Male and female shotgun shooters of all ages tried their skill and luck at the paper targets.

By Julie Fann
star staff

  To those who misunderstand it, the mention of a "turkey shoot" yields an image of the death and destruction of innocent wildlife. If its purpose is to pay for a trip so that Christian church-goers can help poor Venezualan children, well, that must seem very strange.
  "People always think that you shoot turkeys at a turkey shoot, but you don't," said Flo Smith, owner of Misty Waters Bait and Campground, who, with her husband, Troy, hosted Saturday's event. "You shoot paper targets."
  And they did just that. To look at them, though, it all seemed very serious. Approximately 75 area residents, including staff and members of Hunter First Baptist Church, 693 U.S. Highway 91, showed up at the campground at noon carrying their own Smith and Wesson and hoping for the best shot.
  "Usually, we do these turkey shoots to help kids here at Christmas, but this year we decided to do it for Hunter First Baptist," Flo Smith said.
  People of all ages came dressed in warm clothing, many of them in camouflage and orange, and paid $3 to $5 to stand behind a fence and shoot at the paper targets that were attached to wooden stands. David Honeycutt, a member of the church, explained how target shooting works.
  "One shell contains a lot of B.B.s, and they spread out all around the bull's eye when you shoot one shot. The person whose shot makes one of those pellets get closest to the center of the bull's eye wins a prize," Honeycutt said. "It's very hard, because just the wind blowing could throw you off."
  Prizes included, well, turkeys (the frozen variety), canned hams, rolls of bologna, bacon, sausage, and other items. Fred Ward, an avid hunter, judged the event. "I have all sorts of tools here for measurement if it comes down to a close call between two people," Ward said.
  Honeycutt said the types of guns used are 12, 16, and 20-gauge shotguns, but every gun contains the same load. "No chokes are allowed. Chokes make your shooting pattern tighter," he said.
  And for the hungry and thirsty, there was food and drink, including hot dogs, hot coffee and cold drinks, slices of pie, and bundt cake. Concessions were provided by Serena Whitson and Judy Campbell.
  Organizers hoped to garner $1,000 for an adult mission trip to Maracaibo, Venezuela, from April 9-17, 2005.