More than 8,000 people from Utah, southern Idaho and western Wyoming are expected to participate in the 52nd annual Bountiful Lions Club Turkey Shoot Nov. 17-18, one of the biggest trapshooting events of its kind in the West.
Bountiful Lions President Paul R. Allen said the Turkey Shoot is scheduled the Saturday and Sunday before Thanksgiving each year and is held at the Lions Range near the "B" east of Bountiful in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains."Unlike some charities or fund drives - that use considerable amounts to pay for administrative costs and salaries - 100 percent of the proceeds from our annual benefit shoot are used by the Bountiful Lions to help the blind and deaf, support drug awareness programs and build community projects in Bountiful," Allen said.
This year, more than $1,500 worth of prizes, including a color television set, guns and sporting goods, will be given away. In addition, 1,300 frozen turkeys will be given away.
Allen said the Turkey Shoot includes several kinds of trapshooting contests, including singles, doubles and some special shooting events - some with novel innovations.
"We have four automatic trap machines set up on our range, and they'll work full steam from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday," Allen said.
"More than 25,000 shotgun shells were fired during the Lions Turkey Shoot last year, and we expect as many or more to be shot this year."
The trapshooting contests at the Turkey Shoot usually have five contestants shooting at five birds apiece from five positions. The one with the highest score wins a frozen turkey.
"Often there are ties and we hold shoot-offs to decide who wins the turkey. Sometimes, top shooters fire several times and from long distances to decide the contest and it's pretty exciting, for shooters and spectators both."
Allen said contestants include some of the best shotgun shooters in the area and beginners, too, and the Lions keep shooters in their own class to promote fairness.
"A lot of people wait all year for the event and stay throughout both days to shoot, watch the action and enjoy the company of friends in our warm clubhouse."
Lady Lions keep the clubhouse fire going through both days and provide a variety of hot and cold drinks, hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and other treats. The proceeds from the Lady Lions booth goes for their own charities, including helping the blind and deaf and supporting local civic projects.