The Ottawa Sportsmen's Club will be the scene of lots of activity, excitement, and family fun when its members host their 41st Annual Turkey Shoot on Sunday, September 29th at the club grounds, located 8 miles west of Baraga on M-38.
Action will get underway indoors and out at 11 a.m. and run non-stop until 5 p.m. when the lucky "Grand Raffle" ticket is drawn for top prize of $1,000.00.
Other "Dollar Raffle" ticket holders will go home with a new shotgun donated by Selkey Manufacturing and a Remington BDL bolt action 30.06 rifle compliments of DesRochers Brothers, Inc. Or, they'll take local delivery of enough firewood donated by Shelter Bay Forests and split by O.S.C. members to overfill a dump truck and keep them warm on those cold winter nights.
Four new marksmanship events have been added to last year's bulging agenda. Designed to please competitors as well as spectators, Turkey Shoot goers can expect to see a display of agility and skill when the "Double Dare" shotgun event makes it debut. The object of this event is to hit one stationary target, which will then release a clay pigeon that also must be hit. But, just to make it more interesting, the first shot must be taken from the hip!
And for pistol aficionados, the O.S.C. has come up with a "Royal Flush" pistol event. Marksmen will take aim at steel cards with the club's 9mm pistol to see who's the quickest at calling the club's bluff and winning with the hand they've been dealt.
"Small Bore Silhouettes" is a new event designed for mid teens and adults who've always wanted to give shooting in a competitive setting a try. It's intended for the "casual" shooter rather than the "I can do it blindfolded and standing on my head" expert. The club will provide the 22-caliber rimfire rifle or a favorite Sporting rifle can be brought from home. The object is to knock over the barnyard critters, and yes, a tom turkey will be among them.
"The Black Powder Challenge" offers four events. "Split the Ball" requires shooters to connect with an axe edge, splitting the ball they fire in half and breaking an object on each side of the axe. "Three Bong Gong" will see shooters trying to place a hit in each of three sections of a suspended gong. A black powder rifle and all the necessities found in a "possibles" bag will be provided or shooters may bring their own from home. There will also be a "Hawk Throw", as well as a "Knife Throw", and the O.S.C. will supply the cutlery for these events.
The O.S.C.'s resident buck, who spent the winter perfecting his gross motor skills, will be back to chance a trot across the field in "Running Deer" competition. This event will join the Milk Jug Blast, 400 Yard Gongs, and Exploding Pumpkins to make up the Center-fire Rifle Competition. These colorful and often loud events are fun to watch as well as enter.
Center-fire rifle events require firing offhand without the use of a sling. Shooters may bring in their own favorite hunting rifle or use the club rifles and ammo. Hearing protectors and safety glasses are a must for all shooters, but the club will also have these available for shooter use.
Hearing protection would also be useful for those who just enjoy watching all the events, especially when it comes to the "Cannon Blast". This crowd-pleasing event is manned by the club's cannoneer and spectators take a chance on having their name cannon balled in order to win half the pot for each smoky and loud cannon blast.
The "Precision Small Bore" event is the 22-caliber rifle event for precision shooters. Target rifles may be brought in, but club rifles will also be available. The O.S.C. will supply the ammunition, bench rests, and targets, but it will be up to the top shooter in each 6-person relay to win one the club's turkeys.
Shooters may also bring their favorite shotgun or use one provided by the club to enter the "Trap Shoot" competition. 12 gauge shotgun shells will be available and practice rounds will be offered. Skill, an eagle eye, and perhaps a little luck are all it will take to win a very nice merchandise prize.
The "Quail Walk" will also be offered at the trap range. This competition requires the addition of patience as five shooters flush five birds with the winner taking home half the pot for each relay throughout the afternoon.
The O.S.C. indoor range will be reserved for youngsters old enough to hold and manage one of the club's 22-caliber rim-fire rifles; no personal rifles are permitted. The club will provide ear and eye protection and parents or legal guardians must accompany their children to sign up to shoot. All shots will be taken from a shooting bench with arm support and with an OSC member seated beside each child to help with the shooting process.
The "Kid's 22 Target Event", operated under very strict individual shooting supervision by qualified club members, offers the youngsters a chance to try their skill at hitting breakable spinning clay discs, paintballs on pie plates or clay "cookies". All children, regardless of shooting ability, will receive a prize.
Small children, accompanied by adults, will also find something to do in the "Kid's Games" area. Plans include a "Duck Pond", "Bean Bag Toss" and "Face Painting Station".
The clubhouse will also see plenty of action beginning with the first sale of the colorful "Dime Raffle" tickets at 11 o'clock. The raffle room's front wall will be covered top to bottom with terrific merchandise prizes. Another wall will be plastered with gift certificates for more valuable prizes. And a rope, strung clear across the room, will be loaded with cash prizes just waiting for a pocket to fold up in.
All it will take to win one of these great prizes, donated by merchants, businessmen and friends of the Ottawa Sportsmen from cities throughout the western U.P., is a dime for the purchase of a lucky winning ticket. And sometimes, surprises are added between raffles and a very valuable item will be auctioned to the highest bidder.
The "Gobble Up" Lunch Counter will offer tasty treats at affordable family prices. In addition to tasty burgers and bratwurst fresh from the outdoor grill, other menu choices will be plump hot dogs, nachos, chips, baked goods, soda and coffee.
To help add to the day's excitement, the crew from Radio Station WCUP, "Eagle Country 105.7" in Baraga will be on hand, broadcasting live from the club grounds and interviewing some of the Turkey Shoot winners and O.S.C. members.
The 41st Annual Turkey Shoot will be held rain or shine, admission is free and the facility is handicapped accessible. Traditionally, turkeys are given as prizes and so the name "Turkey Shoot" has come to have a special meaning. Many years ago, live turkeys were the coveted prizes, but nowadays frozen turkeys are the preference. Depending on the event, shooters can also expect to win chickens, merchandise, and cash.
The annual Turkey Shoots are the Ottawa Sportsmen's primary fundraiser, through which they're able to support their many projects for the youth in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties.
Along with maintaining a scholarship program, the O.S.C. helps several school libraries purchase books and videos related to nature and conservation. They also provide over 400 5th and 6th graders with classroom subscriptions to the weekly Michigan United Conservation Club's "Tracks Magazine".
Through their grant program, the O.S.C. has been able to donate enough snowshoes so that classrooms of students in one elementary school can continue science field studies during the winter. Another such grant was given to White Pine students for the building of Wood Duck nesting boxes.
O.S.C. members work with the D.N.R. to help present Hunter Safety Classes, donating facilities and time to ensure that children learn the fundementals of gun safety. Among many other things, they have also provided supervision for an elementary B.B.Gun Club and host a weeklong Junior Shooting Sports day camp during the summer.
The club is also community minded, donating their facilities and manpower for worthy causes, and this year also contributed toward the Baraga Fire Department's purchase of a cold-water rescue raft.
More information about the 41st Annual Turkey Shoot as well as the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club's history, purpose, and achievements can be learned by visiting the club's website at www.ottawasportsmen.org. For answers to specific questions about this year's Shoot, please call Carole at 906-338-2507.
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