Granite Falls Turkey Shoot fun, competitive

GRANITE FALLS — John Thorpe happily traded his game scorecards for about six pounds of bacon.

The Lake Stevens man was one of 228 shooters who on Sunday participated in the 80th annual Fall Turkey Shoot at the Granite Falls Sportmen’s Club. Shooters from novice to experienced used shotguns to hit clay targets on ranges at 20319 Gun Club Road.

Those who hit the most targets to win games took home three-pound packs of bacon or frozen turkeys weighing about 12 pounds apiece.

“Bacon is easier to cook,” said Thorpe, 33. “I don’t cook turkeys and my girlfriend doesn’t either.”

A chance to compete against others is what Thorpe, a member of the club and an experienced shooter, said he likes best about the annual event. He shot five-stand, a type of sport shooting where participants try to hit several different clay targets.

“One comes over your head, some come across to your left and there’s a rabbit (target) that goes on the ground,” he said. “They have an order that tells you what’s coming from where. I got four out of five and had a shoot-off.”

Shoot-offs broke up any ties between participants throughout the day in the five-stand and trapshooting games, said Carol Cornish, a club board member.

Cory Dykes, who lives in Granite Falls, and his son Trent Dykes, 11, played trapshooting. The day is an opportunity to spend time together and win a turkey, said Dykes, 48.

“We did win a turkey last year and we won one today,” he said. “I think it’s a fun sport.”

The club hosts Turkey Shoots as fundraisers twice a year, on the Sundays before Easter and Thanksgiving. The event on Sunday brought in 424 people and raised about $2,500 from shooters’ entry fees, Cornish said.

“It went pretty good,” she said. “We probably did a little better than last year.”

The club bought 200 turkeys and 150 packs of bacon for prizes, Cornish added. Only 16 frozen turkeys were left by the end of the day. That meat and other food items collected throughout the day will be donated to the Granite Falls Food Bank, she said.

During one of the trapshooting games, Darcy Perasso, 30, successfully shot three out of five clay targets. The Lake Stevens resident said that particular performance was mediocre for her, but she was still having a good time.

“It really doesn’t matter,” she said. “Any age or shape or sex, you can be a competitor and that’s kind of fun.”

Being a spectator at the event is also fun, said Rod Palmer, who lives in Mountlake Terrace. Palmer, 51, won a turkey at a past fall Turkey Shoot but didn’t have a shotgun to participate in this year’s fall event.

“Watching the shooting is more fun than watching football,” he said.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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