Archers join gun enthusiasts at annual turkey shoot

Organizers hope to set up dedicated archery space at shooting range

Jocelyn Layte practices archery at Cordova Trap and Gun Club’s annual turkey shoot. (Nov. 17, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Jocelyn Layte practices archery at Cordova Trap and Gun Club’s annual turkey shoot. (Nov. 17, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

For years, Cordova Trap and Gun Club has brought together rifle, shotgun and pistol enthusiasts to compete for frozen turkeys. This year, archers joined gun enthusiasts at the club’s annual turkey shoot.

Club board member Danielle Verna was in charge of working out how to integrate archery into the Sunday, Nov. 17 event.

“I like the focus that archery requires,” Verna said. “When I’m shooting archery, the only thing I’m focused on is the bow and where the arrow is going.”

Ten archers competed, showing that the public has enough enthusiasm for archery to justify setting up a dedicated space at Cordova’s public shooting range, Verna said. Verna has identified an area near the range’s clubhouse that could serve as an archery space, she said. Now it’s just a matter of allotting time and resources.

“There are a lot of people in town that practice archery and have their own equipment, and others that are interested in learning,” wrote Verna in an email. “An event like the Turkey Shoot is an opportunity to bring those folks together. It’s an opportunity to learn about different archery gear, meet new people, and have fun shooting together.”

Archers competed in a turkey shoot at Cordova’s public shooting range. (Nov. 17, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Archers competed in a turkey shoot at Cordova’s public shooting range. (Nov. 17, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

At the turkey shoot, veteran archers practiced alongside novices, firing at a standard circular target and then at a large foam turkey. Some wielded compound bows with elaborate grip and aiming systems, while others preferred simple wooden longbows. Kacey Brown won in the category of traditional archery and Neil Wright won in the category of compound archery.

Neil Wright’s 7-year-old son Jonah had practiced archery for two years before participating in the event.

“It’s hard just getting the arrow to go where you want it to go,” Jonah Wright said. “You win if you can get it to do that a lot of times, pretty much… But you should always try to do your best. It doesn’t matter if you win — just try to do your best.”

Cordova Jr./Sr. High School offers a weekly archery class, held at Mt. Eccles Elementary School, with which Verna assists.