The Rock House Ruritan Club is continuing a popular local pastime, again hosting winter turkey shoots each Saturday evening, weather permitting, at the Rock House Ruritan Community Building.
Local residents and some from outside the area bring their favorite guns for a little friendly competition, hoping to take home cash prizes and bragging rights for the week. Shooters are often joined by other family members — who may sometimes take part in the target competition — for food, fellowship and fun in what organizers describe as a “family-friendly evening.”
According to Rock House Ruritan representative Nancy Speaks, turkey shoots have been held as club fundraisers at the facility since its completion in 2006. The number of shooters range from as many as 30 to probably half that number on extremely cold winter nights.
Many of those on hand are local residents who have attended the shoots for years. Others come from as far away as Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Walnut Cove, Walkertown and Virginia, many of whom regularly attend similar events held throughout the region.
“We’ll have new shooters about every time,” Speaks noted, “and everybody has a good time.”
An assortment of concessions includes hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks, drinks and desserts.
Shooters take designated spots atop a hill located behind the community building to shoot at paper targets positioned 75 feet away. Participants may use their choice of 12, 16, 20 and 410 gauges. No scopes are allowed and only shells provided by the club, distributed outside the building at the start of each round, may be used.
Shooters are allowed to take part in 12 rounds at a cost of $42. Prize money is based on the number of shooters, with 30-50 percent of entry fees, based on the round, going to the club to be used for projects and expenses.
Usually, only rain or snow will cancel an event. On particularly cold nights, shooters will stay inside until their turn then quickly go out to take their shot. Shooters, family members and club members gather in the lower level of the community building to enjoy food and conversation as well as an occasional boast or friendly discussion about which gun is superior.
The shoots will continue through March 31. Food is ready by 5 p.m. and on nights with threatening or inclement weather, shooters can call ahead anytime after 4 p.m. to confirm if the competition is to take place. The community building can be reached at 351-5433. Each shoot starts at 6 p.m.
The Rock House Ruritan Community Building is located five miles east of Pilot Mountain on Highway 268.