Charlie Thompson wasn’t sure what to expect from this year’s Tonto Rim Sports Club Turkey Shoot at Jim Jones Range south of Payson.
So, he was pleasantly surprised by the number of participants in the fourth annual event held Nov. 16.
“With the weather and everything, we didn’t expect a fantastic turnout,” the TRSC public relations manager said. “But we had our best turnout ever.”
People paid $2 a shot to compete in rifle, pistol, shotgun with slugs and archery contests. The distances were 100 yards for rifle, 50 for shotgun and 15 for pistol. The archery contests featured 3D turkeys.
The event brought in $300. So 150 people paid $2 a shot, although that doesn’t mean 150 different people participated since some shot more than once.
Winners of each contest featuring a maximum of seven shooters received a frozen turkey sponsored by Safeway. Those not wishing to take a frozen bird with them, such as people from the Valley, were given certificates to cover the cost of buying a turkey from Safeway.
Forty-two turkeys were awarded.
The event helped boost the TRSC’s membership to a record level.
“A membership is $50 for Jan. 1-Dec. 31,” Thompson said. “We decided to do it at the Turkey Shoot where they can sign up for next year and get December free.
“We generally have between 735-750 members. This year we topped 900 members. That’s the most we’ve ever had. That’s one heck of a membership for Payson.”
But those members aren’t all from Payson.
“Some are from the Valley and some are from out of state,” Thompson said. “We have members from 13 different states. That’s the best we’ve ever done.”
Membership in the TRSC covers the entire immediate family and allows them to work on their target shooting. Most people come to the range between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays. That’s when there are extra range safety officers on hand. But those who can’t visit the range on Saturdays can call Thompson, who will take them out during the week.
Those interested in joining the club can come out to the range between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays or call Thompson at (928) 468-1521.