photo by Jeri Metz

Turkey Shoot Exposed by Undercover Video Sting!

By Steve Hindi

Chicago Animal Rights Coalition (CHARC)

During our years of fighting pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania, we have heard rumors of Schuylkill County "turkey shoots." The rumor was that in PA, the local sickos shot live, captive turkeys. It all sounded too crazy to be true. However, considering the area, we had to investigate. Activists from Illinois, PA, and New York came together for the June 11 undercover operation. The result was hours of videotape evidence exposing an unimaginable act of cruelty and cowardice.

About 100 turkey hens were brought to the Lone Pine Sportsmen's Club just outside Middleport. Each fully conscious bird had her legs put in a wooden stock to prevent her escape. Once immobilized, each bird was roughly dumped on top of a tire. Four turkeys were placed in a line at 75 yards, and four more 100 yards from the firing line. The shooters paid $5 for two shots.

The videotape reveals the sounds of many gunshots taken at the birds. Bullets slamming into the ground in front of the turkeys showered dirt in their faces. The cowards often used assault weapons and guns that could bring down an elephant. Sometimes the turkeys panicked; other times they froze in fear. When a bird was suddenly hit she would either struggle violently or suffer quietly with her bound legs as her life drained out. Then the shooters came out to chop the heads off the dead and dying birds. The videotape shows one woman "trapper," whose job was to load the turkeys in the tires and remove them after they were shot, casually hacking the neck of a shot live turkey with a hatchet.

What Can I Do?

  • Tell PA's Gov. Tom Ridge that this sick cruelty is now public and that it should be prosecuted under the PA anti-cruelty law. Tell him you will not vacation in "Transylvania" until the turkey shoot and the pigeon shoot have been permanently banned. Contact Governor Tom Ridge, State Capitol, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Ph: 717/787-2500. Fax 717/783-1396.

  • Contact the PA Tourism Bureau at 1-800-847-4872 (a free call) and tell them you will not spend a dime in PA until the turkey shoot and the pigeon shoot are history.

  • A live turkey shoot is scheduled to be held on Sunday October 15. Please join us for a hard-core on-site protest. For information contact Doug Dove in PA (717/865-6121); Steve Hindi in Chicago (708/208-0120; 708/552-7872); Karen Davis in MD (301/948-2406).