The previous issue of PoultryPress had an Action Alert by Steve Hindi, head of the Chicago Animal Rights Coalition (CHARC), about a live turkey shoot and protest that were scheduled to be held on October 15, at the Lone Pine Sportsmen's Club in Middleport, PA. Middleport is in Schuylkill County, where the Hegins Pigeon Shoot is held every year on Labor Day. Hours of covert videotape shot on June 11, 1995, showed the cruelty and cowardice of the live turkey shoot, which consisted of tying turkey hens' legs together, dumping each hen on a tire, and shooting at her with assault weapons.
A press conference featuring the videotape was scheduled to be held in Philadelphia on October 13th.
Amazingly, while Hindi's crew was taping another pigeon shoot in PA in October this year, the president of the gun club, Bill McDonald, followed him there. McDonald told Hindi he had driven 100 miles to say there would be no October 15 turkey shoot. He promised there would never be another live animal shoot at the club. Middleport did not want the bad publicity. He himself had begun to feel that the turkey shoot "wasn't right."
In return for stopping live animal shoots, McDonald requested that the protest be cancelled. Hindi said, "If there is no killing, there is no need to protest."
McDonald also asked that the videotape scheduled for release never see the light of day. But Hindi said No. "We refused, as there are other turkey shoots in Transylvania, and the public must see and judge these slaughters for themselves." He told The Morning Call in Allentown, PA (Oct. 10, B3), "I wish we didn't have to go after somebody and take undercover videos. But if that's what we have to do, that's what we'll do. We go after animal abuse and this is very, very much animal abuse."
CHARC representatives went to the Lone Pine Sportsmens club on October 15. The club was closed, its gates sealed with chains and padlocks.
Both the pigeon shoots and the turkey shoots received the national scorn they deserve. On Dec. 4th, the TV tabloid Hard Copy did an expose on the shoots based on documentation obtained by The Fund for Animals and CHARC. Hard Copy urged viewers to register a call-in vote. Of the 30,000 calls received in less than 24 hours, 99% voted to ban live bird shoots.