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Turkey Shoot fun for kids

Christian Outdoor Fellowship of America

By Randy Beaudette

As the sun rose on the 2017 edition of Veteran’s Day, volunteers and youngsters gathered for the annual COFA Turkey Shoot. The event was held for the second year at the Colorado Adventure Center located near 6th Ave and Kipling and was sponsored by Christian Outdoor Fellowship of America (COFA).

Other than the prizes, no turkeys on site were harmed during this event, so P.E.T.A. folks can rest easy and enjoy the sunshine on the very pleasant Saturday.  The kiddos shot paper targets with a turkey printed on it and used BB guns to win the various prizes. Hits were tallied to establish a score and the best scores in each of the various age brackets to won prizes. The age brackets were separated into 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, and 14-15 years of age.

COFA got the idea of Turkey Shoot from the movie based on a life story of Sargent Alvin York a World War 1 Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. In the movie, York, played by Gary Cooper, participates in a Turkey Shoot that takes place in the hills of Tennessee which inspired Founder and COFA Chair, Mike Brooks and his staff. In 2009 COFA sponsored the first Turkey Shoot which was held in Evergreen with only eight kids. This year seventy-five shooters that ranged from a two year old named Xzaylin to multiple fifteen years old too numerous to name. Shooters were required to attend a BB gun safety class before lining up at the shooting range. The young shooters competed for gift cards, Cornish game hens, chickens, with the top prize being, you guessed it, turkeys. Additional activities include an indoor climbing wall, and an archery range to keep the interest of those not on the shooting range.

According COFA, one of the purposes of the Kids’ Turkey Shoot is to get them involved in the outdoors and away from sitting on the couch playing with their electronics. Kids today for the most part have no clue how much fun it can be doing great fun things in the outdoors. That’s what COFA does so well, it helps families and individuals connect with each other while doing activities in the outdoors.

Bruce Roth provided instructions for the young archers on the archery range starting with a safety briefing, instructions on how to safely send an arrow downrange and then the fun part, hands on archery. The shooters were allowed to shoot five arrows at a range of about 30 feet down range to standard archery targets with suitable backstops. This was Roth’s first year as an instructor but this is the third Turkey Shoot to offer archery as an additional activity. The safety equipment, bows, arrows and targets were all supplied by COFA.

After the range was declared safe, the rock wall closed, and all the bows and arrows were racked, it was time for the awards ceremony. T-shirts were given to the younger paper turkey hunters and the distribution of foul was awarded to the top scorers. Gilpin County was well represented with Lucion Amayo taking the top prize in the 12-13 category and Rayvon Amayo winning the Cornish game hens in the 14-15 class. An interesting note, first prize in the 8-9 class, went to a young lady that had never shot a BB gun or anything similar in her young life. She also had a top overall score of 240 points which was very impressive. This solidifies the notion that members of the fairer sex are much better shots than their male counterparts.

A drawing for a guided elk hunt in southern Colorado took place. Archer instructor Bruce Roth won and will be submitting his elk application in to Colorado Parks and Wildlife next spring for that prize. Congratulations Bruce.

At the end of the event families and volunteers departed the Colorado Adventure Center, some with goodies for the table, some with other prizes, but all departed with unforgettable memories, real family face time and of course, smiles. Some of the youngsters stated that they are going to enhance their shooting skills through lots of practice and “Get a turkey next year.” It is a goal that will get them off the couch, out of the house and out in the outdoors. After all that’s what it’s all about. Thanks goes out to all the members of C.O.F.A and their sponsors for a memorable event the yields so much goodness.

COFA also sponsors many other outdoor events. For more information visit http://cofausa.org.

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