Turkey shoots have evolved significantly since their original competitions, when marksmen would shoot at a live turkey. Most modern turkey shoots incorporate various target-shooting competitions, raffles, refreshments and entertainment. Some turkey- shoot fundraisers forgo the shooting altogether to offer an evening exclusive to raffles and chance games.
Participation increases the funds generated, so involving as many people as possible makes financial sense. Increase involvement by offering shooting opportunities to inexperienced shooters and marksmen who prefer different types of guns or shooting.
Inexperienced shooters can participate in a "lucky shot" competition. For a meager donation per shot, they test their skill to see who can hit a paper plate at a reasonable distance. The plate should be colored at least three different colors, with each color earning a different tier of prize. The center should provide the greatest reward.
Encouraging competition in multiple categories will draw various competitors. Offer different competitions for shotguns, rifles, pistols and muzzle loaders. Offer a frozen turkey as the reward for each category.
While the turkey shoot itself will draw many observers, providing lucrative raffle prizes can draw a large audience that may not have bothered to turn out otherwise. Laws on gaming vary by state, and it is important to check with local authorities before proceeding with raffles or similar activities.
To reduce the overall cost and increase funds raised, extend advertising opportunities to members of the business community in exchange for donated prizes. A local sporting-goods store may be willing to donate a gift certificate, gun, ammunition, hunting equipment or other prize in exchange for the opportunity to set up an advertising booth at the event.
Turkey shoots are often in November to coincide with the Thanksgiving Day feast. Offer participants the opportunity to earn additional dinner supplies such as catering from a local restaurant, a gift card to a grocery retailer, bottles of wine or homemade desserts.
Multiple prizes can be given out in a tiered raffle with first place, second place and subsequent prizes or as part of a silent auction.
Food & Entertainment
Providing as many different activities as possible will increase interest and participation in the fundraiser. Serve a variety of foods, including traditional cookout meals such as burgers, french fries, hot dogs and others. Steak can provide an expensive, but popular dish. Establish reasonable prices for all food purchases.
Providing entertainment is also important. Play recorded music over a loudspeaker system or hire a live band to come and play popular music. If country music is popular, consider a line-dance competition or having talented organization members offer dance lessons. Other types of music may lend themselves to other dances as well.
For smaller donations, offer carnival-style games for children, youth and fun-loving adults. Include various activities, such as a bean bag tosses, face painting, balloon darts, duck-pond fishing and a dunk tank.
Nicole Thelin has more than a decade of professional writing experience. She has contributed to newspapers such as the "Daily Herald" of Provo, Utah, and now writes for several online publications. Thelin is pursuing a bachelor's degree in education from Western Governors University.