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National Wild Turkey Federation banquet on tap

This Saturday night is the exciting fund-raising banquet of the Allegheny Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

This chapter has won many awards for its habitat improvement, planting activities that benefit the wild turkey and many other wild creatures.

Doors open at 4:30, to give you time to walk around and look over the many raffle and auction offerings that will be for sale after the banquet. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. at the Bavarian Aid Society in Altoona. For more information or to get a ticket reserved for you, at this late date, contact Mark Cornelius at 312-4542 or Philip Smith at 329-6374

At a sportsman’s event such as this one, there will be plenty of amazing guns for raffle and auction: Benelli, Kimber and many more.

The Turkey Federation is not the only group having fun events for sports persons starting in late summer. Now that it looks as if the Pittsburgh Pirates are fading away for this year, we can find some time to support these events:

Sporting Clays Shoot

The 11th annual Ruffed Grouse Society’s annual Sporting Clays Shoot will be held on Sunday, Aug. 25 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Carlisle Fish & Game Association on 1420 W. Trindle Road in Carlisle.

Individual package for $70 includes 50 targets sporting clays, lunch, door prizes, awards and three chances on a Browning “Sweet Sixteen.”

The youth package of $30 includes 50 targets sporting clays, lunch, door prizes and awards.

Skeet and Wobble Trap will be available after lunch at $8 for 25 birds for those wishing to enjoy another challenge and hone their shotgun skills.

The Browning Sweet 16 shotgun raffle drawing will be held at the shoot. Donation is $10 or three for $20. Winner need not be present. No more than 400 tickets to be sold.

For questions, contact Tim Wentz and twentz@pa.net.

These conservation groups do much in the way of habitat improvement and research, especially now that it appears that the State bird may be quite susceptible to the West Nile virus. Many of these great conservation groups have partnered with the Pennsylvania Game And Fish Commissions to do physical work and research. And it’s mostly all funded and supported by the profits raised at their banquets, raffle ticket sales and shooting events. Not only are these events all fun but it doesn’t hurt anything at all to sharpen up your shooting reflexes and eyes for the upcoming seasons.

Final thought

I was horrified as everyone else when I heard last Saturday of the mass shooting event at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas. It didn’t take me long to wonder how it could be that there wasn’t someone in that Texas store who couldn’t have taken that mad gunman down. My first inclinations were that surely there must have been several folks in that group who could have stopped him. Soon I learned that, of course, they were all helpless as this store was a “gun-free” zone.

A shooting in a theater some years ago was similar. People with the madness to shoot innocent people look for those places where they know that they will not be challenged or shot themselves while they go about their devilish business. I was incensed that all those innocent people were not allowed to defend themselves and stop the shooting because some others think that everyone who has, owns and shoots a gun is somehow a criminal. I myself will not frequent any place that declares itself a gun-free zone.

As I have related in this column several times, throughout the years there have been several times that I had to defend myself with my gun. In every one of those incidents, the mere sight of the gun and my obvious confidence in knowing how to use it was enough to make the would-be offender turn and run away. In every case I was alone and it was me or them. I never had to actually shoot anyone, but I came close. And I am totally committed to the fact that if I must, I will.

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