With Nevada's turkey hunting season falling during springtime, there's no real opportunity for the state's residents to go out and hunt their own Thanksgiving turkey.
Despite the lack of of an outdoor season, however, Carson City's Aspen Archery, Inc. (3579 Highway 50 East) provided bow hunters a chance to earn the focal point of their Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday by hosting a indoor Turkey Shoot on the facility's new techno-hunting system.
During the virtual reality Turkey Shoot, archers took aim at turkeys which were projected on a screen 20 yards away. Using special arrows affixed with a flat-nosed point, the hunters shot at the Kevlar screen and tried to down the imaginary turkeys. The techno hunt computer program was the judge in determining if the shooter had recorded a bullseye or a miss.
A participant in the Turkey Shoot could earn a real turkey - in the form of a gift certificate to Albertson's - if he or she could record the highest shooting score within his age group. Points were based on the accuracy of each archer's 20 shots at the visual targets. Scoring well was not easy, as the techno birds were often unhittable, hiding behind trees and shrubbery just like a real turkeys.
"It's a good alternative to shooting a real turkey," said Ingrid Vawter-Benson, the owner of Aspen Archery. "(Techno hunting) allows people to see what's a good shot to take. It helps people get used to seeing the animals actually walking around trees."
For young archers impatient with the wily on-screen turkeys, three-demensional turkey targets with no place to hide became the focus of attention.
Gunny Benson, the manager of Aspen Archery, said the techno-hunting system has proven popular as a practice method for local hunters. The system is the only one in Carson Country and can also be used with firearms. Both rifles and pistols can be used with the Colt Marksmen System, which incorporates pellet guns using .177 flat-nosed ammunition which can be shot onto the screen.
"People love it - they've been driving from Fallon and Yerington to try it," Benson said.
The winners in the Turkey Shoot were Thomas Robinson in the Youth Division (75 points, two bullseyes), Brad Metcalf in the Young Adult Division (94, 3) and Jimmy Lee in the Adult Division (139, 6).
Benson noted that beginning Nov. 30, several hundred Carson High students will also have the opportunity to try archery at the facility through physical education classes.
Benson said anyone is welcome to try out the techno-hunting system. The cost is $6 for a session which includes 27 arrows. For information, call 884-1464.