Fish & Game Club hosts pre-Easter Ham Shoots
By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Tue., Mar. 5, 2013
If a sweet and succulent ham is on the menu for your Easter dinner, it’s not too late to take a shot - literally - at the last of four Stafford Fish and Game Ham Shoots of the spring season, on Sunday, March 17.
“We try to hold a Ham Shoot every Sunday for a month before Easter,” said probationary member Evelyn Wilson, who was helping out Ham Shoot Chair Ralph Rice at the club’s March 3 shoot. “Then in the fall, we hold turkey shoots.”
“We invite members from other clubs, like our friends from the Holland [Massachusetts] Rod and Gun Club and the Suffield Rod and Gun Club,” said Rice, explaining that they try to reciprocate by inviting their own members to each other’s events. “We have the four Ham Shoots before Easter and then the Holland club has a big Ham Shoot on March 24.”
Wilson said probationary members must meet a few requirements to become full-fledged members, including attending six meetings and logging in 32 hours at the club. “I joined in October and when I learned they needed some help running the event, I figured it would be a good way to get some of my hours in and to participate in the shoot too, which is a lot of fun,” she said.
For $2 a shot, sold in five-shot groupings, members and friends of the Stafford Fish and Game Club compete to get the best center shot on paper targets set up in the outdoor shooting range. Shotgun shells, when fired, expel a spray of BBs, and so after everyone has fired in a round and the range has been cleared, organizers compare the targets to see whose shots came closest to center. Winners of each round can either take home a fresh ham or a monetary prize.
The Ham and Turkey Shoots, open to the public, present excellent opportunities for the wider community to learn about the Stafford Fish and Game Club and its many outdoor activities.
Established in 1927 and located on 78 acres on Rockwell Road in Stafford Springs, the club boasts a clubhouse and pavilion, a trout pond, a rifle and pistol shooting area, an archery range, a skeet range, and several acres of private land for hunting. Besides hunting and fishing activities, the club also provides regular handgun safety classes, and the goal is to offer a once-a-year hunter safety program.
“Our community event of the year is our annual Kids Fishing Derby,” said Adam Van Voorhis, treasurer for the club. “It’s open to kids 12 and under and it’s free, and all the kids leave with something,” he said.
The Ham Shoots have also proved to be popular, with the March 3 event well-attended and some 22 people turning out the previous Sunday despite all-day sleet and rain. Van Voorhis said the club has a few additional guns for first-timers to borrow and try out at a Ham or Turkey Shoot, so they can try to win a prize.
For more information, follow the Stafford Fish and Game Club on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StaffordFishandGameClub.