South Naknek welcomed neighbors from across the river for a turkey shoot and all around good time. The two day get-together included a night of bingo, a crackling campfire, cooked breakfast, and a turkey shoot competition, followed by a potluck dinner held at the South Naknek Village Council building.
Carvel Zimin, Jr., said that turkey shoot competitions were once an annual tradition in South Naknek, and he's glad to see them come back.
“It was started years ago by my dad and a whole bunch of other people that wanted to raise money for the Village Council, for their funds. It was always kind of like a celebration, and also a way to bring turkeys and meat into the village just before Thanksgiving. You kind of accomplished two things by having the Turkey Shoot, so it was always kind of nice that way," he said.
All ages and abilities were invited to join in the fun. Some flew in just for the shoot itself, while others opted an overnight stay, giving them further time to enjoy the charming community of South Naknek.
The Turkey Shoot was sponsored by the Bristol Bay Borough Parks and Recreation Department, in an attempt to bring more community-based activities to South Naknek. Park and Recreation Supervisor Donnie Wood hosted and organized the event.
“South Naknek is often neglected when it comes to public community events, and so we were trying to organize a cool event to do over here. The Turkey Shoot was something they did here years ago, and so it seemed like a natural fit to start the turkey shoot again. So last year we did it and we did it again this year, but we added a Bingo night Friday night, and a little bonfire and cooked breakfast this morning, and added a couple of different events. We added archery and shotgun this year, just to draw a little more of a crowd in and just for people to have a good time.”
AC Grocery and Naknek Trading provided turkeys and ham for the winning shooters, and the generosity of residents from King Salmon, Naknek and South Naknek, helped make the occasion both rewarding and memorable. William Weatherby and Don Kingsley supplied clay pigeons for the shoot, Lloyd Grindell gifted the Bingo grand prize, and after the chilly afternoon’s competition came to a close, the people of South Naknek provided home-made dishes to those with red noses, icy toes and hearty appetites.
When asked if the people of South Naknek enjoyed the visit, Wood answered, “I hope so. It’s probably nice to have the event come to them sometimes."
Monica Waring is a freelance reporter living in Naknek. Her work appears on KDLG and in the Bristol Bay Times weekly newspaper. Reach her at email@example.com or 907-842-5281.