Elstonville Sportsmen’s Association

Dozens of domestic turkeys killed in canned hunt

Manheim, PA

September 9, 2006

Dozens of domestic turkeys were staked to bales of straw and used as live targets at an archery contest on September 9, 2006, according to authorities who charged a sportsmen's club with violating animal cruelty laws. The turkeys were secured at their feet but able to flap their wings as participants paid $12 for three attempts to hit one with an arrow. Christine Wilson, a Lancaster County Assistant District Attorney stated that those who drew blood won the birds. Approximately 40 turkeys were killed in the contest at the Elstonville Sportsmen's Association. They were butchered at the site along with a number of additional turkeys, according to Keith Mohler, a Humane Officer for Farm Sanctuary who investigated the case. "The butchering part is fine," but intentional cruelty to animals is illegal, stated Mohler, who works for the Farm Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, an animal welfare agency.

Mohler worked undercover as the guest of a club member who called him to report the activity. He took photographs of the action and alerted State Police. Mohler stated that the event involved people "seeking amusement from the senseless torture of animals." "It was unnecessary, unsportsmanlike and perhaps the most gutless act of cruelty.”

The Association's Club, located a couple miles off the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Lancaster County, features a shooting range, a fishing pond and a lounge with a bar, according to its Web site.  

The Association faces fines of as much as $4,000 for eight summary violations of laws against the cruel treatment of animals and offering live animals as prizes in a contest. District Judge John C. Winters issued a summons to the Club on Monday, January 29th. The Association can either plead guilty and pay a fine or request a hearing before Judge Winters.

Their website lists the following people as Officers and Board of Directors members:

Jesse Miller, President                        Tom Baum, Vice President                    Deb Webster, Secretary

Anne Beagle, Treasurer                       Colleen Aument, Club Manager


Tom Baughman                                     Frank Bracciale                                    Bill Cunha

Mark Giovengo                                     Don Stump                                            Rick Wilcox


York Dispatch

Lancaster Online

Farm Sanctuary

The Herald-Times

Tulsa World

The Tribune Democrat

The Associated Press


Lawrence Journal World

Shooting Forums