What is a turkey shoot?

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Saint Hovannas Monastey, or Hovhannavank (Armenian: Surb Hovhannes Vank) is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the village of Ohanavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. It is situated atop a steep gorge carved by the Kasagh river. The monastery’s title originates from the combination of the name Hovhan (Armenian for Jonah) and the word vank, which in Armenian means monastery. The monastery was dedicated to John the Baptist, whom Armenians venerate as their patron-saint. The monastery stands on the edge of the Qasakh River Canyon, and its territory is adjacent to the village of Ohanavan.

History and architecture
The oldest part of the monastery is the single nave basilica of St. Karapet (i.e. Holy Forerunner, John the Baptist) that was founded at the beginning of the fourth century by St. Gregory the Enlightener, who baptized Armenia into the world’s first Christian nation. The wooden roof of the early church was replaced in 554 AD with a thatch cover, and the basilica itself underwent profound renovation between 1652 and 1734.

The centerpiece of the monastery is the Cathedral built between 1216 and 1221 through the donation of Prince Vache Vachutian. The Cathedral has a cruciform floor plan, with two story sacristies in each of the four extensions of the church. The dome has an umbrella-shaped roof, which is unique to Armenian churches. Cathedral’s important decorations include carved scenes from the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).

Portal leading into the main church from the gavit.In 1250, Vache Vachutian’s son, Kurt Vachutian, built a narthex (gavit) next to the western wall of the Cathedral. The narthex is supported by four base pillars and features a central rotunda (added in 1274) that rests on twelve columns. Between the 12th and 17th centuries, Hovhannavank was known as an important educational and theological center of Eastern Armenia that had a scriptorium where manuscripts were written and illuminated. The monastery was described in details in 1686 by the historian Zakaria Kanakertsi who spent his entire life at Hovhannavank.

The monastery walls are covered with rich lapidary inscriptions. One large engraved text high on the northern wall of one of the monastery’s auxiliary structures reads:

…By the grace of merciful God, during the reign of Queen Tamar, daughter of the great Gevorg, in the year 642 (1200 AD) of the race of Torgom, we—brothers Zakaria and Ivane—sons of Sargis the Great, son of Avag Zakarian, when the light of God’s grace rose and entered Armenia and raised us from weakness in the battle against the enemies of Christ and destroyed their power and quenched their violence, with the country of Ararat delivered from the heavy yoke of their servitude, wished to make offering and gave the tribute of the grace to the Holy Forerunner of Hovhannavank …
Another key inscription was left by Konstandin I, Katholicos of Armenia.

Hovhannavank’s Cathedral belongs to the category of “Gandzasar-style” ecclesiastical edifices that were built approximately at the same time in different parts of Armenia, and were endowed with similar compositional and decorative characteristics (another example—Cathedral of the Haritchavank Monastery). Those include umbrella-shaped dome, cruciform floor plan, narthex (often with stalactite-ornamented ceiling), and high-relief of a large cross on one of church’s walls. In 1918, the dome and the southern wall were destroyed by a powerful earthquake; both were reconstructed in the 1990s.

Question by standnbear: What is a turkey shoot?

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5 Responses to What is a turkey shoot?

  1. A firearms competition where you just shoot at targets, with the winners winning a turkey.

    February 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm

  2. It is a competition where people shoot at targets with shotguns. Who ever has the most pellets closest to the bulls eye wins a turkey. They usually have them where i live around thanksgiving.

    February 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm

  3. Pretty much a target shoot that is used often as a fund raiser. There arre some that have evolved into serious competition where they have extended and gusted barrels for the shotgun. Lots of times you have to use the gun that is supplied by the shoot even though some allow you to use your own.

    February 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm

  4. Target competion with shotguns! X-out the pellet nearest the X and pattern shoots at some for most pellets on paper.We win prizes from new guns,turkeys to cash prizes!
    I shot at one this year it had a turkey head and neck target and u scored for most lethal pellets on paper and the last 2 shoots were 30″ cirles with full bird in center and it was for greatest amount of pellets in kill zone(head and neck) It was pretty fun.

    February 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm

  5. Bound’s hubby here:

    All of the respondents (above) are correct that a turkey shoot is a competition usually sponsored as a fund raiser. However, turkey shoots are not limited to the use of shotguns … they can be conducted using rifles and pistols, also. Rules may vary by region and custom. Some examples of turkey shoots I have participated in, include:

    Each shooter is given 1 shell, and the goal is to either:
    a) get a pellet as close to the center of the target as possible, or
    b) get the most pellets in the target black.
    Or the club has a board wth “X” number of 1 inch squares, and you buy as many squares as you wish for $ 1 each. The target is set at about 16 yards and spun … a single shell is fired, and the square with the most pellets in it wins a turkey.

    Each rifleman gets one shot, and their goal is to:
    a) Place the shot closest to the center of the target or uniform mark.
    b) Shatter a replica (plaster of paris) turkey head (harder than it sounds … trust me!

    Each pistol shot gets up to three shots and their goal is to shatter a replica (plaster of paris) turkey head 25 yards away.

    Now, I have seen turkey shoots where a rifle or pistol is used and the target is a live turkey, and the shooter’s goal is to inflict a fatal head shot with a single shot.

    There are variations on all of the above … clubs alter the shoot to entice participation and reflect local interest. In college (way back when) our rifle team even sponsored a turkey shoot on campus, and they were successful fundraisers … once we raised almost $ 1000 in a single day before Thanksgiving.

    Good luck!

    February 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm

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