‘They do not belong in a residential area’: Kernersville neighbors concerned about turkey shoot competitions near their properties

Piedmont Triad News

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Loud bangs and a fear of getting shot had one Forsyth County community upset with a weekly turkey shoot competition that took place near their backyards. Neighbors came together to try and put a stop to the shooting.

“We just feel like there’s probably more appropriate places for them to play the game that is a turkey shoot,” said Edward Nichols, who is concerned about turkey shoots next to his house.

Nichols can see the turkey shoots through the woods on his property. It’s set up behind the Little Ceder Grocery off High Point Road in Kernersville. The store owner got a temporary permit and there are 20 targets on the property.

“I don’t have anything against turkey shoots, but they do not belong in a residential area,” said Elmer Archibald, who lives near the Little Ceder Grocery. “We don’t even go outside when they’re shooting just for fear of getting shot if somebody has an accidental discharge.”

Archibald and Nichols heard the gunshots going off on Saturday nights last year and into early 2021.

“This close to our residence right here in our yard,” Nichols said. “It could definitely hit us from an inadvertent shot.”

Nichols was so concerned about the loud noise, people’s safety, and property values he took it to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning Board.

“The county, in the code, allows them to do it, so we’re not disputing that,” he said. “It’s just that we want and are wanting to change the actual law.”

It has not changed since 1967 in Forsyth County. Nichols proposed ordinance changes to the planning board.

“It would be a situation where they could get further away from residents and be a better neighbor,” Nichols said.

The proposed ordinance changes include:

  • Change the minimum size of the lot from three to five acres;
  • Increase the distance from the firing point to the property line from 200 to 300 yards;
  • Increase the side setback from 20 feet to 200 feet;
  • Restrict the number of days for the temporary permit from 180 days to 60 days a year;
  • Only accommodate the use of shotguns.

“I think that it was a target towards us,” said Cheri Marsh, who works at the Little Cedar Grocery.

It’s a target Marsh is fighting back against. She told FOX8 the store changed ownership in October and the weekly competition helped pay the bills.

“It was closed for two weeks and it was kind of a struggle for it to get back on its feet,” Marsh said. “That’s when we started doing the turkey shoot and that was a pretty good success.”

Marsh said around 150 people came out on Saturdays during the fall and winter for the competition. It lasted only three hours each time from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday nights.

She’s hopeful the ordinance won’t move forward and the turkey shoot competition will be back this year.

“Husbands and wives and their children, they really enjoyed their selves,” she said. “Bringing all the community together.”

There is a public hearing about the ordinance proposal on Aug. 12 at 4:30 p.m. with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning Board.

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