Most locals with any seniority here will know where Turkey Shoot Road is, but the forces of the bureaucracy have chosen to ignore the local wisdom and shun this descriptive and historic name.
The Gabriola Rod and Gun Club established a rifle range on some crown land in the middle of nowhere back in the ‘70s. It was accessible by logging roads only – one of which came off of North Road in the middle of ‘the tunnel’. The road had no official name, but it connected up with a couple of old logging roads and eventually with Tait Road (at the end of Ferne) Every fall, when the Rod and Gun Club would have their annual turkey shoot, they would post a sign at North Road, pointing down this narrow old logging road towards the rifle range. Of course the rest is history, and it became known as ‘Turkey Shoot’ Road.
If you were to approach Turkey Shoot Road and the range from South Road, you would take Ferne Road to its end at Tait Road, where you would turn right and drive straight to the range. Of course the Tait name has history here too. Most of us know that Betty Tait along with many of her family – operated the taxi on the island during the seventies and eighties. It was a more relaxed time, and many fine tales have been told about Tait’s taxi days. Betty is still loved by many islanders who experienced her kindness and good nature. The mysterious disappearance of her husband in the early eighties was the subject of much speculation. He has not been found to this day. That is a whole other story.
When some of the large parcels around Turkey Shoot Road changed hands in the ‘90s, it became an issue that the road was partly on private land, and the province decided to clean things up. They moved one end of the road slightly and promptly named it incorrectly – assuming it was part of Tait Road just because it connected to it. I hope that eventually the mistake will be corrected and the original name will once again be used.