“With the Super Bowl hype at its peak, we thought that this would be an opportune time for area men to let off a little steam for a good cause,” said Richard Estonianson, event organizer. “There are way too many poodles showing up at our new dog parks, irritating other dogs and dog owners. Clearly, the herd could use a little thinning.”
Dick Harangue, local vet and a member of the Poodle Shoot committee, is in charge of operations for the event. “We want to make sure this is all done safely and with a minimum amount of muss and fuss. A poodle should not be on a leash when taken, as that would be unsportsmanlike and might upset the owner.”
The Rotary obtained a waiver from the Northfield City Council at last night’s Council meeting. It allows for the discharge of firearms within city limits for the weekend. “Pedestrians and shoppers are generally few and far between on Super Bowl weekends,” said Councilor James A. Bitcorney at the meeting. “Public safety is a concern, of course, but this is really no different than Carleton College allowing bow hunters to take deer in the Arb during winter break. Plus, it’s for a good cause.”
The resolution to approve the waiver passed 6-1 with Councilor Stan Davies the only member to oppose it. “I personally have much greater antipathy for Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas so I think to single out just one breed is unfair.”
The Northfield Police Department has been asked to provide support for the event. “All kills must be made on public property, with the exception of Bridge Square,” said Sargeant Malcolm O’Murphy. “We’re also requiring participants to register their weapons of choice with us. Most any type of small game hunting rifle is acceptable but we do want to make sure that no nut case shows up with his .30-06.”
Anna Septic, spokesperson for the Rice County Humane Society, issued a statement late Monday in opposition to the event. “We understand the factors that contribute to people wanting to engage in this type of activity,” she said. “Some of our own staffers would like to participate. But it’s a little over the top, even for Northfield. There should be another way to address the problem.”
The Poodle Shoot entry fee is $50 and the event is open to anyone over the age of 16. Register via the sign-up form on the Rotary web site. PayPal/credit cards are accepted. The Poodle Shoot starts at 5 pm on Friday and ends at 3 pm on Sunday.
Participants should bring their kills to the rodeo grounds by no later than 3:30 pm on Sunday. Prizes will be awarded for the most kills during the weekend:
- First place, a gift certificate worth $250 towards any class at the Northfield Zen Center;
- Second place, a gift certificate worth $150 for Rice County Masseuse and Facial;
- Third place, a gift certificate worth $100 at Dundas Tea and Crumpets.
Winners will also be honored by riding on a special Poodle Shoot float during the Defeat of Jesse James Days parade in September.
A similar type event was held in the early 80s in Marina Del Rey, California during Thanksgiving weekends. It included a Poodle barbeque at the end but Northfield Rotary organizers felt that this would be in poor taste, given how times have changed.