When shooting zombies, it is rather important to hit them in the head.
That’s how they finally die.
Or at least that is the common lore touted by popular television shows and video games featuring the human struggle against a zombie apocalypse.
It’s also the best way to rack up points while shooting with Elizabeth and Bill Pearch, owners of Alaska Gun School in Eagle River, when they set up a competitive shooting match full of the type of zombie characters fans of Call of Duty Black Ops spend hours of screen time taking out.
Elizabeth wanted to have a party with friends to celebrate the coming of Halloween. She and Bill are also major shooting sports enthusiasts. Having a party at the Birchwood Recreation and Shooting Sports range seemed like the perfect fit. Plus, as Elizabeth stuffed red goop into balloons that served as the heads of full-size zombies, she got the idea of turning the party into a seasonal fundraiser for the Blood Bank of Alaska.
And perhaps an opportunity to introduce some fresh blood, pardon the pun, to the world of competitive shooting sports.
“Welcome to my party,” Elizabeth told soon-to-be zombie killers as she received the safety rules for the Oct. 22 match that was timed and scored but was more of a “fun” event than one for trophies and prizes. “I am so glad you have come.”
She truly was tickled to celebrate the annihilation of zombies with old friends she and Bill have shot with for years and with new friends who saw the party on Facebook and decided to give it a try.
“I just wanted to have a party with friends and introduce new shooters to competitive shooting in a non-stress environment where it isn’t so much about the points but about just having fun together,” Elizabeth said.
One of those new friends is Amy Zollner from Anchorage.
Zollner recently took up shooting sports. Her husband was killed in an auto collision on the Seward Highway in summer 2015. A few months later, someone tried to break into her home.
“I was scared in my own house by myself,” Zollner said as she surveyed the Hall of Horrors and the Zombie Horde shooting galleries set up on Range F at the Birchwood Park. “So, I decided to learn how to shoot and to get as much practice as I possibly can. I was looking through Facebook events and this caught my eye and I said, yes, I am going to go do that.”
Ben Woods, age 16 of Anchorage, came to the event with his mother, Suzanne Woods.
The competitive shooting bug has bit him – just like a zombie does to create another zombie – and Woods moved quickly through the Hall of Horrors as he shot at the 18 different targets available in that section of the event.
When asked if he was a competitive shooter, Ben said as a huge smile spread across his face. “I sure could be. I will be at this rate.”