When I was a lad, our local fire department would hold a Turkey Shoot in the field across from where I lived every November. Now, for those of you who immediately conjure up the image of people shooting turkeys, that wasn’t it at all.
T-Posts were driven in the ground and a rope was strung. That was the limit of how close you could get to the targets. About fifty feet away other T-Posts were driven into the ground and a wire ran from post to post. Twenty targets were clipped to the wire.
For a dollar you would buy a shotgun shell for your 12-gage shotgun and you got to shoot in a round. After the twenty targets had been shot at one of the firemen would retrieve them and bring them back to the tent to see who won.
Shot from a gun is not like a bullet. It sprays several lead bbs that randomly hit the target, or not. The shooter who pierces the target closest to the center wins a turkey. If several were too close to call there would be a shoot off.
I’d show up every year with several dollars and the family shotgun, an L.C.Smith, just in case you gun nuts were wondering. I would shoot in the first five rounds. For me it was the excitement of shooting, it wasn’t about winning a turkey, though I did win a few.
When I ran out of money, I would walk down to a tavern that was down the street and ask anyone if they wanted me to shoot for them. Picture this, a twelve year old kid walking into a tavern with a shot gun. It didn’t even raise an eye brow back then. Some of the rummies would give me a buck or two to shoot. Sometimes I won and I’d deliver their turkey certificate. Even if I didn’t win I’d always bring them the target I shot. They’d usually give me some cash for being a cute kid with a gun. I’d take the cash and shoot some more.
It was fun being a kid with a gun and a sore shoulder at the end of one Saturday each November.