Friday, November 09, 2007

Turkey Shoot


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.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just can't see that happening these days. Heck, kids can't even have their gun on a gun rack in their pickup at school. They would probably be charged with a felony. Something like "intent to inflict terror".

6:13 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I remember taking my shotgun, along with a hundred rounds or so, on the school bus! I'd just walk into school and put it in my locker.

Nobody thought anything about it.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

Interesting..my mom was saying that when she went to high school, boys brought their shotguns to school and kept them in their lockers. That must have been pretty common and here I was thinking how weird that was. I mean, what did you do with them? Were you going to shoot dinner on the way home, or what?

8:19 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Anon, pea shooters are probably a bad idea as well.

Bob, I did it, too, except with only a couple of rounds. I also made gun stocks in wood shop so I often left the one I was working on in the shop.

Lori, yes, school was finished at 2:30 and it was near good fields for pheasant hunting. Things were different then. I no longer hunt or have guns and haven't owned one since the late 1970s. That story will be published here soon.

2:09 PM  

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