Friday, May 21, 2010

Turkey Shoot

As a young boy my father taught me to shoot. He was a superb Marksman in the Army. It’s maybe not something you talk about today, but when I was a kid, shooting was still thought of as an honorable skill, even if you were not going into law enforcement. It was no big deal really as my Dad was taught to shoot by my Grandfather and so on. I remember at the same time I was getting Ranger Rick conservation magazines in the mail, I also got stickers as a member of the National Rifle Association. In that era, guns were not scary – they were tools to be used for the specific purpose of motivating lead toward tin cans and paper targets.

Like any tool, rifles and sidearms were to be treated with respect. I shot guns for fun but we never had FUN with guns – there is a difference and the line was made very clear. All my life I have lived in rather large cities, so it has been fairly impractical to practice target shooting at home. No matter how progressive your neighbors are, they do not look kindly on random gunshots mixing with the sounds of their kids bouncing basketballs and gardeners blowing leaves off driveways.

Happily that problem was easily solved with a nice Daisy BB gun rifle. I could set up targets in the back yard and shoot as much as I wanted. I really loved shooting that gun. Eventually my Father was confident in my aim enough to take me down and enter in a Turkey shooting contest at the local police gun range. I did enjoy the target competition and did well. Sadly however I did not win the frozen turkey first prize and blamed it on the rifle's weak power at 50 yards. Though un-frozen birds might have been a little more exciting to introduce to my Daisy, my parents insisted that moving targets were not allowed. Oddly however, that rule somehow did not apply to my own father. Yes, just like the stories you read about in papers, he thought my BB gun wasn’t loaded (strange since it rattled with BB’s when it was). As I ran and cavorted between backyard tree trunks, he put a bead on me at better than 75 yards and SHOT ME in the hip while I was moving.

First, I could not believe that my own Dad shot me?! I finally understood how Issac must have felt when ol’ daddy Abraham was ready to slip him a shiv – why couldn’t a stupid Ram have taken that BB for me instead? Secondly, despite my injured flank, I was appreciative that my gun had a good enough set of fixed sights to shoot that straight. Further, prone fire at a stationary target takes practice, but for my Dad to lead a fleeting target, between obstacles and while standing – well honestly, that was a pretty impressive shot. Yeah my father felt bad and profusely apologized between his poorly suppressed giddiness and shame. To this day he swears it was an innocent mistake and he didn’t mean it. I still think it was a little education for blowing the shooting contest - the rifle seemed to perform JUST FINE? Yes, that rifle had finally bagged a plump turkey, but suspiciously, this one wasn’t frozen!


  1. :) Enjoyed reading your post. You write so well. I love to shoot targets at the local gun range where I'm a member. Being formerly from Canada, I never had the option before.

    Good thing it was a bb that got you, not a .22 ;)

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. Appreciate the support. (And no, not my uncle....LOL!)

  2. Ha ha! My brother is named Isaac, and I am Abraham. (My parents were bible freaks, what can I say.) We always joked that I would be sacrificing him someday and now I have the perfect method.

    I'm your newest follower.