Well, we pulled it off. The Floyd County ‘Coon hunters Association hosted their first turkey shoot this past Saturday. In spite of overcast skies and less than optimum conditions, we had 26 registered shooters and everybody had a big time.
My wife helped with registration and ticket sales and did a great job. She held her post for four hours and never once complained about anything. Several members of the club showed up to help with other duties, including running targets, judging and handing out prizes.
We had a lot of shooters asking if this would be an ongoing event. We’re going to do this again in two weeks and see how it goes. If it goes like it did the first time, we’ll be scheduling shoots on a regular basis.
How do you react to unexpected problems when you’re out on the road?
Floyd is a classic text-book example of ‘Smalltown, USA’. That’s why I use the name for my site. When you live in a rural/agricultural county, you can expect to encounter tractors on the roads pulling hay rakes or bailers. You can also expect to see heavy equipment on flatbed trucks struggling to get up grades in these mountains.
I left the house yesterday to go in town on some errands. As I approached a curve in the road, I saw a full size pick-up truck coming with a banner on the front that read “WIDE LOAD’. I immediately backed off the throttle in anticipation of what would be next. Sure enough, a few seconds later, a road tractor pulling a flatbed came around the curve.
On the flatbed was a Caterpillar D-8 bulldozer. The truck was decked out with warning banners and orange safety flags. The driver had changed to a lower gear to get up the grade and black smoke was blowing from the stacks, an indication that he had the throttle down trying to keep the truck and heavy load moving.
Another problem the driver was dealing with was this was a back country road that was barely wide enough to meet state requirements for width. In order to keep from clipping mail boxes with the blade of the dozer, he had to drive with a portion of the truck across the center line. A narrow road with tight curves and grades is not exactly user-friendly conditions for a man trying to drive a 25,000 pound truck carrying a 75,000 pound bulldozer.
I applied my brakes and began to pull over to give the driver all the room he needed to get past me. As I did this, I instinctively looked in my rear view mirror. There was a white minivan behind me. Rather than do the same, the driver of the minivan decided to hold her position in the lane. This created yet another problem for the truck driver.
Now, with the minivan driver taking up all of the lane I had been in, the truck driver had to back off his throttle, gear down yet again and creep by the minivan to avoid hitting the vehicle. I had pulled about half way off the road onto the shoulder and stopped.
At this point, to my utter amazement, the driver of the minivan blew her horn at me! I looked in my outside rear view mirror just in time to see her give the truck driver the finger!
I seriously doubt that minivan driver knows about me and/or my blog. I hope she does. Ma’am, you have the manners and people skills of a feral dog.
For years, the local VFW post here in Floyd has hosted turkey shoots from early fall to spring. Because of some internal problems, the VFW had to shut down for a time to solve these problems. The turkey shoots every other Saturday came to a grinding halt.
Recognizing the popularity of this sport, the Floyd County ‘Coon Hunters Association has picked up the ball. This coming Saturday, the 23rd, the coon club will host their first card shoot, or turkey shoot as most call it.
Turkey shoots date back to the late 1700s. The early pioneers would capture wild turkeys and use them as the targets. The turkey would be tied behind a large log so that he could raise his head but not escape. The shooter, using his hunting skills, would ‘call’ the turkey in an attempt to make the turkey interested. When the turkey raised his head to investigate the source of the calling, the shooter would then try to kill the bird. That practice ceased long ago and the sport has changed dramatically.
Nowadays, shooters pay a fee for their chance to win and shoot at paper targets. Turkey shooting is not an established sport, so there are no set rules. Turkey shoots are held all over the United States and the rules and methods are different depending on where you go.
Generally, a shooter pays a fee for every shot he or she wants to fire. A paper target is put up at a predetermined distance and the shooter fires at this paper target with a shotgun using birdshot shells. Birdshot shells are loaded with very small lead pellets. The bullseye on the target is usually two crossed lines creating an intersection.
Because there are so many pellets in a shotgun shell and there’s no way to control where each pellet goes, its pure luck concerning where the pellets hit the target. The shooter wins by a pellet from his shot being closer to the crossed lines that all the other shooters.
A judge is appointed and judges all the targets. A winner is announced and a prize is given. Prizes usually are a package of meat from a grocery store or a cash prize. Sometimes prizes consist of valuable items, but shooters usually are required to pay higher fees to shoot matches where expensive items are given.
Some regular turkey shoot competitors take this sport very seriously. It’s common for these shooters to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a custom-built shotgun to enable them to shoot better. This type of shooter is usually seen at the bigger shooting ‘houses’ where large cash prizes are given.
Most people who go to turkey shoots, however, are common folks that are there to enjoy the event and have a good time. Everybody’s chatting, talking about their guns and making new friends.
I’m a member of the Floyd County ‘Coon Hunters Association, so I volunteered to help the guys get set up for this upcoming shoot. We had to dig holes, set target posts and shooting stands. After boring sixteen holes with a gas engine powered auger, I’m sore this morning. That’s alright, though. All the hard work will pay off Saturday. We’ll have a good time. Maybe I’ll win a package of pork chops.
My mother, God bless ‘er, is still alive at the age of 95. She’s living in an assisted living facility in Charleston, SC.
My brother, also in Charleston, called me the other day and asked me if I could come down for a few days to help out. We’ve got to clean out Moma’s house and get it ready to put on the market. So my next few days here will be occupied with tieing up loose ends and packing for a trip that I expect will last ten days to two weeks.
All that being said, I might be a bit more occupied than normally. If I don’t post, no need to call the Sheriff’s Office.
A little over a year ago, I wrote about ROAMING DOGS and the problems they create for farmers that own livestock. Just so you’ll clearly understand how strongly I feel about this, I’m bringing it up again.
Fred First, a local blogger and very good friend, posted an article this morning about his chickens and the problems he’s had with dogs attacking and killing them. If you open the link, you can read my response to his post.
When I respond with a comment to someone’s post, I try to be diplomatic and reserved. Lemme’ tell ya’ somethin’, sport. This is MY site an’ I’m not the least bit concerned with bein’ diplomatic when it comes to the subject at hand. I’m gonna’ call it like I see it. If ya’ don’t like that, don’t waste your time leavin’ a nasty comment. Comments are held in moderation for my approval and if I don’t like ‘em, I trash ‘em.
Fred and his wife, a lovely and very gracious lady, love their animals. They don’t keep chickens just to produce eggs. Those birds are their pets. Each bird has a name and a personality. Fred and his wife become very attached to their chickens and it pains them deeply when something happens to one of them.
After leaving my comment on Fred’s post about his chickens being killed by roaming dogs (dogs wearing collars, by the way), I sent him an email offering to help him ‘solve the problem’.
Fred is a very pacific and gentile man and is not inclined to violence. When it comes to roaming dogs attacking anything I own, I’m NOT pacific or gentile. Make no mistake, I WILL put a bullet through a dog’s head for attacking an animal that belongs to me on my property.
Like it or not, you are responsible for the animals you own. If your animals escape an enclosure and maims or kills livestock belonging to someone else, you can be held responsible for the damages. However, most farmers don’t waste the time and money it takes to haul some irresponsible dog owner into small claims court over a couple of chickens. They just put a bullet through the dog’s head and be done with it.
My wife and I are considering getting a few yard birds this coming spring. I’ll build a coop and enclosure to put them in. When they get accustomed to their new home and understand this is where they live, I’ll open the pen door and let them out.
Some might say “If you let them out, you run the risk of loosing one to a roaming dog.” Yup, you’re right. And my response will be “If your dog comes on my place and makes a move to attack my chickens, he’ll stop a load of buckshot.”
If you allow your dog to run loose and it doesn’t come home one day, don’t waste you time asking me if I’ve seen it. Sorry, I can’t help you.
Have you ever really paid attention to the greetings and messages on message machines and cell phone voice mails? Most are pretty average and generic. I’ve heard a few that were way past ridiculous.
I find background noise in a greeting to be very irritating. I’m listening to the message of the person I’m calling and hear ‘Wheel of Fortune’ or children fighting in the background. Did it not occur to you to turn the TV off and find a quiet place to record your greeting?
I have to wonder about people who don’t seem to think when they decide what they’re going to record as their greeting. “Leave a message an’ I’ll call ya’ back.” That’s it? That’s what you want me to hear when I get your voice mail option?
I’m not the least bit interested in why you’re not available to take my call. “Hey, this is Bill. I can’t take your call ’cause I’m probably huntin’ right now.” Deer season ended two months ago. Are you poaching?
I really admire a well thought out and professional greeting. “You’ve reached the voice mail of Bill Johnson. If you’ll leave a brief message with you name and phone number, I’ll return your call. Thank you!” Short, mature and professional.
And then there’s the messages. Oh yes, the messages.
The caller sounds like an auctioneer as he/she speaks at a rate of 500 words a minute. With ‘Wheel of Fortune” and children screaming in the background. And you expect me to understand what you’re saying?
I’ve had people leave messages on my phone that were equal in length to the Gettysburg Address. Is it so important that you must tell me all of this instead of waiting until you get me on the phone? I don’t suppose it ever occurred to you that I might have a response to what you’re talking about.
Another classic is someone I don’t know leaves a message and asks me to return the call without leaving a number! Then they call me three days later and want to know why I didn’t call them back.
I spent 30 years in industrial construction work as a crew foreman. My phone rang on a regular basis. I expressed my aggravation at this one day and a guy on my crew told me “Jim, if you throw your phone in a bucket of water, it’ll quit makin’ that noise.” You have no clue how many times I’ve been tempted to do that.
You’d think I’ve been ‘Missing in action’ as long as it’s been since I’ve posted. I’ve been right here, I just can’t seem to get motivated. I got into some kind of ‘blue funk’ a few days ago. I sit down to post and nothing comes out.
I’m wondering if the problem is I’ve had my head buried in this firearm/ammo buying panic thing. I’ve spent hours reading, researching and studying this phenomenon. Being an avid shooter and instructor, this thing is really a major issue with me. That’s not a valid excuse for not writing, but that’s my story an’ I’m stickin’ to it.
I’ve noticed a pattern in my writing. I drop out for a while and then come back in a blaze of glory. I write for a period of time and it happens again. Make up my mind.
Bear with me, I’m doing my best to get through this slump.