My Dad & I went to my first Turkey Shoot when I was 11 years old. A bunch of men and their sons were there. (No, it wasn't a Klan meeting!) It was a cool autumn night with the stars shining brightly in the dark Carolina sky and there was a fire going with hickory and oak logs burning. Us young buzzards were feeling 12 feet tall and bullet proof, as we got to hang out with the men and shoot guns to boot and tell a war-story or two at school the next day . A rite of passage, you might say.
A buddy of mine was there and had a single shot .410. He let me use his smokepole on the firing line, as Dad thought maybe his 12 gauge, full choked, 32" barrel , single shot Iver & Johnson would be too much gun for my young shoulder.
I shot the .410, but none of my BB's came close enough to the "X" on the card, each time I entered the contest, in my attempts to win a frozen turkey. No matter, I went home that night and remember being tucked into bed by my Mom on that chilly night with a smile on my face and hickory smoke in my nostrils and reflecting on the compliments that my Dad had given me on the ride home, regarding my shooting and safe-handling of the gun.
I was officially "hooked" from that point on.