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The Turkey Shoot

Nov 1969 Warren, IN Turkey Shoot. I went along with my Dad and brother to watch them shoot against 10 other men/boys to try to win a turkey or ham. Dad bought 1 ticket for the next round of shooting from one of the judges sitting at the table. Dad then turned to me, handed me his shotgun, and said, "Tam, step up to the line to take a shot." I was shocked!

The judge said, "Now wait a minute, Roger, women aren't allowed to shoot; you know that!"

My Dad turned back to him, as I tried to give the gun back, and pulled out a small booklet from his top coat pocket. He looked at the judge and said, "It doesn't state in the rule book that women can't shoot." The judges looked at each other and said, "Yes it does!" And Dad said, "Show me."

The judges stopped the turkey shoot, and they started flipping through the pages. As they would start to show him something, he would point out that the booklet used the word "contestant" or some other word not denoting the sex of the shooter. The only limit was how young the shooter could be. I noticed he had done a lot of underlining in his booklet and realized he had planned to challenge this all along. News to me!

The judges looked and looked, along with some other men at the event, who objected to me being allowed to shoot. No one could find anything in the rule book that said women could not shoot. Dad told them I met the age requirement and told me again to get up to the line to shoot. The judges basically scratched their heads as Dad ushered me (scared) to the line. A few of the men wanted their money back, because they were not going to shoot against a woman-LOL. The judges filled their places with other men, who I think thought their odds would be better by shooting against me.

All 10 of us were on the line aiming at the targets and shot. They pulled our targets in, and Dad said mine looked good. One man claimed to have won, but Dad showed the judges my target and said I had beat the man. The other contestant disagreed and asked the judges to measure the spacing of the holes on the target, but one just told him to just give up, it was obvious I had won! He insisted on them measuring, and Dad said, "Go ahead. I want him to be satisfied about the results."

They measured, and I won. It was not even a close contest! I picked a turkey to take home. Little did the men think about the fact that I grew up on a farm and had shot for quite a while. The next line up of contestants was called, and another woman, Sandy Hethcote, went over to shoot and asked to borrow a gun from someone in the crowd. The judges throw up their hands......There goes the Turkey Shoot!

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