November and December in the Carolinas

John Harrelson

New Member
Some of the things I miss about November and December in the Carolinas..

Usually on a Saturday or Sunday...between noon and midnight ..behind a country store, 20 to 50 men, women and children of varying ages from 10 yrs old to 90 yrs old gathered around 55 gallon drums with a roaring fire inside them..

Hanging from a tree limb were a couple of light bulbs for when it got dark and two or three lawn chairs were scattered around for the women folk to sit in while waiting their turn to shoot.

Some saw horses with long boards on top of them to act as the counter and firing line on which your shotgun was placed when it was your turn to shoot..

Down range about 100 feet from the firing line, bales of hay stacked up to act as the backstop and the paper targets were stuck on the hay bales with a 20 penny nail.

The owner of the shoot supplies the shells (bird shot), you can't use your own..
it cost a dollar to get a shell and be in a shoot.

Any Gage of shotgun was OK.. 410, 16, 12, 10....

There had to be a minimum of 10 shooters on the line before a "Shoot" was allowed because a frozen turkey cost about $5 in the 1950s and a shotgun shell cost about 20 cent, and the owner of the turkey shoot had to make a profit..

Some turkey shoots gave away as many as 50 or more turkeys each day and some shoots gave you a choice of a country cured ham or a turkey ...

However you had to get 10 people wanting the ham before a shoot was allowed and it cost $2 for the shell.

It didn't matter how many holes you shot in the target,the shooter with a hole closest to the center of the bull's eye was the winner. If there was a tie, the two people who tied shot again..

Normally there was no shine or beer allowed at the shoots because of the danger of the shotguns and it being a family gathering..

of course there always seemed to be a new gun or hunting dog in one of the men's pickup trucks that other men just had to take a look at.. sometimes they looked at that dog two or three times..

You didn't ever want to be caught at a turkey shoot before noontime on a Sunday.
The Carolinas are in the center of the "Bible Belt" and you would be forever shamed by everybody if they knew you were at a turkey shoot instead of in church..
At the dinner table next day they would cluck their tongues and mumble something like "you should be shamed o' you self" everytime they held out their plates for another helping of sweet potatoes and turkey....... white meat please...

'Course you can bet a lot of families carried their guns behind the seat of the pickup truck so they didn't have to waste time going home after church to get them.

I can remember carrying home 3 turkeys and a ham one year. I won them with a borrowed shotgun.
We had turkey for Thanksgiving , turkey for Christmas and ham with the black eyed peas and rice on New Year's day.. I was about 14 yrs old that year..

Whatever happened to those simple days of good fun around a drum full of fire on a Saturday afternoon in November and December in the Carolinas ?

it's a little early but ... Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: November and December in the Carolinas

Happy Thankgiving. Now what happened? Well to start:
1960's: Vietnam and the Culture Revolution.
1970's: Iran imprisoning our Embassey Personnel, the Arab oil embargo and of course The Peanut Farmer.
1980's: We took a short breath, the Berlin wall fell and we started feeling good about ourselves.
1990's: The Oval Office happened. Our respect for the office of the President wavered.
2000's: 9/11 and the War on Terror.

The "Good Old Days" are gone forever. Hopefully we have new "Happy Days" ahead. Happy Thanksgiving. :)


Senior Member
Re: November and December in the Carolinas

What happened, were all those bad guns running around committing crimes, giving those law abiding good ole' shotguns a bad name, so nobody would have anything to do with them any more. Besides, gotta be at home to watch 'Survivor' instead of out in the weeds tempting the lawyers :)


Senior Member
Re: November and December in the Carolinas

On a different note, we used to have REAL turkey shoots. I was too young to participate, but the supplier was a local turkey grower that went to our church. They used .22 rifles with the turkeys in a cage.

Sound easy? There was hay bales all around the turkey cage. The only shot on the turkey was if he poked his head up out of the top of the cage.

I don't know how, but it was always a popular fund raiser. Some of those old guys could call a turkey and make him pop his head up. I remember they used to work in teams, too.