In the 10 years living on a farm in Cane Branch before I went into the old Army Air Corps, I was one of the best shooters in the hollow with all types of guns.
I did a lot of hunting for game, and a lot of target shooting with my dad and brothers.
During my three months of basic training, I was asked by our training instructor to teach the many guys in our flight who had never had a gun in their hands before. By the end of our three months, all of our flight made sharpshooters. We were told that had never happened before.
Between assignments I was home a few days during Thanksgiving, and Cane Branch was having a turkey shoot. I had been to two of them before, and came in second both times. My dad asked me to enter the shoot with him.
We would have one practice shot from the same rifle, then we had five shots at the target. Because I was in uniform, they asked me to shoot first.
I put all five bullets in the center of the target, and they made one large hole. I was watching the other shooters looking at my target, and I think it made them nervous because none of them did well.
So this old hillbilly won the turkey shoot one day before my 17th birthday in November, 1946.
When I got home with my turkey, Mom made me turn it loose in our yard with the rest of our many birds.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfi eld, Cali.