Shooting Range

by Les Fetterly from Lynn Lake, MB

In 1960 we lived in Lynn Lake Manitoba. I was l2 years old. We were quite poor, mainly because ill health forced my father to take extended leave from work. I did not really feel the poverty. With more than enough adventure at our doorstep in the way of fishing, boating, trapping and exploring, and living in a friendly community, it was ideal for a young kid growing up.

Nevertheless, when autumn rolled around, and it was
time for the annual turkey shoot. I wanted to enter and win a turkey for our family for the Thanksgiving meal.

When the day came I walked with trepidation up to the table to register. What chance would a 12 year old have? Our turn came and five at a time we moved over to the range, with the allotted 3 bullets for our guns. I looked up and down the line, glumly. All of my competition were older and much more experienced at shooting. With a strong feeling of pessimism, I dutifully loaded, aimed and fired three times. After everybody was finished,
we all walked with the judges to the targets to retrieve our results. When my target was taken down, I was shocked and surprised to see FOUR bullet holes in it. Three were scattered and one was perfectly in the dead centre of the bulls eye. I was declared the

I did not know what to say or think. Nobody else seemed to notice or care. I can not remember who the judge was but I brought it to his attention. He quietly shushed me, telling me to no never mind. To this day, I do not know what happened. Did I hit the bulls eye with one of my shots? Did someone else in the group fire in to my target, either deliberately or accidentally, or was the target prepared ahead of time with a perfect bulls eye? I will never know and I guess there are those things that we do not need to know. Still and all, it is one small chip in the woodbox of my memory, one that I can recall from time to time with pleasure.

Needless to say, when the turkey was delivered a week later, and prepared for the Thanksgiving meal by my mother, the best cook North of 56, it was good and I was proud.