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Turkey Shoot in Elberta, Alabama…

Posted by on November 6, 2016

NOVEMBER 6, 2016

REALLY? If someone had told me even as recently as a year ago that Florence and I would one day go to a Turkey Shoot in Elberta, Alabama I’d have said, “You’re out of your mind! I mean, why in the world would anyone want to go to a Turkey Shoot, whatever that is? And where in the world is Elberta, Alabama?” But today we went and it’s not as bad as it sounds. There were no turkeys, only paper targets. The event we attended was held at the VFW Hall in the little town of Elberta, about 30 miles distant from where we’re staying in Pensacola. Our friend Wayne put the bug in our ears about this outing and as it turns out, and as stupid as it sounds, we had a lot of fun.


It’s easy to find the VFW lodge in the little town of Elberta, Alabama.


Lawn ornament at the VFW lodge. Nothing could be any more appropriate.



The official license plate for the state of Alabama kind of says it all. Everyone who lives here is super-patriotic and religious. Most businesses are closed on Sunday, even restaurants. American flags are on display everywhere and exercising one’s second amendment rights is the norm. To get a concealed carry permit, one merely goes to the sheriff’s office and completes a form. That’s it.



American Flags are on display everywhere in the south. This is how the VFW lodge is adorned every day of the week. 

WHAT’S A TURKEY SHOOT? A “turkey shoot” is a shooting contest where frozen turkeys are usually awarded as prizes. The shoot is held using shotguns aimed at paper targets about 35 yards down range. The winner is chosen according to which target has a shot closest to its center cross-mark. This removes almost all luck from the contest, and allows every shooter an equal chance. These shoots are popular today in the rural United States and there was a bunch of good ol’ boys today to prove it! Today’s shoot was a fundraiser for the VFW and a chance for the locals to get together and compete for bragging rights.


Today was the first time Florence ever shot a gun. In this picture, Wayne is giving her some pointers. 



These were the shotguns available today. The barrel on mine is short, so accuracy at a distance isn’t as good as it is with a gun with a longer barrel. Mine is the matte black one third from the right. It’s perfect to “discourage” an intruder in our motorhome, but didn’t serve me well today at the range. I used one of the others for most of my shots.




See how short the barrel is on my gun, compared to the others. Mine is the model the cops in San Diego carry in their cars. During the entire three years we’ve been traveling, I’ve never once had to even cock my shotgun because of a perceived threat. Same goes with my .38 revolver. I hope I never have to use either one of them! 

HOW IT WORKS. The club sells single shots from a shotgun of your choice for $3 each. You pick the shotgun, or bring your own and then you shoot one shell, one contestant at a time, at your own target. A new paper target is supplied for each of the ten shooters in a round. So each round raises $30 and there are about 20 rounds for the day. Prizes are awarded for the winner of each round, measured by the shooter who gets closest to a direct hit on the bulls eye. The prizes today weren’t frozen turkeys, but were slabs of pork ribs, porterhouse steaks and butcher-cut bacon. Florence didn’t win. Wayne didn’t win. And I certainly didn’t win! But it was fun and we met more nice, affable Southerners. They’re everywhere and are the nicest group of folks I’ve ever encountered.



Any intruder who encounters my wife with a loaded shotgun will be sorry he ever set foot inside our rig! Look at her form! I’m going to start calling her Annie Oakley!




After each round, the ten shooters crowd around the scorekeeper to learn who won. As you can see, the measurement often must be very precise.


Don’t laugh, because as you’ll see in the next photo I almost won this round of competition. I would have received 4 porterhouse steaks if one of the other shooters hadn’t been just a tad better than I.


This is my target. One of my competitors had a bead hit directly on the cross. Damn, in any of the other rounds I’d probably have been a winner.



There were a bunch of good old boys at the event. What characters. But each of them was really nice to us and helpful. Probably because they were afraid we’d miss the target by so much they’d be in danger!



WE HAD FUN. And I hope you enjoyed learning a little about Turkey Shoots in the rural South. We had lunch on the way home at a tiny little Cajun Crawfish Restaurant. Quite an experience. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. So plan to visit my blog again soon. Subscribe and you’ll be notified of each new post. And please stick around. There’s lots more to come as you ride with us on our Great American Adventure.


I’ll continue my story next time.

4 Responses to Turkey Shoot in Elberta, Alabama…

  1. Jon York

    I’m glad you had fun. But don’t ya go poking fun at our hallowed Southern traditions, ya hear me boy?

  2. Randy

    Sounds like great fun – meanwhile in California we are voting tomorrow on more gun restrictions and whether or not to legalize Marijuana for everyone; quite a contrast in culture.

  3. Greg Alford

    Randy, it was great fun, but that’s not as important as the issues in tomorrow’s general election! God Bless America!

  4. Greg Alford

    All I have to say, Jon, is “Yes sir, boss man! Wait ’til you see my next post!”

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