Up through the late 1960’s, turkey shoots were common around Rocky Butte. There was a gun range in the area where Hancock dead-ends at 99th.


Today, “turkey shoot” just means a target competition with a frozen turkey as the prize (or ham, etc.). But the origin of “turkey shoot” actually goes back hundreds of years using real turkeys and it seems that’s what they were doing on Rocky Butte. (And as a turn of phrase, especially in the military, “turkey shoot” means an easy massacre of boxed-in enemy.)


You tie a turkey down behind a log or wooden fence, with just enough slack so they can run left and right but always be behind the obstacle. The obstacle is also just low enough that should the turkey pop his head up, you only have that as a small, difficult target to hit with a rifle. There’s a scene in the Gary Cooper movie, “Sgt. York” where they do it using a wooden box with a hole on top…


This article about the Hyster Company’s shoot comes from 1965.


Also worth noting, while wild turkeys now commonly live in the Oregon forests, they are not native to Oregon and were intentionally introduced in 1961.





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