It was a purposeful part of the traditional preparations for Thanksgiving among Americans of the last century—and in some rural areas it still is
November 29, 1954

No sport could be more typically American than a turkey shoot. Ever since the Pilgrim fathers hunted the woods with blunderbusses our native bird has been a target for rural Nimrods. So when Charles Deas set about painting a typical American genre scene in 1836 he chose a shooting match for the Thanksgiving gobbler. It was a familiar sight to him in the Hudson River valley where he hunted, fished and sketched. The contestants and a kibitzing manservant cluster at the firing line while the hapless turkey stands a measured distance away. It was a jovial occasion of good fellowship, warmed by the little brown jug, with the winner taking home the holiday bird.