Shooting Turtles

This occurrence is from a good many years ago, the early 2000s.

The two stock tanks below the house were overrun with turtles. For fear they would ruin my catfish population I decided to open season on them one afternoon. I was by myself and every time one would stick it’s head up, it wouldn’t live to tell about it.

I was using a lever action 22 magnum. It would hold maybe 15 rounds. When It was empty, I started reloading. Instead of dropping one round at a time in the magazine I decided if I took the plunger rod out I could reload much faster. I hadn’t counted on putting one more shell in than I was suppose to. Due to that miscalculation I needed to improvise. Since the chamber was empty, if I stuck the plunger back in and held pressure on it, I could transfer one shell into the chamber then get back to the task at hand.

I hadn’t figured on was while pushing the plunger down that if my thumb was resting over the end of the barrel and it discharged I would blow a little half round circle of flesh off the side of my thumb. That brought an end to my turtle shooting.

When I arrived at the house, Madeline said I was a white as a bedsheet. We wrapped my thumb up with some rags, then called my friend the local doc. He met me at his office, cleaned and bandaged it. It hadn’t hit any bone, only flesh. By law he had to call the local law enforcement officer to report a gunshot incident. I guess they just had to be sure I hadn’t frazzled Madeline’s last nerve and she decided to shoot me in the thumb.

With all that taken care of, we headed off to Vegas the next day where I could explain to every blackjack dealer why my thumb was all bandaged up. It was a great conversation piece.

I never remember returning to the stock tank and going on a shooting rampage again. I guess I decided the turtles had won.


Turtles are the only thing living in our stock tanks for the past few years, after we cleaned them out and enlarged them.

An order for fish to stock them has been made, therefore it’s time to lessen the turtle population.

Luckily I have several ex-military types, sons and a grandson that are more than happy to go to battle with any turtle that sticks it’s head up.

The following story describes why I’m more than happy to sit this one out.

Below is the scene today 5-31-2021

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