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21-Gun Salute

By Randy Webb

-- I was looking forward to the 2006 deer season, but circumstances would change things a lot. I found out in October that my father had lung cancer and that it had spread to his brain. He passed away Nov. 10, and his funeral was the day before Michigan's regular firearm deer season.

He was a veteran of the Korean War and received full military honors. After the 21-gun salute, I picked up one of the shell casings.

The next morning, I was getting ready to go hunting, and I told my wife that I was taking the casing with me for good luck. My father was going to be with me on this hunt. He was the one that got me started hunting and fishing at a young age. We spent many days hunting deer and rabbit and winter ice fishing.

I would be hunting on his land as I had since I was 14. I made it to my blind early, like I always do on opening day. I thought I would just sit and wait for daylight and let things settle down.

It was just getting light when I saw a deer moving down in the swamp. It came out into the open about 40 yards away, stopping broadside. I could see that it was a legal buck, so I prepared to take the shot. I fired once and it ran about 50 yards before it piled up. This is the fifth buck I've taken with my Browning A-bolt .243, 3 x 9 Nikon scope that I won in the Buckmasters Gear Grab Sweepstakes.

I've been deer hunting for 38 years and this is the first buck that I have taken this early in the season. I've shot some big deer but this one means a lot to me because I know my father was with me, and I'll be carrying that shell casing with me in the future.

Randy Webb
Fife Lake, MI

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