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POSTED: March 8, 2007 5:11 a.m.
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As the Courier hopes to increase its coverage of hunting in the area, I knew I had to familiarize myself with the topic, while coming to grips with the embarrassing fact that I had never shot a gun.
That changed two days ago.
While spending the last 23 years of my life in Ohio, one would justly assume that a deer head would hang above my stove where a fresh pot of venison stew bubbled to a boil.
For most Southerners, unloading a firearm at a target is a rite of passage and I knew I had to lay down my “Yankee” reputation, while picking up the biggest handgun in the world — a Taurus Raging Bull 500 Smith and Wesson.  
Joshua Works, owner of Mission Essentials on Hollywood Boulevardd, was good enough to show me how country folks can survive as he placed the Smith and Wesson hand cannon in my eager palms. It kicked like a mule, but I quickly realized that being a journalist sure has its advantages.  
The other guns I shot were a Walther P22, a Springfield XD 45 ACP and a pump action shotgun.  
“I am a firearms specialist who sells guns for self-defense purposes, for hunting and I sell to collectors,” Works explained. “My store doubles as a shooting range and honestly we are seeing a lot of first-timers like yourself who want to learn how to properly handle and shoot a firearm.”  
Works acknowledged that my accuracy was pretty good, so who knows, maybe there is some hope for me after all as I transition to a Southern style living.
The only regret I have is that my “Papa” Ed Mayle could not be alive to see me handle my first set of weaponry.  
My Papa spent most of his life as a detective working for the Westlake (Ohio) Police Department.  
From what I have heard, he was a good cop (and a great marksman) who got his claim to fame when he arrived at the Sam Shepherd house in Bay Village, Ohio, to find Mr. Shepherd’s pregnant wife who had been murdered.  
The famous murder trial was fictionalized as the premise for the famous TV show and movie called The Fugitive.  
In reality, it was the Shepherds’ window washer who committed the crime, not the one-armed man who Harrison Ford bravely fought in the movie version.  
In the future though, keep an eye out for hunting features as I continue to explore the intriguing methods, techniques and approaches of being a hunter down South.
 

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