By JOHN L. SLOAN
I sat in the graying, waiting for the first boom of a rifle or shotgun to float through the moss-shrouded arms of the giant cypress. The big trees lined the edge of Belles Beak in the vast Saline Swamp. I hoped the boom would come from my L.C. Smith 12 gauge. It was the opening day of the Louisiana deer season, 1957.
It was not the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
There have been many opening days in many places since then. Much has changed. One thing that has not changed here in Tennessee is our opening day of rifle deer season. It opens the Saturday before Thanksgiving, this Saturday, November 19. There have been some changes to our deer seasons this year however, the opening day is not one of them.
It will open Saturday November 19 and continue through January 1, 2012. You may use a centerfire rifle, a muzzleloader or archery equipment. Here in Unit L, you may kill three does a day and one buck a day, not to exceed three bucks for the entire year. Contrary to some rumors, baiting is not legal. Among the changes in the seasons is the continuous rifle season. There are no breaks. That keeps it more simple.
Weather and health permitting, Ill be among the army of orange. I will don my vest and hat of blaze orange and just before good daylight, Ill make my way to a ground blind I built in a huge blow down I know about. One of the big winds we had back in the spring must have had me in mind when it blew the huge red oak down. The fork in the main trunk, now lying on the ground, makes a perfect ground blind. My folding camp chair, complete with back and arms, fits perfectly in that crotch. Even better is the fact that it is on a ridge splitting two large bowls. The deer travel the edges of the bowl and down the spine of the ridge to get from point A to point B. None of those trails is more than 50 yards from my natural ground blind.
I found the spot a couple weeks before our archery season opened and have been saving it. The tracks in the trails tell me it is getting plenty of use. I am banking a buck, immersed in the throes of passion, we call it the rut, will either chase or trail a doe by my blow-down. If/when he does, I shall plant a .308, 165-grain, silver tip behind his shoulder and anchor him in place. He will then be converted into dinner packages.
On that morning so many years ago, I sat squirming on a cypress log, straining to hear the first cry of a deer dog or the boom of a gun. My toes were cold in the black, solid rubber hip boots and I feel sure my nose was running. Some woodies buffeted through the trees of the break and splashed down in the shallow water. A Pileated woodpecker tried to beat his brains out on a hollow tree and something made me look behind me.
A fat spike with new antlers about five inches long was 20 yards behind me, looking right at me. As he turned to run, the bronze bead on my shotgun shook and shimmied and finally settled somewhere behind his shoulder and I pulled the first trigger. He made a high jump and I pulled the second trigger. He jumped again and fell over backwards. I had my buck. My deer season was over.
Since then, there have been many changes. For one thing, I have learned there is no such thing as my buck. Unless I am hunting behind a high-fenced deer farm enclosure, I do not own any deer. They are our deer. We all own them equally.
In the early days of deer hunting, does were not legal. A true hunter would not shoot a doe. A real man only killed bucks. We preached that and now we have to convince some of the older hunters that is no longer true. A real hunter, one who cares about the game, will indeed, even should kill a doe.
As our deer were restocked and restored they survived so well it became a problem to maintain a healthy herd population and balance. To do so, we need to kill some does.
In this area, designated as Unit L, the L standing for liberal, we have so many deer we are allowed three does per day. However, if a hunter will just kill as many does as he does bucks, we will be okay.
In addition, although there have been some whiners who want a reduction in the three buck limit, that too is sound management. Since such a small percentage of TN hunters kill two or three bucks a reduction in the buck limit would prove useless. Our age strata are among the best in the country if you go by solid facts and not rumor.
In short, our deer herd is healthy and doing well in most parts of Tennessee. So venture forth with your equipment of choice and enjoy a safe and productive deer season.
I have had many opening days. There was one when I used a boat and braved hot weather to kill a nice little buck on an island in AL. One in the Midwest when I killed two good bucks in two states in one morning and one that I recall as being just a little cold. However, barring an unforeseen something, Ill be there this Saturday, rifle in hand. Join me wont you?
Hunt safe and good luck.
Contact the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Table, a ministry of the First United Methodist Church, will serve a meal without charge to any person in the community who can benefit from a hot meal and fellowship at 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20.
It will be in the Family Life Center located on the church campus at 415 West Main Street, Lebanon, across from the Library. Signs will be posted, toilet facilities will be available at you will be made welcome.
Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce announces the Lebanon Christmas Parade will be 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4, with News2 Weathercaster Lisa Patton serving as the 2011 Grand Marshal. The theme for the parade this year is Hats off to the Holiday Season.
Patton is a native of Mt. Juliet. She currently serves as the weathercaster on News2 at 4, 4:30, 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
Patton attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and graduated with a degree in Communications. In 1982, she started her broadcasting career as a radio disc jockey, and later as a weathercaster in Knoxville. She spent five years in Durham, N.C., at WTVD-TV before joining News2 in July 1991.
She is the one of few television weathercasters in Nashville who was born and raised in Tennessee, giving her the tremendous advantage of working in front of her hometown audience. She is recognized as one of Middle Tennessees most trusted and reliable weathercasters, said Sue Vanatta, president and CEO of the Chamber.
Patton spent her childhood in Mt. Juliet, and she graduated from Mt. Juliet High School in 1979. She met her husband in North Carolina and they now live here with their two daughters and son.
The parade will begin at Lebanon High School traveling west onto Tennessee Boulevard, turning right onto North Cumberland to the Lebanon Square, north around Square exiting to West Main Street and end at D.T. McCalls parking lot.
Applications are available at the Chamber office. Put this important date on your calendar, and return your application to the Chamber as soon as possible, Vanatta said.
The Chamber of Commerce also announces the annual Festival of Lights, a magical wonderland driving tour covering several acres at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center that includes hundreds of thousands of lights, animation for the young and old, lighted scenes, and many more displays that delight the eyes and impart a holiday spirit for all to share.
Dont miss this special winter display which opens Friday, Nov. 25, 26 and 27, and will be viewable from 5 to 9 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening in December.
The event will feature a new route, new displays and a traditional holiday season for all, Vanatta said.
Bring your family this year and join thousands of other visitors from Wilson and surrounding counties who have added the annual Festival Of Lights to their list of must do memorable holiday traditions. Cost is $5 per car.
Wilson County Sports Council will sponsor the Jingle Jog, a 5K Fun Run preceding the Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 4. The run begins at 1:45 p.m. at the D.T. McCall and Liberty State Bank parking lot running east on West Main Street to the Lebanon Square, circling the Square and returning West Main Street to the D.T. McCall and Liberty State Bank parking lot
Participants can register in advance at the Lebanon Chamber office or at www.active.com or beginning at noon on Dec. 4 in the designated tent at the starting line. Registration forms are available at the Chamber office. Registration fee is $20 and includes a T-shirt and bells.
For more information regarding any of these events, call the Chamber office at 444-5503 or email email@example.com.
By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Members of the Lebanon City Council let two ordinances die for lack of a motion Tuesday night and Mayor Philip Craighead had to break ties in two other instances, all regarding line item transfers that were brought before the council after money has been spent or transferred.
In the past, the council has been quite vocal about line item transfers that are labeled after the fact, meaning the money has already been spent or transferred. Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler noted the council doesnt have to vote for or against those transfers because the money has already been spent.
It doesnt matter if we vote for it or not, its just a house cleaning thing so you look good to the auditors, Buhler told Commissioner of Finance and Revenue Russell Lee.
The first line item transfer that failed for lack of a motion involved a $1,200 transfer for a Water/Sewer bond to set up the expense for a 2011 bond issue. Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino said he is opposed to the line item policy, but said since the city has that policy, it needs to be followed and the council must approve transfers before they occur.
Craighead broke a tie on the next ordinance, involving a $500 transfer to set up a fund for bad debt expenses in the coming year for Water Customer Accounting. Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Huddleston, Cesternino and Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath voted against the measure. Craighead voted in favor and it passed 4-3.
A transfer of $1,760 from the Fire Department for Dues and Subscriptions for membership in a national organization that supplies the department with codes books and other items did not receive a motion from any of the councilors.
Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Dowell told the council the dues are paid every three years and said Lee took the expense out of the 2011-2012 budget. Dowell said he included it in the budget because the expenses had to be paid in July. However, the council did not approve the budget until October.
It was actually late, I held it until August, Dowell said, adding that the dues were paid on Aug. 29.
The council was confused as to why the transfer was not placed on the agenda before that time. Lee said he removed the item from the new budget because he was told to return to a status quo budget by the council during their discussions.
However, Warmath noted that dues and fees are part of that status quo and said it should not have been removed. Huddleston said the transfer should have been brought up earlier than August.
If it was due in July, he held it until August, why didnt it come before us? Huddleston asked.
The mayor had to break a tie for a second time on a transfer for the Lebanon Police Department Drug Fund in the amount of $5,419 for rent and bank service charges. The ordinance indicated $4,100 was to be transferred after council approved the measure and $1,300 had already been spent before Tuesdays meeting.
Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen indicated the bank withdrew $19.50 from their account automatically and he was unaware of it until they received a monthly bank statement. He said they have not been getting budget sheets that they normally get from Lee.
Bowen said he did not know the department didnt have enough money in the fund to pay rent on a building that houses confiscated automobiles. He said if they had gotten the budget sheets, he would have known earlier they needed a line item transfer.
Youre supposed to keep track of what you spend, Scotty, Lee told him.
Buhler, Cesternino and Warmath voted against the ordinance and Craighead voted in favor, breaking the tie 4-3.
Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry asked City Attorney Andy Wright to give him a copy of the resolution that moved the city to a line item budget. That resolution was passed by the council on Feb. 3, 2009.
Wright said on Thursday that a resolution creates a policy, instead of a law and if the procedure is not followed, hedescribed that as a "policy violation." The resolution states that council approval is required for any line item adjustments that are not an emergency.
It sounds like something needs to change because were up here arguing about $300 to $400, Barry said.
Some members of the council pointed out department heads were violating the ordinance by spending money before the line item transfers are approved by the council. Cesternino told the department heads to notify the council beforehand so they are aware of transfers that need to be made.
Get the council involved in this, because this is what we spend the lions share of our time on up here, unfortunately, Cesternino said.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cumberland is ranked seventh in the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll, as announced by the national office Tuesday. The Bulldogs were picked first in a vote of league coaches in the 2012 TranSouth Conference Baseball Preseason Poll released this week by the league office.
The Bulldogs finished the 2011 regular season ranked fifth before falling one game short of the NAIA World Series, falling to Tennessee Wesleyan in Paducah, Ky., in the NAIA Championship Opening Round. CU returns three starters and six pitchers from last years 46-16 club, including Second Team All-American and Preseason First Team All-American Mike Mandarino.
Mandarino batted .370 with 19 doubles, 18 home runs and 66 RBIs in 61 contests for the Bulldogs. The Massapequa, N.Y., native also posted a 5-3 record on the mound in 11 games, all starts, with a 4.37 earned-run-average and 35 strikeouts in 47.1 innings of work.
Outfielders Richie Seaton and Antonio Butler also return along with hurlers Keith Kirby, Devin Stovall, Matt McFarland, Cody Ferrell, Christian Jennings and Logan Neal.
Kirby posted a 4-4 mark with a 2.54 ERA in 49.2 innings of work, striking out 32 and posting three saves in 14 appearances. Stovall collected a 3-1 record in 10 games with three starts and one save, tossing 25.0 innings with 29 strikeouts.
Cumberland has won the last three regular season conference championships, including last years 20-4 mark. The Bulldogs also won the TranSouth regular season title in 2006 and have claimed conference tournament titles in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Union University picked up the three other first-place votes and ranked second in the preseason poll, with Martin Methodist and Bethel University third and fourth, respectively, and separated by just one point. Freed-Hardeman, Mid-Continent, Lyon College and Blue Mountain rounded out the poll.
Cumberland opens the 2012 season on February 3-4 at Brewton-Parker College in Georgia.
PREP HOOPS FROM NOV. 15
Lebanon High girl's basketball team dropped a 69-51 decision to Class AA power Macon County High in a TSSAA Hall of Champions game Tuesday, Nov 15 at Campbell Brandon Gym.
Terra Pryor scored 23 points and made five 3-pointers and Katie Reid added 22 points for Macon County. Guard Julia Fox scored 17 points and knocked down five 3-pointers to lead the Devilettes. Kelsey Yarbrough was the only other LHS player in double figures with 10 points.
Lebanon's boys started the 2011-2012 season off in fine fashion with a 73-60 victory over Macon County in Tuesday's nightcap.
Guard Zimmer Hunn lit up the scorebaord with a career-high 31 points,including six 3-pointers to pace the Blue Devils. Cameron High banged inside for 26 points.
Tyler Manning led the MCHS Tigers with 21 points, including three 3-pointer,
LHS returns to action Thursday, Nov. 17 with a road doubleheader at Independence High.
Boys action from Tuesday night
Watertown 80, Merrol Hyde 39
WATERTOWN -- Macieo Gaines had 15 while KeAnDre Bates added 14 ad Nick Sackman scored 10 points to lead Watertown to an 80-39 win over visiting Merrol Hyde Tuesday in a TSSAA Hall of Champions contest.
The Purple Tigers of Coach Matt Bradshaw bolted to a lead of 22-8 en route to the victory.
Watertown is scheduled to host Boyd Christian of McMinnville Saturday afternoon in another Hall of Champions game. Girls action tips off at 3 p.m.
MJCA 62, Boyd Christian 35
MT. JULIET -- Ben Wankel scored 21 points and Sam Mummert added 11 Tuesday night as Mt. Juliet Christian dusted Boyd Christian 62-35 in a TSSAA Hall of Champions game.
MJCA led 19-7 after one period and 36-14 at intermission.
The Saints will host Merrol Hyde Saturday afternoon in another Hall of Champions game.
Girls action from Tuesday night
Mt. Juliet 93, LaVergne 15
LaVERGNE -- Caya Williams scored 22 points, all in the first half, as Mt. Juliet opened the 2011-2012 basketball season with a 93-15 win at LaVergne Tuesday in a TSSAA Hall of Champions contest. The Lady Bears ran out to a 43-5 lead in the first quarter and took a 68-7 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
Sally McCabe added 13, Barianne Taylor 12, Jamasha Jackson had 11 and Sydney Rau chipped in with 10 points for Mt. Juliet. MJHS will entertain Nashville Overton Thursday in another Hall of Champions game.
MJCA 56, Boyd Christian 15
MT. JULIET -- Lynnze Ethridge poured in 28 points to lead Mt. Juliet Christian to a 56-28 victory visting Boyd Christian Tuesday night in a TSSAA Hall of Champions game. MJCA led 19-4 and 38-1 at intermission.
Watertown 65, Merrrol Hyde 14
WATERTOWN -- The Tigerettes blitzed Merrol Hyde 26-0 in the second half en route to a 65-14 win over visiting Merrol Hyde Tuesday in a TSSAA Hall of Champions game.
Jordan Brewington knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with 23 for Watertown. Morgan Gartner added 13 while Hayley Clark and Bay Cole had 10 points each.
Nathan Thomas, a 2005 graduate of Wilson Central High School and a former Wildcat basketball standout, recently signed to play professional basketball overseas with Team Itabom/Bauru in Brazil.
"Nathan is one of the hardest working young men to ever comethrough Wilson Central and as well as being a devoted Christian he has character unmatched by anyone I have ever coached," said Central head coach Troy Bond.
"Nathan is truly the type of role model you wish your kids to take after in life."
The 6-6, Thomas helped lead Wilson Central to back-to-back state tournament appearances in 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 and starred for four years at Auburn-Montgomery University from 2005-2009.
Thomas, a senior sports leadership / physical education major from Mt. Juliet, at AUM, Thomas was named an honorable mention NAIA All-American.
He led the Senators in scoring with 12.3 points per game and averaged 4.8 rebounds per game. He was AUMs all-time leading shot blocker and led the conference in blocked shots as a senior with 57.
Thomas had also received All-SSAC honors as well as the SSAC Men's Defensive Player of the Year. He is the first ever professional mens basketball player from Wilson Central High School.