By JOHN L. SLOAN
I guess after 57 years of hunting deer, one would expect that I would learn a few things. I think I have. I know for sure I have learned some things about stand placement and positioning. No, they are not the same thing. Placement is where you put the stand. Positioning is how you place it. Maybe there is something I here that will help as you hunt next year.
Scouting and experience is how you learn to place a stand, where it should go. The type of stand-hanging, climbing, ladder or ground blind-will dictate a great deal about placement. Experience will dictate positioning. There is no substitute. You have to lay eyes on the entire situation.
I have two stands that are less than 100 yards apart. Too close you ask? I have killed 38 deer from those stands, 25 from one, 13 from the other. They are in the right places and both places are ones many hunters would pass up. To add to the mix, I park my truck or ATV within sight of both stands. That is stand placement. Now about positioning.
One thing I always try to take into consideration is the time of day I intend to hunt the stand. That is important because it will often dictate how I am going to position it. It often dictates the direction the deer will come from and that concerns the sun. See, many hunters never consider the angle of the sun. If possible, I always want the sun behind me. And yes, it does, to some degree, tend to silhouette me. However, it gives me a much greater advantage in two ways. They are important ways.
First, it puts the sun in the games eyes instead of mine. Have you ever tried to look through a riflescope when shooting directly into the sun? A man can starve down to a slim shadow trying that.
Secondly. It tends to make an animal travel with their head down and with a reluctance to look up. I have learned that many hunters never considered that. Just something to keep in mind.
While I am talking about the angle of the sun, let me mention that when I hang a stand with the early morning or late evening sun as a consideration, I also try to put the stand on the side of the tree away from the direction I expect the game to come. That way, I have the tree between the game and me. Sounds crazy to have to look behind you all the time, doesnt it. It may be but it is one heck of an advantage to have a tree silhouetted against the sun and you peeking around it. That single tactic has probably accounted for me killing well over 100 deer that I would not have killed had I been on the other side of the tree. I want the deer in the sun and looking into the sun. I want the sun behind me and a tree between me and the deer.
Just something over a half-century of deer hunting taught me.
Moving. Lets talk about moving. I mean moving the whole dang thing. Say you are hunting a stand for the first or maybe second time and you notice most of the deer are using (an old timers term for traveling), just out of range or in an area, you cannot shoot.
Move right then. Do not plan to come back tomorrow and move the stand, do it right then. I dont care if a deer is watching you, climb down and move. Several times, I have done that, climbed right back up and killed a deer. You cost yourself by waitingevery time. Often, the biggest buck will come through last. Move the stand, climb up and maybe kill him. Remember, if they cant see or hear you move, it didnt happen.
Just something else I learned.
Build a highway. Deer do not like briars and thick weeds anymore than we do. I cannot count the number of times I have actually made deer walk within shooting distance of my stand simply by creating a highway for them to travel. The latest instance was just a few weeks ago.
I was not able to hunt much last year, just not healthy enough. As a result, one of my stands went unhunted and the weeds grew shoulder high on the trail going to it. To hunt it this year, I had to use a sling-blade and actually cut a trail three feet wide and 75 yards long to it. Within three days, the trail was beaten down with deer tracks.
The first time I hunted it, September 28, late in the afternoon deer just poured down the trail and right past my stand. I killed two, a doe and a buck, within three minutes of each other. I was shooting the TenPoint crossbow.
So use that knowledge and look for places you can do the same. Make a highway through tall weeds and grass. If you have a bushog, make one pass in a place you want deer to travel -- dont make it wide. They still like cover, just wide enough to walk. Then place a stand in a good ambush spot.
Just something, I learned from experience.
You learn, after watching a few thousand deer, to read body language. You begin to understand what is about to happen seconds before it happens. You come to understand that deer crouch before running. That mean their entire body lowers by as much as 18 inches. Why is this important? If you are a bowhunter, it is very important because it tells you where to aim. Over 60% the deer that are missed with a bow and arrow are missed because the arrow goes high. If you aim low-at the lower part of the vitals-quite often, the deer ducks into the arrow.
Just something, I learned from experience.
Bowhunting makes you a better hunter or at least it should. Over half the deer, I have killed in five decades and change of deer hunting I killed with a bow or crossbow. For 30 some years it has been almost a passion and for many of those years a part of my profession.
Sitting in trees, waiting for deer to come within 35 yards of me forced me to watch and learn. With a rifle, you do not usually have a lot of waiting and watching. You shoot. Being forced to watch deer, you learn how they move and why they do things.
You learn to decipher head-bobs, foot-stomps, snorts, and blowing. You learn to read the language of the tail. A deer, especially a mature doe, communicates a great deal with her tail. Watch it enough and you learn to understand that communication. Learn from your own experience. Dont depend on what some, even me, tell you. They could be wrong.
Just something, I learned from experience.
I urge all hunters to study deer, dont just hunt them. It will make your hunting experience more enjoyable. Watch a deer do something strange, say stand with one leg raised and tail twitching from side to side and ask yourself, what is that all about? Then keep watching and see if you can figure it out. Watch an old doe stomp, flick her tail, and stare a hole through something. What did the foot stomp mean? She was communicating. Was she trying to elicit movement? What did she say? (BTW- The answer is yes to both.)
There is a lot more fun in the deer woods than just killing. Go to school and study. You will be surprised how much you will learn. I have learned far more sitting in a tree than I have sitting in a classroom. Pretty good education to share and pass on to the button bucks in your family, too.
LEBANON -- Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto presents a check for $6,000 to Mary Harris of the Wilson County Black History Committee on behalf of the county. The funds will be used to help in the ongoing restoration of Pickett Chapel, the oldest brick building in Wilson County, seen in the background, as well as other projects.
Also on hand for the presentation were members of the committee. From left, are Karla McAdoo, Tim Stockton, Thelma Shockley, Cathy White, Harris, Ken Fraley, Hutto, Harry Harris and Monty Pope. Also on hand, but not pictured, was Mary Copeland.
JENNIFER HORTON / The Wilson Post
By JENNIFER HORTON
The Wilson Post
A second high-speed chase in three days has landed a Lebanon man in jail on charges of driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license and felony evading.
The incident involved speeds of 100 mph and included officers with the Lebanon Police Department and deputies with the Wilson County Sheriffs Department.
It began about 10:15 p.m., Monday, Dec. 12, when Lebanon Police Officer Cody Bryan attempted to stop a 1990 Honda Accord that was traveling the wrong way on Owen Street, according to a report filed by Sgt. Andrew Hawkins.
The driver of the vehicle, identified as Jeffrey Scott "Scotty" Gann of 425 Trice Road, Lebanon, reportedly fled at a high rate of speed, going through stop signs and red lights when he saw Bryan turn around.
Bryan turned on his emergency lights and siren to try and stop the car, however, the driver continued to flee. Bryan pulled off the attempted stop.
A short time later, Cpl. Joe Nokes saw the same vehicle in the vicinity of Cedar Street and East High Street. It turned on to Rome Pike. Nokes saw it travel in the oncoming lane of Rome Pike and increase speed. He turned on his emergency lights and siren to also try and stop the vehicle.
However, the Honda Accord fled out Rome Pike to Carthage Highway, Hawkins said in his report. It turned inbound toward town and then right onto East High. Due to speed, Nokes lost sight of the vehicle. Officer Allison Steely saw the vehicle and pursued it west on West Baddour Parkway.
When speeds increased to upwards of 100 mph, the pursuit was called off for safety, Hawkins said in his report.
Our guys were to the west of him, said Lt. Steve Gatlin of the Sheriffs Department, adding deputies began their pursuit of Gann near Sports Village on West Main Street.
Gatlin said he understood that Gann was allegedly just flying, excessive speed as he followed the route through Lebanon. They (Lebanon officers) were not chasing him at that point.
A report filed by Deputy Ray Justice said he and other deputies saw a vehicle, the Honda Accord, traveling at a high rate of speed on Baddour Parkway which was being pursued by Lebanon Police for numerous traffic violations and for complete disregard for public safety.
Deputies took over the pursuit at times reaching speeds of more than 100 mph in an attempt to stop the Honda. Justice said he was traveling eastbound on Lebanon Road nearing Shenandoah Estates when he was advised the Honda was traveling westbound.
Justice stopped his patrol car and blocked a civilian vehicle. The Honda and the deputy in pursuit passed by him, and he turned around, activated his emergency equipment and began to pursue the suspect as well.
Gann reportedly tried to turn right onto Horn Springs Road unsuccessfully and then continued for a brief distance before turning left onto Saratoga Drive.
Deputies turned onto Saratoga, also, and saw the Honda as it left the roadway and drove about 200-plus yards in a field and into a vacant lot on the corner of Saratoga and Lebanon Road.
Gann then drove his vehicle into a tree. He got out of the car and tried to flee on foot for about 150 yards as Cpl. Jonathon Daniel chased him instructing him to stop.
Daniel, Justice said in his report, unholstered his weapon and ordered Gann to comply with his instructions. Deputy Robert Locke arrived and took Gann to the ground without further incident.
Locke, Daniel, Justice and Deputy Paul McPeak assisted Gann to his feet and in walking to an area where Wilson County Emergency Management Agency had set up with an ambulance to provide first aid.
Gann suffered bruises to his face from the accident. Justice noted that the suspect did have existing injuries and was transported to University Medical Center for treatment. He was later released into Justices custody and was taken to the Wilson County Jail where he was booked on three counts of evading arrest, two counts of driving on a revoked license, two counts of suspended drivers license, two counts of reckless endangerment, one count of driving under the influence and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.
Justice said in his report that during an interview with Gann, the suspect told him he did not know why he was trying to evade authorities and that he understood it was a bad idea.
The suspect, Justice said, also reportedly told him he was taking Hydrocodone, Lorazapam and Morphine for pain due to a hip injury he suffered in the past and that he had taken the medications earlier in the day and took them regularly.
Gann remained in custody at the jail Tuesday night. His bond was set at $34,000.
Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at email@example.com.
The University of Phoenix recently held a coat drive Sept. 15-Nov. 21, and as a result donated approximately 200 coats to needy students in the Wilson County Schools system and many coats to the Salvation Armys Transitional Housing for the Homeless as well.
Here, Megan Hutto, Title I teacher at Southside Elementary, and Tara Loftis, parent involvement teacher, participate in the coat distribution in Wilson County.
Wilson County Schools is very appreciative of this partnership with the University of Phoenix, said Julie Harris, Federal Projects supervisor with Wilson County Schools.
From Post staff reports
LEBANON -- A woman charged in a fatal wreck that occurred on East High Street and Cedar Street in July, pleaded not guilty on Monday to all counts while she remains in custody without bail.
Barbara Lee Mayfield, 44, waived her right to appear in court and her attorney, Adam Parrish, entered the not guilty pleas on her behalf. Mayfield is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and a third DUI.
On Friday, July 29, Mayfield was determined by the Lebanon Police Department to be driving under the influence when she reportedly struck two cars before hitting a building at the intersection of East High Street and Cedar Street.
Alton B. Brant Barrett, 4, and his grandfather, James A Chuck Barrett, 69, were killed in the crash.
Mayfield remains in custody without bail on her DUI charge and reportedly was driving on a revoked license in July for two previous DUI charges. A disposition date has been set for Feb. 13, 2012.
MT. JULIET -- Eighteen turnovers, including a string of three straight in overtime, proved to be too much for Mt. Juliet to overcome in Tuesday's (Dec. 13)62-57 loss to nationally-ranked Riverdale.
The loss was the first of the season for the Lady Bears, who fell to 9-1 overall. Riverdale, ranked No. 18 in the USA Today national prep poll, improved to 6-2.
"We've got some young kids put there and sometimes we lose our heads," said MJ head coach Chris Fryer. "When we moved the basketball, made the extra pass, it led to some easy shots. It was as if we refused to do that in crucial times. Every time we took a quick shot, it played into Riverdale's hands."
The loss overshadowed a brilliant 32-point effort from Mt. Juliet post player Caya Williams. Sophomore Sally McCabe added 16 points. No other Lady Bear had more than three points as Riverdale's physical guards kept turning up the pressure.
Riverdale's Shacobia Barbee led the Lady Warriors with 18 points, Alexa Middleton had 16 and Toyree Watkins drilled three 3-pointers and finished with 11.
Mt. Juliet had an eight point lead in the first half, only to see Riverdale battle back and eventually take an eight-point lead in the second half. The game was tied at 53-all at the end of regulation.
Mt. Juliet will be back in action Friday as they host the annual Chick-fil-A Classic. MJ is scheduled to play Blackman at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Saturday contest vs. Shelbyville Central.
(boys) MJ 48, Riverdale 27
On a night when the offense wasn't clicking, Mt. Juliet's defense stepped up in a big way for a 48-27 victory over Riverdale in Tuesday's nightcap.
Coach Troy Allen's team won its eighth consecutive game and improved to 8-2 with the victory. Riverdale slipped to 5-2 with the loss. MJ took a 27-11 lead at intermission, closing out the second quarter on a 16-1 run.
Caleb Chowbay paced the Bears with 13 points. DeShawn McMurry had 11 and Quinton Hall added eight.
Mt. Juliet will host Siegel Friday in an 8 p.m. game in the Chick-fil-A Classic, then will play Shelbyville Central Saturday at 8 p.m.
LHS SWEEPS SHELBYVILLE
LEBANON -- Julia Fox and Madison Sloan combined for 37 points Tuesday night as Lebanon High's Devilettes downed Shelbyville Central 62-37 at Campbell Bandon Gym.
The victory was Lebanon's fourth against six losses this season and marked the programs first win over the Eaglettes since the 1984 season. Fox drilled four 3-pointers and finished with 19 points while Sloan scored 18 around the bucket.
LHS led 17-8 after one period and 29-21 at intermission.
(boys) LHS 54, SCHS 38
LEBANON -- A smothering Blue Devil defense kept Shelbyville Central at bay most of the night in Tuesday's 54-38 win over the Eagles Tuesday at Campbell Brandon Gym.
Lebanon (3-6) led 13-5 after one quarter and 29-12 at intermission. Post man Cameron High had 15 points to lead all scorers while KeShawn Abston chipped in with 12. Case Sloan scored nine points, Zimmer Hunn seven and Cody Yarbrough five.
The Blue Devils will be on the road Friday night at Oakland High in Murfreesboro.
CENTRAL WINS TWO AT SMYRNA
SMYRNA -- Wilson Central's Lady Wildcats improved to 6-2 on the season following Tuesday night's 68-59 victory at Smyrna.
Sydney Vanlandingham went off for 34 points while Taylor Peterson added 19 for the winners. Heather Hall connected on three 3-pointers and finished with nine points.
Coach Bud Brandon's team took control early with a 17-6 first quarter lead. The team is idle until after Christmas when the Lady Wildcats play in the annual Greeneville Ladies Classic.
(boys) Wilson Central 75, Smyrna 59
SMYRNA -- Malcolm St. Louis and Dee Oldham each had double-doubles Tuesday to lead Wilson Central to a 75-59 victory at Smyrna.
St. Louis had 22 points, 12 rebounds and blocked three shots while Oldham scored 16 points and pulled in 11 rebounds as Central improved to 8-1 on the season. Tyler Soffiantio had 14 points while Connor Brandon had 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Central will open play in the Gatlinburg Pittman Tournament Dec. 21 vs. Perry County, KY.