Some time ago, I had the opportunity to start writing the back page story for South Pacific Bowhunter, a quality, slick publication of over 200 pages, devoted to bowhunting in an area about which we seldom go to or read hunting stories. The magazine is published in Australia.
From what I gather; the bowhunting there is something else. After all, they have six species of just deer! The latest issue had 19 hunting articles! So I queried Antonio Lara, the editor/publisher and gleaned some facts about hunting down there.
To start with, imagine a place with no bag limits, almost no hunting seasons and a wide variety of what to us would be exotic animals. Now before you start drooling, understand right up front, this is not a hunt you do on the cheap or without doing some homework.
Remember, their seasons are upside down. Spring here is fall there. That is a starting point. However, for sure, you want to have a local contact before you jump on a plane for Oz. And the cost to jump on that plane is not small. I suspect you can bowhunt Australia for about the gelt of a good African trip.
Okay, let us talk about available species and we can discuss where they are and then how to get there and kill one. Keep in mind, I am as lost as you are when it comes to where is what in the Land Down Under. All I know for sure is you cannot hunt any of the native species. So what? Six species of dad gum deer! And that is just a start.
Those kinda elk looking things that roars. Most of us call them Red Stag. Correctly, they are Red Deer imported to Australia a century ago. Big suckers and if I am right, they live mostly in places that are beautiful beyond belief and rather up and down. I am told Queensland is the place to start for them. They have been in the Brisbane and Mary Valleys over 100 years. That should give them a good start and judging from the pictures, they get bragging size big. I have always wanted to hunt them.
Want to kill a water buffalo? They get big in the Northwest Territories and I am told the herds are vast. I dont know that area but Antonio tells me they are found in large numbers throughout Arnhem Land and on down to the Gulf of Carpentaria. (Dont look at me. I have no idea. Look it up.) They get big, these buffs, up to a ton. Gonna need some good draw weight and a heavy arrow. Leave your soda straws at home for the target range. I understand there are plenty of guides in the area that can tailor a hunt to your needs.
I have heard of Banteng but admit I have no idea what they are. Turns out, they are a wild cattle and quite the desired game animal. I recall reading of a hunt Mr. Fred Bear went on that turned out to be a bit more challenging than he expected. You can find them in the Coburg Peninsula and are a guide only type hunt. Antonio says they are a real trophy due the difficulty in killing one with a bow. I take it they are not like Holsteins.
I have never had the least desire to kill a camel. Never even crossed my mind. Heck, I never even wanted to smoke one. I suppose if one spit on me, I might reconsider. However, if you have such a bent, they have them in the land of dingoes, which you can also hunt. I have killed a dingo. That is another story. Camels are found in the interior of Oz. Their numbers have become so out of control, the government is now culling them to prevent damage to the ecology. Probably be easy to arrange a hunt. If you are old enough, you might appreciate the fact that in Oz, it may not be necessary to walk a mile for Camel. Just couldnt resist.
I have killed an axis deer with a bow. That doesnt mean I would not like to loose the string on a bigger one. They can make for a thrilling hunt in an area such as the land around the Great Basalt Wall. That area is central Queensland and there are large herds there. Maybe that is why they are known as the Ghosts of the Basalt. The area is one that most certainly will require a guide and there are some good ones, just do some research or email Antonio at email@example.com. I doubt that he will mind and he might even send you a copy of the magazine if you ask nicely.
Even though there are some pigs in the area, Cape York is the place to go for the really big bruisers. I mean huge hogs. I have seen the pictures. Again, you will want a guide and they are available.
I dont know what a Rusa deer is. I have heard of them and I understand the stags make a heck of a noise when spooked. I tend to do the same. They have long tines and that is just about all I know and all I can tell you. I do know they are rewriting the record books with heads from this area. They look to me to be a cross between an elk and a whitetail. I believe I would like to stalk one. I also have no idea what the rare Hog Deer is or looks like. I looked them up. Small with high antlers, weighs about 50,000 grams, (just convert 50 Kg to pounds). They run with their heads down so their antlers can clear the brush. Hence, the name hog. You figure it out, I could not.
Okay. So in that large continent you can hunt a bunch of stuff from Sambar to Banteg to fallow deer to wide horned goats to dingoes and feral cats and all manner of things in between. The Top End of Australia, the northern portion, is a true wilderness.
It is the sort of area I daydream about hunting. In the dream, I am 45 years younger and I have two months to hunt. The only concern animal-wise is the saltwater crocodile. Care must be taken around water holes. However, dont forget your fishing rod. Remember, they are upside down. Prime hunting time is June to October. Now doesnt that just work out perfect?
Ill tell you straight. If I was young again and could still ride bucking horses and bulls, I would head for the buckjumping, (that is what they call a rodeo down there.) and I believe I could make enough to stay and hunt.
Jimmy Dix, a bareback rider from some place called West Collie, tried to get me to come, back in the 60s. I wish I had gone. But I didnt so I am content reading the pages of the magazine and dreaming.
How about you? Fancy a Sambar stalk or perhaps a boar hunt for a gagger of boar? Allow a year to plan and an understanding wife and off you go, mate.
By JOHN L. SLOAN, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wilson County Board of Education is considering a proposal by Cumberland University to maintain and use Nokes-Lasater Field as a new home for the Bulldog football program.
Home for Lebanon High football for the past 46 seasons, the Blue Devils soon will vacate the 5,000-seat Nokes-Lasater Field and move into facilities at Clifton Tribble Field / Danny Watkins Stadium, located at the new LHS campus off Hartmann Drive which is set to open this fall.
Recent conversations between CU President Dr. Harvill C. Eaton and Director of Schools Mike Davis have resulted in the drafting of a Memorandum of Agreement detailing terms.
The Board of Education will study the proposal in a work session set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21.
The MOA is calling for a long-term (30 year) assignment of management and general responsibility of Nokes-Lasater Field.
CU is not requesting a transfer of ownership, because state law precludes a gift to a non-government entity.
We proposed a 30-year agreement renewable at five-year intervals at our call, Dr. Eaton said.
If approved by both parties, we would begin to transfer our operations May-June so we can be ready for the first home football game this fall.
If an agreement can be reached, Lebanon and Wilson County would benefit greatly.
With the eventual installment of an artificial playing surface, Nokes-Lasater Field could become a hub for youth and middle school football as well as a potential site for postseason play.
Cumberland officials have hinted at making application to host the NAIA National Championship game, an event that would draw thousands of visitors to the community for several days.
For seven years the city of Savannah, Tennessee, located in remote Hardin County, hosted the championship game in a high school facility much smaller than Nokes-Lasater Field.
Wilson County has far more hotel rooms and restaurants that Hardin County and is much closer to a major airport, allowing the participating teams and their travel parties a relatively short drive from Nashville to Lebanon.
With the installation of new lights at Nokes-Lasater Field two years ago, Cum- berland could opt to play several games at night, including the possibility of Thursday night games, in an effort to grow their local fan base.
In the MOA, Cumberland agrees to allow the use of the facilities by local groups / teams when their needs (on a per-occasion basis) do not interfere with scheduled CU activities.
By TOMMY BRYAN, email@example.com
By JENNIFER HORTON
The Wilson Post
A man suspected of robbing the Pinnacle Bank on South Cumberland Street on Jan. 5 turned himself in to Lebanon Police and the FBI late Wednesday night after authorities identified him earlier in the day.
We picked him up last (Wednesday) night at 11 in Smyrna, said Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen. He has been charged with bank robbery.
The suspect was identified as Clifton A. Knight, 49, of Woodbury. He was arrested on a Federal warrant for Bank Robbery and is now is Federal custody.
Knight has been convicted of a gun-related crime previously, but he did not display a weapon in the Jan. 5 robbery.
Bowen noted that investigators are looking at Knight as a suspect in another bank robbery, also at the South Cumberland Street Pinnacle location, that occurred in July. In addition, Knight is also being looked at in connection with other bank robberies that have occurred in the area.
The Wilson Post broke this story Thursday morning online and on our Facebook page.
Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WILSON CENTRAL SWEEPS STATION CAMP
Wilson Central swept a District 9AAA doubleheader from visiting Station Camp Tuesday, Jan. 10 with the Lady Wildcats pulling out a narrow 42-41 win in the opener.
Senior Sydney Vanlandingham's free throw with 1.1 seconds left in regulation proved to be the difference as Central improved to 11-4 overall and 4-1 in the league. Vanlandingham led the way with 16 points while Taylor Peterson chipped in with 12.
Station Camp fell to 7-8 overall and 2-3 in 9AAA despite 14 points from Chynne North. The Bison fell behind by 13 points, but rallied to take the game down to the wire.
IN TUESDAY'S SECOND GAME -- Malcolm St. Louis's double-double (19 points and 12 rebounds) helped power the Widcats to a 54-41 victory over Station Camp.
Dee Oldham had 16 and Connor Brandon six as Wilson Central remained undefeated in 9AAA at 5-0 and 13-2 overall.
Wilson Central is scheduled to host Portland Friday, Jan. 13 in a 6:30 p.m. twinbill.
LEBANON WINS TWO AT GALLATIN
GALLATIN -- Lebanon High's Devilettes made it seven wins in a row Tuesday night with a lopsided 56-24 victory over Gallatin. The game was never in doubt as LHS rolled to a 38-8 lead at intermission.
Julia Fox knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 11 points. Freshman Abby Wright had nine, Kelsey Yarbrough eight, McKenzie Lamberson seven and Sydney Floyd six.
Lebanon stands 11-7 overall and 4-1 in District 9AAA headed into Friday's home game with powerful Mt. Juliet.
In Tuesday's nightcap -- Lebanon's boys came from behind to notch a 53-43 victory over Gallatin -- marking the first District 9AAA win of the season for the Blue Devils.
Gallatin took a 14-5 lead after the first quarter, but LHS rallied to take a 22-21 lead into intermission.
Coach Jim McDowell's crew knocked down 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the final quarter to seal the win and move to 6-11 overall / 1-4 in the District.
Post man Cameron High again did most of the heavy lifting with 18 points. Ninth grader KeShawn Abston added 15 and Case Sloan came off the bench to notch 11. For the game, LHS was 23-of-33 from the line (69 percent).
Lebanon will return to the hardwood Friday, Jan. 13 as county rival Mt. Juliet comes to Campbell Brandon Gym for a 6 p.m. doubleheader.
WATERTOWN TEAMS WIN AT PICKETT CO.
BYRDSTOWN -- Watertown's Tigerettes staged a strong second half to post a come-from-behind 59-50 win at Pickett County Tuesday night.
Down 28-21 at intermission and by 10 later in the third quarter, Watertown was rock solid at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, knocking down 12-of-16 from the stripe (75 percent) to secure the victory.
Hailey Speck led the way a balanced attack with 18 points for Watertown while Morgan Gartner had 15 and Jordan Brewington added 14. The Tigerettes improved to 13-6 with the win.
In the nightcap -- Sophomore Ty Jobe had 16 points while KeAndre Bates and Macieo Gaines chipped in with nine each as the Purple Tigers defeated Pickett County 62-47.
Leading 29-27 at intermission, Coach Matt Bradshaw's team opened the third period with an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Now 15-3 overall, Watertown will be on the road at Gordonsville Friday, Jan. 13 for a District 8A twinbill.
FRIENDSHIP SPLITS WITH RBS
LEBANON -- A double-double by Friendship Christian post player Deja Jones (18 points / 21 rebounds) wasn't enough as Red Boiling Springs eased past the Lady Commanders 38-34 Tuesday at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
Playing without injured guard Andi Morrisett, FCS slipped to 5-8 overall and 0-3 in District 8A. Morrisett, who suffered a torn ACL in the Jan. 6 loss at Watertown, will be lost for the season.
Kristan Watkins had six points and Megan Reeves five for the Lady Commanders.
In Tuesday's late game -- Friendship Christian got 17 points from Dalton Patterson and ran past visiting Red Boiling Springs 74-52.
Mark Sandoval added 14 and Hunter Anderson chipped in with 12 as the Commanders improved to 11-2 overall and 3-0 in District 8A.
The FCS teams are scheduled to play at Trousdale County High Friday, Jan. 13 in a District 8A twinbill.
MJCA LOSES TWO AT EZELL-HARDING
ANTIOCH -- Ezell-Harding swept an TSSAA D2 East-Middle Regional doubleheader from visiting Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Tuesday night.
The Lady Eagles were never threatened in a 67-35 victory over MJCA in Tuesday's opener.
Lynnze Ethridge paced MJ Christian with 11 points as the Lady Saints fell to 6-8 overall and 1-4 in the region.
In Tuesday's nightcap, Mt. Juliet Christian dropped to 8-6 overall / 3-2 in the region with a 69-56 loss to Ezell-Harding.
Ben Wankel had 18 points in the loss for the Saints, while Brandon Wall finished with 14 and Trevor West chipped in with 11 -- including three 3-pointers.
MJ Christian will be on the road Friday, Jan. 13 with an East-Middle doubleheader at King's Academy in Seymour.
By TOMMY BRYAN
Lebanon High lineman Kyron Hart verbally committed to Tennessee Tech during a campus visit this past weekend.
Hart, a two-year starter for the Blue Devils at both offensive and defensive tackle, checks in at 6-2, 278 pounds and displayed outstanding quickness for his size.
Hart, who moved to Wilson County from Indiana, is expected to sign his National Letter of Intent and scholarship papers on Feb. 1.
Tennessee Tech claimed a share of the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference championship with a 7-4 record and earned a berth in the FCS playoffs.
The 2011 Golden Eagles, under the direction of OVC Coach of the Yer Watson Brown, finished the season ranked No. 16 in the FCS poll and tied or set 25 school records.
By CHRIS LYNN
HENDERSONVILLE -- Four Mt. Juliet Lady Bears reached double figures in Tuesday's 63-25 victory at improving Hendersonville High.
Mt. Juliet (17-2, 5-0 9AAA) was led by post Sally McCabe, who finished with a game high 16 points from and Caya Williams chipped in another 13 points. Jamasha Jackson and Helen Mitchner each finished with 10 points.
Hendersonville (5-12, 2-3) only had three players in the scoring column Tuesday night led by sophomore Emily Hatfield, with 14 points.
Mt. JULIET (63) Sally McCabe 16, Caya Williams 13, Jamasha Jackson 10, Helen Mitchner 10, Paige Baugher 8, Sydney Rau 3, Barianne Taylor 3.
HENDERSONVILLE (25) Emily Hatfield 14, Carly Ramsey 6, Taylor Wright 5.
Three-pointers: MJ (6) Jackson 2, Baugher 2, Mitchner 1, Rau 1. HHS (1) Wright 1.
IN TUESDAY'S SECOND GAME -- Mt. Juliet limited Henddersonville just 18 points in the second half to gain 48-32 victory and remain undefeated in District 9AAA at 5-0.
Mt. Juliet (15-3 overall) was led by senior Caleb Chowbay, who finished with 13 points, and C.J. McEwen added 10 more.
Hendersonville (10-6, 2-3) had only one player that finished in double figures as junior David Sheehan led the way with 10 points.
Mt. Juliet will visit cross-county rival Lebanon Friday, Jan. 13 in a District 9AAA twinbill at Campbell Brandon Gym.
MT. JULIET (48) Caleb Chowbay 13, C.J. McEwen 10, Quinton Hall 9, DeShaun McMurry 7, Anthony Caseiam 5, T.J. Bell 2, Brandon Shepard 2.
HENDERSONVILLE (32) David Sheehan 10, Jeff Long 6, John Davis 6, Ryan Brown 5, J.J. Holtfreter 3, Hunter Brown 2.
Three-pointers: MJ (4) Chowbay 1, McEwen 1, McMurray 1, Casciam 1. HHS (2) Sheehan 1, Holtfreter 1.