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Showing 5 articles from January 25, 2012.

John Sloan - Outdoors

The end of the season

The yellow finch/warbler kept me company as the sun started to slide behind the pines. One would think after all the years I would know what kind of bird it is that visits with deer hunters.

I was watching the little bird so much I almost missed seeing the doe. She was over 200-yards away and halfway across the opening before I decided to shoot. I have supreme confidence in the Parker-Hale from a steady rest. Young, fat and exactly the right age for the table. The vintage .308 cracked and she dropped in the edge of the woods. I didnt realize it right then, but as far as shooting went, my season was over.

We were in Alabama the guests of the Robert and Hilda Pitman at White Oak plantation, my longtime retreat. The Big Bird was with me and he was busy passing up does, waiting for a shooter buck. The two hunters who were leaving as we arrived had killed beautiful bucks, a high-racked 8 and a dandy 10. They said all the action was in the mornings.

The next morning it was 22-degrees. I felt it was a great morning to sleep in and study for a calculus test. Maybe just, sleep in. So being of relatively sound mind, that is what I did. After it warmed up a bit, I did a tad of scouting for a good stand for Sunday afternoon. Sunday I had a special guest that I really wanted to kill or at least see a deer. In a bit, you will meet young Ryan Donald.

Long about good warm up Matt Pitman and I went to pick up the hunters, Matts brother Joe and Mark Big Bird Campbell (pictured right). Joe had a pretty eight-point and Mark had his twin. I guess I should have gone hunting but I needed the rest.

That afternoon I watched six different does come to a greenfield I hunted years ago. My hanging stand was still in the tree, I could see it from my blind. I killed a nice eight from that stand with a bow some years ago. No bucks today, just the ladies and it was getting cold. I had a feeling it was going to be another sleep in morning. It was and I thoroughly enjoyed it while everyone else shivered and passed on various deer.

Bird went fishing after lunch and Ryan and company arrived. In all, I guess there were about 40 of them, people everywhere. There were probably only six or eight and at my age, Ill not try to remember who they all were or their names. Ryan has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. An outfit called Mountaintop Outdoors is in the business of finding youngsters with severe problems and making special outdoor experiences come true. So, the Pitmans were hosting, I was guiding, and we were trying to get Ryan a chance at a deer.

Ryan is a delightful young man with a great sense of humor. The cerebral palsy has him unable to control his arms or legs but with some heavy lifting done by the strong young men like Matt Pitman and Kent Horton, President of the foundation, we were able to get Ryan up in the shooting house and in a stable chair.

The house overlooks an intersection of three fields and has been a great place to kill a deer for several years. I positioned Ryan facing a sloping point coming in from the left and a long field road coming in straight ahead. The two met in a one-acre greenfield with spots of fresh clover coming in from the recent warm weather.

I explained that I expected the deer to come from the left where a thicket formed by an old clearcut met a stretch of hardwoods. It was a perfect transition area to the greenfield. We settled in to wait. Kent manned the video camera to record the event and we talked in whispers about how deer move and such.

Mountaintop Outdoors is completely supported by contributions and holds fundraisers during the year such as golf tournaments and this year, a pigeon shoot is planned. Donations are more than welcome. You can learn all about the organization through at

It started with the realization that there are so many young people and wounded warriors with the desire to hunt and fish, but physical limitations and illnesses prevented their opportunities. If you know someone in a situation like that, you can apply online at the website.

Ryan is from Gilbertstown, AL and is a big Auburn fan. The night before our hunt, it had been arranged for him to attend the Auburn basketball game, meet all the cheerleaders, and sit with some of the football players. It was obvious he seeing enjoyed himself on the jumbotron and probably would have liked to have a couple of the cheerleaders in the shooting house with us. Unfortunately, there was not enough room so he had to put up with Brent and me.

I predicted we would not see a deer before 4 p.m. I was off by 20 minutes. The first little doe crept out from the left at 3:40 and started feeding 200-yards from us. At that distance we could talk quietly while she fed unaware of our presence. I had Ryan practice aiming at here. After a bit, one joined her then another young doe and they slowly fed out of sight.

I told Ryan not to be concerned that I felt sure more deer would come out as it got later. Sure enough, a few minutes, those three were back and were then three more joined them. Ryan had been practicing aiming the single shot, .243 at clumps of dirt and as the deer now began to feed toward us, I could see he was getting just a tad nervous.

Both Brent and I whispered for him to relax and I readied the rifle. Slowly one deer worked out from the bunch and started feeding right toward us. I got the rifle lined up and helped Ryan get in position and at 65-yards, whispered for him to take the shot whenever he was ready. The rifle belched and for dirt kicked up close to the deers body. I have missed deer at that range before and he did not miss by much.

As it got dark, two lone deer came out for just a few seconds to bid us goodbye and that was it.

For me it was a super hunt and a great end to my season. I believe Ryan enjoyed it as well. Back at the lodge, we took some pictures of the entire group and replayed the story of a great afternoon and a great end to my season.


General News

CU to award honorary master's to Tenn Maneuvers veterans

From 1941 to 1944, more than 850,000 soldiers from 25 U.S. Army divisions participated in seven large-scale maneuvers across 22 counties of Middle Tennessee deadly serious war games (250 soldiers and civilians died in the training) to prepare for the war in the European and Pacific theaters.

Cumberland University, which served as 2nd Army field headquarters for those massive exercises, wants to award honorary Master of Military Arts degrees this spring to as many of the soldiers from the Maneuvers as it can find.

The simulated combat in Middle Tennessee was a critical element in the Allied victory in World War II, said Dr. Harvill Eaton, president of Cumberland University. What soldiers learned here, as they engaged in rigorous corps-level exercises, was an important part of their education for their overseas combat assignments. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 2nd Army Maneuvers Field Headquarters moving to our campus in Lebanon, we will award the honorary degrees in a special Remembrance and Respect celebration.

Eaton said the university plans to host the event and confer the degrees on May 8. The date the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day is significant because 22 of the 25 U.S. Army divisions that trained in the Tennessee Maneuvers fought in the European theater.

We have titled our commemoration Remembrance and Respect Cumberland University Honors the Veterans of the WW II Tennessee Maneuvers because its important for us to remember how Cumberland University and Middle Tennessee contributed to the Allied victory, Eaton said. But, more important, we want to pay our respects to the men who trained here and fought with such skill and tenacity.

Were hopeful that many veterans will be able to attend the May 8 event on our campus, Eaton continued. Were planning a variety of interactive displays that will allow the veterans to see and touch a large assortment of vehicles and equipment they used, to hear music from that era, to be in the company of other soldiers who shared their wartime experiences, to see World War II re-enactors, and most important to be honored by Middle Tennesseans who recognize and appreciate their sacrifices and service. Those who are unable to attend the event can, of course, receive their degrees by mail.

. The phone number is 547-1387 and the email address is The website is

The seven large-scale Tennessee Maneuvers involved the following divisions:

2nd Armored June, 1941

4th Armored September November 1942

5th Armored April June 1943

5th Infantry June 1941

6th Infantry September-November 1942

8th Infantry September-November 1942

10th Armored July-August 1943

12th Armored September-November 1943

14th Armored November 1943-January 1944

17th Airborne January-March 1944

26th Infantry January-March 1944

27th Infantry June 1941

30th Infantry (Participated twice) June 1941 and September-November 1943

35th Infantry November 1943-January 1944

78th Infantry January-March 1944

79th Infantry September-November 1943

80th Infantry July-August 1943

81st Infantry September-November 1943

83rd Infantry July-August 1943

87th Infantry November 1943-January 1944

94th Infantry September-November 1943

98th Infantry September-November 1943

100th Infantry November 1943-January 1944

101st Airborne (Participated twice) April-June and July-August 1943

106th Infantry January-March 1944

The terrain of Middle Tennessee allowed soldiers to make river crossings and engage in simulated combat in conditions similar to those expected in France and Belgium. The training was very realistic, with more than 250 soldiers and civilians killed in the Tennessee Maneuvers. The Cumberland University commemoration will also pay tribute to those who died in training and in overseas combat.

For more information about the school, visit

Driver in Tuesday crash dies due to medical condition

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
A local man transported to Summit Medical Center on Tuesday after an apparent medical condition caused him to lose control of his vehicle and crash into another on Franklin Road in Lebanon, died Wednesday as a result of that condition.

Around 10:38 a.m., yesterday, John C. Dipiazza was driving his 2002 Mercedes on South Hartmann Drive and attempted a right turn onto Franklin Road near Home Depot when he lost control and struck a flatbed trailer being pulled by another vehicle.

Due to medical reasons, he swerved and struck the trailer pulling that truck, said Officer Wayne Howard of the Lebanon Police Department.

Howard said Dipiazza lost control of the vehicle due to a medical condition and that he swerved into the westbound lane, hitting the trailer being pulled by a 2002 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Oklahoma resident Timothy Sale Jr.

They said he looked passed out when he swerved over, Howard said.
Sales pickup truck was hauling a flatbed trailer loaded with another pickup truck at the time and Dipiazzas car struck the right side of the trailer. Howard said Sale was not injured in the crash.

I dont believe anyone was injured by the actual collision, Howard explained.
Dipiazza was transported by ambulance to Summit shortly after the wreck and his condition was unknown as of press time.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at


General Sports

MJ Christian loses two at USN

NASHVILLE -- Mt. Juliet Christian Academy dropped a Division II regional doubleheader at University School of Nashville Tuesday.

The Lady Saints lost 47-44 in overtime, despite 18 points from Lynnze Ethridge and 13 from Allison Mahabir. MJCA falls to 9-11 overall / 2-7 in the region.

In the nightcap, the Saints fell to 12-7 on the season and 5-3 in the region with a 54-44 loss to USN.

Ben Wankel led the way for MJ Christian with 18 while Sam Mummert dropped in four 3-pointers and finished with 16. MJCA stands 12-7 / 5-3 headed into a Friday, Jan. 27 home twinbill vs. Donelson Christian Academy.

Tuesday, Jan. 24 prep scoreboard

Red Boiling Springs defeated the Watertown Tigerettes 43-37;
Beech knocked off Wilson Central 46-31;
Mt. Juliet mauled Gallatin 73-22;
Hendersonville ran past Lebanon 72-59 and
Westmoreland defeated Friendship Christian 55-26.

Down 32-15 in the first half, Wilson Central rallied for a 43-39 home win over Beech. Malcolm St. Louis led the Wildcats with 14 points. WC improved to 17-3 overall / 8-1 in District 9AAA;

Lebanon won in dramatic fashion at Hendersonville 56-54 as Zimmer Hunn came up with a steal off a late in-bounds play to preserve the win. Cameron High had 22 for LHS. The Blue Devils improved to 8-13 / 3-6 in the league;

Mt. Juliet remained undefeated in District 9AAA (9-0) with a 64-38 win at Gallatin. Caleb Chpwbay had 17 points for the Golden Bears. MJ is now 19-3 overall / 9-0 in District 9AAA;

No. 5 ranked Friendship Christian came away with a 51-35 win at Westmoreland. Mark Sandoval had 13 for the Commanders -- now 16-2 overall;

Watertown hammered Red Boiling Springs 68-42 on the road Tuesday night. Ty Jobe and Josiah Smith each had 12 points in the victory. The Purple Tigers stand 18-3 overall / 4-1 in District 8A.

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