Hit reverse. Go back several years. Stop at the year the last tornado hit Lebanon.
While that was going on, the late Russ Jackson and I were staying at the lodge at Edgar Evins State Park and fishing Center Hill. We caught a lot of smallmouth. We had no idea what was going on, weather-wise.
I have said it many times. I am not a turkey hunter.
I have been, have killed some, a couple big ones. But I am not eat up with it. It may be, because I don't like to eat turkey, never have.
But as an outdoor writer and somewhat of a woodsman and hunter, when the season opens, I feel almost obligated to go.
The Wilson Post's award-winning outdoor writer John L. Sloan recently debuted a trio of books on Amazon Kindle. "The Empty Chair," "Memories in a Dying Fire" and "Leaving Saline" are all now available on the Amazon Kindle store.
According to my temperature measuring device, it was 17 degrees.
Fortunately, I own clothes that are designed to keep you warm, anyway. I had them on. You see, I was going fishing-crappie fishing-with a spider rig.
I may go this year. I have a place with a lot of them, a spot that does not require a lot of walking.
A spot I can set up a ground blind or two and probably kill one. The season opens this Saturday, April 1, and runs through May 14.
I may go try and call a gobbler in.
Turkey hunting often involves a lot of walking.
So, February, 17, Dave Durham and I started training. We started with a half-mile walk on level, paved ground.
That was from the parking lot to the building. It was the closest space we could find.
Turkey season opens April 1.
Story I heard, is this: James Jordan was walking down a railroad track in Wisconsin. It was in 1914. He saw a big deer, shot it. He had never seen it before. It was later proclaimed, the world record whitetail.
Many years later, 2014, I think, guy named Hansen is on a deer drive up in Saskatchewan. Sees a big buck running by him and shoots him. New world record.
They talk to you.
They leave you with memories and they create memories and, absolutely, they talk to you.
Campfires. In over six decades of staring into them, I have a compilation of the great ones.
That is the way Uncle Lloyd use to describe sac-a-lait fillets, properly fried with the correct trimmings. We call them crappie.
Fishing for crappie can be as difficult or as simple as you want to make, it. It requires minimal equipment and not a great deal of skill. Best of all, now is the time to start fishing for them. They are, or should be, moving up from deeper water to the shallower spawning areas. Let me begin with where to start looking.
It is cold this late-season, December morning. Twenty-two degrees.
The climb up the ridge has me sweating. Too many clothes on and too old. My glasses fog up from the excess body heat. Daylight is coming.
I'm not sure why I am even hunting this morning. My freezer is full of deer meat and I have filled the freezers of several other families.
It was not a big pond, maybe three acres.
It had been there a long time and had been carefully stocked.
It was 30-feet deep at the deep end and the shore was full of down timber and bushes.
They can't be far behind.
Quite some time ago, I reported that I was sure there were Mountain Lions in Tennessee.
Within a few weeks, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency had a couple confirmed sightings.
I said, they follow the river systems eastward and I still believe that.
Well, the sun has set on another deer season.
For me, it was season number, 62.
Sixty-two years is a long time to chase those ole things but I enjoyed every minute of it. For me, it was a great season. I killed several does and two bucks.
For quite some time, I have been getting reliable reports of folks catching coolers full of Tilapia.
The hot spot, pun intended, has been the waters of the Gallatin Steam Plant. That is logical since they, the Tilapia, do not survive well in waters below 70 degrees.
Nothing much happens in Rutledge. Once the bustling center of a small plantation community, it is now just the decaying remnants of time passing by.
Only the old, general store, itself, weathered and listing, showed signs of life. Rutledge is just a town the wind blows through on its' way somewhere else.
It is here, just in front of the store that the road to the hollow turns off. I parked near the neglected, weed grown cemetery.
I am sitting over a brown, greenfield at White Oak. They didn't get any rain, either. I'll tell you about this trip in a week or so and we will also look at his year's deer kill and crunch some numbers. In the meantime, maybe you will enjoy this.
Over 30 years ago, I wrote an article for my good friend, M.R. James, editor of Bowhunter Magazine. I called it, "The Magic Tree". It was about a tree on Cheatham, WMA from which other hunters and I had killed a total of 33 deer. That number included three, in one day, by three different bowhunters. It was a quite deceptive tree.
I have trouble writing Christmas columns, have since the kids grew up. So, I thought, maybe you'd enjoy this factional, (combination of fact and fiction), account of a cold day. Might help you cool off.
The misspelt werds are intentional. It is callt vernacular...or something. Might make you consider Christmas JLS
Thinking about buying some camouflage or scent killer "stuff" for Christmas? Or maybe something way out of the box. Give this some thought.
Ninety-five percent of the hunting camo made today, is made to fool human eyes. Three-percent, is designed to be drapes, curtains or seat covers.
The remainder, is designed to fool animal eyes. Animals do not see as human see. Most of the animals we are trying to fool, have diurnal vision.
We are about 70-plus days into our 2016/17 hunting season. For half of it, it was more like summer and a drought was building.
Hunting should have been slow. In some areas, I guess it was. Crazy Weather!
Is Al Gore to blame? What is it with the summer weather during bow season? But for that matter, what do I have to complain about?
Deer season is open. Of all the places I hunt and have hunted, by far, my favorite is an old, abandoned, decrepit homestead. That was the subject for the first magazine article I sold Bowhunter Magazine, over 30 years ago. Thanks to Chuck Denault for the idea, the pictures and superb paintings. JLS
Been some big deer killed this year. The one making a lot of news is the potential world record, non-typical buck, killed recently in Sumner County, during the muzzle loader season.
Young Stephen Tucker, killed the buck in outside Gallatin, with 47 points that is possibly a new world record. Big deer for sure, over 300 inches of antler.
Swap your smoke poles for your rifles. Our rifle season opens this Saturday, Nov. 19 and runs all the way through, until January 8.
Then, if you have access and permission to hunt private land, you get some more time to hunt does, Jan. 9-13. Remember, this year, for the first time, if a male deer has antlers that protrude above the hairline, you must check him in as a buck. The limit here, in Unit L, is two bucks for the entire year and three does per day.
I can't think of another facet of whitetail deer hunting about which more pure recycled pasture has been written than the rut. (Maybe the horse hockey about rubber boots and scent control is close?) Every year, I see countless articles written that are just flat wrong.
Most, designed to sell you a product.
Get the out your orange vests and hats, boys and girls, the best deer hunting of the year is about to open.
Our muzzleloading season opens this Saturday, Nov. 5 and runs through Friday, Nov. 18. This is the prime time to kill a mature buck. And by the way, this fall fishing is good now, too.
If the weather will cooperate, the bucks should be out during daylight hours, searching for that "special" doe.
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