TV show, local club aim to show hunting in Adirondacks

MAYFIELD – A group of hunting buddies and a local gun store will be featured next week on national television.

Frank’s Guns and Tackle owner John Havlick and friends from a local hunting club will be featured in an episode of “Big Deer TV,” a hunting show that plays on the Sportsmen Channel. The episode – “Buck Men of the Adirondacks” – has the host, hunter Mike Hanback, follow a “group of die-hard whitetail fanatics” hunting in the Adirondack Mountains.

The episode will air on the Sportsman Network on Wednesday at 10 p.m. and July 31 at 1 a.m.

Rob Javarone and Guy Famiano, both of Gloversville, were involved in the filming of the show. Javarone said their group, Trails End Hunting Camp, got involved thanks to a prior relationship with Hanback.

Javarone said Havlick had called him in 2010 about a camp in Caroga. A location scout from the Versus Network, now defunct, wanted to film several promos in the area.

“Just 15 second promos with a bunch of outdoor show talent,” Javarone said.

With the Caroga camp too small, the group went to Trails End’s camp in Speculator and the scout fell in love with the location and the promos filmed there.

“[Hanback] and I had started talking about hunting in the Adirondacks,” Javarone said.

Within a year, Javarone said he was getting a call from Hanback.

Javarone and Famiano said many hunting shows have already filmed in other states, including Texas and Illinois.

“New York was uncharted territory for them, I think. They wanted something different,” Javarone said.

“There is so much hunting history in New York,” Famiano said.

Hanback and his two-man film crew came up in November. They stayed at the hunting camp for several days and visited several locations, including Frank’s Gun and Tackle.

“Hunting deer in the Adirondacks is unique, and the techniques used by these N.Y. hunters are different. I found it fascinating, and I think the viewers will too,” Hanback said in an email.

Hanback and the film crew participated in a hunt on Doug Mountain with the club, setting up drives to get deer. (A drive involves a group of hunters splitting up, with half waiting while the other half pushes, or drives, deer towards the waiting group.)

“They wanted us to hunt the way we hunt,” Famiano said.

The group managed to score a single 4-point buck; the recovery of the animal was caught on camera.

All three said they were very excited about the chance to appear on television and show hunting in the Adirondacks.

Hanback said filming the show was an interesting experience.

“John Havlick and all the guys at his camp were fantastic hosts. We hunted hard, laughed a lot and enjoyed the camaraderie of deer camp. That’s a big part of what we do. It’s not all about just shooting a buck,” Hanback said in an email.