Jay Cassell Deer Camp Experience 1

Jay Cassell, Deputy Editor of Field & Stream, talks about his Deer Camp in Sullivan County, NY

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2008

My deer camp is in the upper

My deer camp is in the upper Adirondack park in New York State. This camp has been around since the late 1800's (honest). We have pictures in camp of deer in horse drawn wagons with hunters in civil war garb. The camp name is "Long as we Live Hunt Club". The deer camp experience and the friends that I have made due my association in this camp deep in the Adirondack woods has enriched my life. Unfortunately and despite ongoing negotiations, our camp (a lease situation) and many others such camps in NY are in danger of being lost due to a combination of a NY government land purchase and politics. The history and culture of these "hunting camps" is something that should be preserved just as fervently has we honor many other sub-cultures in this nation. For the passing of the Adirondack deer camp will be a lose of something that isn't necessarily definable but is none the less tragic.

Our Deer Camp was something

Our Deer Camp was something like all others except for the terrain. We camped in the Flint Hills of Kansas. We had many years of fellowship in a hay barn. The land owner/dfarmer-rancher provided us with his haybarn be hind his home. Far back behind his out buildings with a roof and two sides sheeted in corrigated metal, the north and the west to protect us from the hash winter winds. We slept a vintage camper trailer under the barn roof next to a combine,grain truck and a mountain of prarie hay. We used an old washing machine tub for a fire pit, made our own outhouse with a door off an abandoned chicken coop. The fabulous land owner wired the barn for lighting and over 15 years he enjoyed our visits more than we did the hunting. He is gone now and we have moved on to land of our own, with indoor plumbing, kitchen and fireplace. Our friend Herb the land owner is truly missed, the memories of the hay barn will always be with me as with my hunting companions.

Hi Jay, Not often do you

Hi Jay, Not often do you find an opportunity to read and talk about a place that is such a cherished place in your life for four weeks of every year. A deer camp is a place to escape, to unwind and reflect on past memories and get excited about the endless possibilities of tomorrow. My cousin and I inherited our "Deer Camp" when our grand father passed away and there could not be a greater gift from him than the knowledge that he has chosen the both of us to carry on the legacy of the "Deer Camp". This past hunting season saw myself not able to spend as much time as I would have liked at this special place as I welcomed my first born son into the world. With this special gift now grows my excitement to share this experience with him and see if he too has a hard time getting to sleep the night before the hunt, just like it was Christmas Eve.

Our deer camp has more

Our deer camp has more memories than heat BTU's. It's a cabin in the middle of the woods in New Yorks southern tier around Springvlle. NY. We make small repairs here and there to make this wonderfull place last longer for us and our kids and family to enjoy not just for Deer camp but for summer or what we call the time leading up to Deer season. The beat memories I have is there with my Dad and friends and this year my youngest Son thanks to New Yorks new law letting 14 year olds hunt deer. He came down and bagged his first deer. It was a nice size five point. So much excitement. It was agreat year at deer camp and I'm betting there will be many, many more years of memories formed and stuck in our heads for ever. No one can take them away no matter what happens.

TIP- Bring a Wood Fire

TIP- Bring a Wood Fire Starter- Quick Starting "StarterLogg" with you along with matches and lighters. They are in the camping section at Wal-Mart and only cost 50 cents each. Cut it into 8 or more pieces and light each fire for about 6 cents. They work great.

Our “Deer Camp” Deer

Our “Deer Camp” Deer Camp for us consists of some historic structures that hold many memories. It’s a couple of temporary homes on wheels in various stages of disrepair. But they are much more than just “Deer Camp”. They are a combination of Frat Houses; Museums and Time Machines that connect family members who congregate under their roofs. There’s no plumbing and no insulation. In fact, often you can feel the cold air seeping through the walls where rolls of “Duct Tape” are often used to plug the holes. In a word, it’s “Ideal”. Or as one member of the hunting party puts it…“It’s Perfect”. It’s rustic, but no one really seems to complain that much. After all…It’s “Deer Camp”. A time when every Fall six or seven guys squeeze themselves into tight quarters; tells stories; gnaw Venison jerky; sip schnapps; drink beer; smoke cigars and play Poker. “Deer Camp” is more than a shelter… It’s an experience. It has formed a base for the memories and good times for generations to come. Kent Theel - Wisconsin

So true Jay...the people and

So true Jay...the people and the camaraderie are what make deer camp truly special!

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