Posts Taged 2015

First Time Hunter Bags a Buck

This post was first published on on October 20, 2015. Written by Long Lake Events Coordinator, Steph Hample

The snow had finally started to stick on the ground in the northern Adirondacks the day I shot my very first deer. My father-in-law told me to walk approximately a quarter of a mile down the trail to where it starts to slope downhill and to tuck myself off the trail. He would try to drive deer to me from the marsh. I have a terrible sense of distance so at what seemed to be a quarter of a mile and the slightest downhill I started to step off the trail. There was a good sized rock just off the trail that I tried to get to approach, but as I stepped off the trail the fresh snow barely muffled the loud, echoing crunch of the leaves beneath it. My foot sank up to my knees making the loudest crackling snaps from the frozen leaves. As I was thinking how loud I was being, I caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up to see two deer, one with antlers, one without.

Steph Hample with her first buck.

Steph Hample with her first buck.

They froze, I froze.

Three thoughts sped through my mind, Whoa. Antlers. I can shoot. Then a pause, “was I really going to do this?”

I took the Hunters Safety course when I was twelve years old. I went into the woods a couple of times with my dad, but it took me twenty-one more years before I finally felt ready to harvest a deer. Was I actually going to kill this beautiful animal standing before me? Yes, I was. Everything my dad had taught me ran through my head; wait until they’re broadside; aim for the rear of the shoulder, middle of the chest; just squeeze the trigger; listen for the deer after you shoot; you won’t notice your ears ringing. In what felt like forever, but probably less than 30 seconds after stepping off the trail into the noisy brush I raised my dad’s gun to my shoulder and took aim. Attempting to slow my breathing was nearly impossible and expletives ran through my head as I put my finger on the trigger and squeezed. The first thing I noticed after I pulled the trigger was my ringing ears.

My dad said one of two things would happen once you’ve shot a deer; 1 – you’ll shoot and the deer will run and fall somewhere else or 2 – you’ll shoot and the deer will just run away. He didn’t mention a third option; you’ll shoot and the deer will just drop.

The deer fell to the ground. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the female run off. The buck was trying to get back up and it was one of the hardest things to watch. I attempted to take a second shot but I was shaking so hard that I completely missed. I’m not too proud to admit that watching him on the ground trying to get back up made me tear up. I walked over to him and laid my hand on his back and waited for him to stop moving. I’ve already been lectured and now realize in hindsight it was not the smartest move to stand next to a dying animal that has antlers and hooves, but I knew I had to be there when he finally died. I knew he was gone when the hair on his legs slowly relaxed.

I stood up, shocked, solemn and proud at what I had just done. After I cleared my head I counted the antlers; eight! My first deer was a beautiful eight point buck. My dad and father-in-law were going to be so proud! I couldn’t wait for my father-in-law to get there. I stood around waiting for him to show up thinking he must have heard the shots, he should be right here. At about the same moment I heard a branch snap. I called out my father-in-law’s name, turning toward the noise expecting to see him only to see another buck staring back at me. I couldn’t believe it. I had just shot a nice eight-point buck and here was a second one literally walking over to me. We eyed each other for a few seconds before he eventually ran off, but I was floored by my experience.

When my father-in-law finally found me he used a few choice works, smiled, handed me his phone and said, “Call your Dad.” We quickly field dressed the deer so my father-in-law could follow the trail of the second deer, but he searched without luck.

The snow on the ground made the drag easier, which was helpful since the deer weighed more than I did. Back in town my buck weighed in at 167lbs. I think everyone was surprised that this big buck was shot by a “girl”. I eventually took it back to my parents’ house where my dad helped me skin it, my mom helped me butcher it and my kids helped me eat it. Now the deer hangs on my wall, beautifully mounted for all to see (and for me to brag about).

The prize proudly displayed

The prize proudly displayed

I’m excited to head out into the woods again this year. I know that I will probably never have a story that quite compares to this one but I’m just happy to be able to get back out there and hopefully enjoy another one of Mother Nature’s free-range, hormone-free, organic bucks.

written by: Steph Hample

Steph Hample was a biologist at the Wild Center for eight years. She is currently the Events Coordinator for the Town of Long Lake planning activities year-round for the communities of Long Lake and Raquette Lake. When she’s not busy researching trivia questions she’s out conquering ambitious hikes around the Adirondacks and spending time with her two children and loving pets.

No Ice, No Problem: Waterskiing in Long Lake ADKS Christmas

Lillian Dechene donned her Santa Hat, a wet suit and hit the lake waterskiing on Friday, December 25, 2015 in Long Lake, NY in the Adirondacks.

Don’t be fooled by the non-existence of ice. From a place that usually sails well under 32 degree temps for what at times can seem like nine months a year (ask the folks who didn’t defrost their pipes until May of 2015) this warm weather activity shouldn’t fool anyone. It’s cold. Some would say brisk and it’s only a matter of time for the lake to get buttoned up and see the ice fisherman and snowmobiliers return.

Lillian Dechene, a tenth grader at Long Lake Central School waterskis on Christmas Day in 2015.  Long Lake, NY Adirondacks

Lillian Dechene, a tenth grader at Long Lake Central School waterskis on Christmas Day in 2015. Long Lake, NY Adirondacks

Feelin’ Long Lakey video here!

On Christmas Eve two hearty souls kayaked on Long Lake. While the air temp was warming the lake was whipping up some waves to make the ride challenging, but worth the effort to make a little Long Lake history.

Kayakers paddle Long Lake  NY Adirondacks on Christmas Eve 2015.

Kayakers paddle Long Lake NY Adirondacks on Christmas Eve 2015.

Fall Outdoor Art Exhibition Underway in Long Lake

Long Lake Native and artist Matt Burnett returns to Long Lake for another installation of Portraits in the Wilderness to complement his current exhibit featuring portraits of Long Laker’s, Bob Dechene, Frances Boone Seaman and Matt’s father, Willy Burnett. The outdoor portraits are currently located on Burns Road Wall on NYS Route 30, Tupper Road. The portraits will be on display through the fall leaf peeping season.

Artist Matt Burnett prepares to set the portraits.

Artist Matt Burnett prepares to set the portraits.

On Friday, September 11th, Matt installed two additional large-scale portraits featuring local Long Lakers, Valerie Galvagni and Jim Swedberg. Matt chose Jim Swedberg because of his connection to Long Lake, the Adirondacks and the Hudson River. Jim has rafted the river for years and recognizable as the person steadfastly holding in place with his camera. When folks raft the Hudson, they will cross paths with Jim, he may be the one person who has rafted the river more than anyone else.

If you've ever been rafting on the Hudson, you've seen Jim Swedberg

If you’ve ever been rafting on the Hudson, you’ve seen Jim Swedberg

The second portrait showcases local nurturer, childcare giver and mother to all, Val Galvagni. Val raised her own family in Long Lake and then took on a new generation of millenials growing up in Long Lake at a time when there was very little childcare available to working parents. Val stepped in and took on the challenge because she loves children and welcomed the opportunity.

When asked how she felt to be painted and celebrated Val said. “It made me very giddy, I’m so flattered” As a childcare giver Val is part of the fabric of the community. Val says she does love children and having them connect to her is just part of who she is. Val was stumped when Matt asked her to be a part of the portrait collection so she suggested including children in the portrait.

Val has always surrounded herself with kids, all ages.  Kids flock to Val.

Val has always surrounded herself with kids, all ages. Kids flock to Val.

Matt’s first art installation for the Town of Long Lake was a collaboration with Scott Fuller for an outdoor exhibit entitled “E-Lumination” in 2011. Matt has since been working with the Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department to continue to build on his large scale wilderness portraits to connect the natural world to a sense of place and community

Matt’s portraits are currently on display on the Tupper Road, NYS Route 30 along the Burns Road Wall just north of the Long Lake Bridge. There is also a large-scale portrait of Buttermilk Falls still on display on Deerland Road, a short distance from the sharp curve near the start of North Point Road.

Cycle Adirondacks Tour Stop Long Lake Aug 28th

Cycle Adirondacks Concert Series

Cycle Adirondacks Concert Series

The Town of Long Lake is gearing up to host Cycle Adirondacks on Friday, August 28. Riders participating in this inaugural Wildlife Conservation Society event will be busy during their stay on the Long Lake Ball Field located in the center of town along Main Street, NYS Route 30, in the heart of the Adirondacks.

On event day cyclists arrive on School Street in Long Lake, NY between 1p.m. and 7p.m. Cyclists will travel into town from Old Forge. Their route includes a scenic excursion to the Raquette Lake Village Green, The Adirondack Museum, Buttermilk Falls on North Point Road and continuing on Deerland Road to Main Street. The finish line will be on School Street near the Long Lake Central School parking lot. Look for traffic control to be on site at the Deerland Corner entrance to North Point Road, County Road 3 throughout the day.

Cyclists will be camping on the Long Lake Ball Field with amenities including: three-catered meals a day, a wellness center, medical support, bike mechanics, yoga, a free device charging station, water bars, vendor village, a beer and wine garden and local evening entertainment by Alex Smith with Don Woodcock. The public is invited to attend.

The Town of Long Lake will be working with local volunteer groups including: the Long Lake Fire Department, the Catholic Daughters of America, the Long Lake Lions Club, the Friends of the Long Lake Library, the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation Inc as well as the Long Lake Highway and Water and Parks and Recreation Departments to host the event. Volunteer groups will assist with water stops along the route as well as in camp infrastructure set-up and tear-down, valet luggage transport, food serving and hospitality.

Area businesses will be showcased in the Vendor Village located on the Ball Field along with a stage and the beer and wine garden. The Long Lake Little Bus shuttle will be available all day providing rides to cyclists, volunteers, residents and visitors to help ease congestion and parking in the area and to get visitors to lodgings and local area attractions and businesses.


Events scheduled throughout the day include a free concert at the race day finish line, 1p.m. to 4p.m. on the CV Whitney Long Lake Public Library Lawn with Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazangarb. This guitar duo will be performing Americana tunes influenced by jazz, country western and classical music, pioneered by guitar geeks Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. The Long Lake Library will also be hosting a Cycling Art Exhibit Reception open to the public starting at 2pm.

Naturalist Ed Kanze will be hosting walking tours along the Long Lake Nature Trail on the shores of Jennings Park Pond. Guests can sign up at the Help Desk, located on the ball field near the Gazebo. Learn about the flora and fauna of a unique man-made pond. Tours will run hourly 1p.m. to 5.p.m.

Alex Smith, along with Don Woodcock will be performing a free concert at 7p.m. on the Long Lake Ball Field. Alex Smith grew up in Long Lake, and his music strives to echo the people of the area. He builds songs with traditional folk harmony and modern lyrics confronting today’s pressing issues and paying homage to those who came before him.

Special thank to local businesses who have donated to the Grand Prize, awarded daily to a cyclist on the tour. Participating businesses contributing to the Long Lake prize include: The Long Lake Lodge, Adirondack Museum, The Wild Center, Great Camp Sagamore, The Long Lake Diner/Owls Head Pub, ADK Trading Post, Adirondack Hotel, Raquette Lake Navigation and Hoss’s Country Corner. The prize includes a three-night stay at the Long Lake Lodge, free passes to the Adirondack Museum, Wild Center and Great Camp Sagamore. Gifts certificates to the Long Lake Diner, Adk Trading Post and Hoss’s Country Corner and a brunch aboard the W.W. Durant.

The Adopt-A-Bear Contest winner will be also be awarded on Friday, August 28th. There are over 24 bears to vote for. Voting boxes are available at the Long Lake Town Offices, Adirondack Hotel, ADK Trading Post, The Cellar Restaurant and Pub, and the Long Lake Diner. The winners of the contest will be announced on Friday night. Special thanks to Micaela Hall for the concept of the Cycle Adirondacks Adopt-A-Bear Contest.

The Concert, Vendor Village, Beer & Wine Garden and more will be open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information on Long Lake and Raquette Lake check out and


Long Lake Bass Derby August 8th, 2015

Look for Long Lake’s 7th Annual Bass Fishing Derby August 8th, 2015. $110 a boat with two person maximum. Registration fee includes $10 lunker. Timed tournament of eight hours. Total weight of five fish, one pound penalty for dead fish. Prizes awarded for Lunker as well as 1st thru 3rd (and probably more depending on entries) Contact 518.624.2145 for registration information and official rules.

Sponsored by the Fish and Game Club.

Long Lake Bass Derby Winners in 2013 hauled in a nice catch.

Long Lake Bass Derby Winners in 2013 hauled in a nice catch.

Pick up contestant number at the LL Town Hall Nutrition Site on Saturday, August 8th between 5am – 5:30am at the Long Lake Town Hall Nutrition Site (located in the rear of the building).

Rules include no pre-fishing tournament waters after Wednesday, August 5th

Depart after a live well inspection at the Town Beach. Public weigh in at the Shamrock Motel and Cottages Beach Area.

  • Long Lake Bass Derby Application 2015
  • Boat Parade Weekend and Durant Days in Raquette Lake

    Explore Raquette Lake for a three day event celebrating the Birth of Great Camps! Architecture tours of Great Camps, cruises and community events are scheduled to take place Friday through Sunday, August 1st-3rd.


    Durant Days kicks off on Friday by celebrating the birth of the Great Camps Architecture with a tribute to William West Durant. A special cruise on the WW Durant Cruise Boat provides guests with a luncheon and exclusive tours of Great Camps along Raquette Lake. The Durant will stop along the way for a visit to historic Camp Pine Knot. In addition Bob Milne, American’s own treasured Ragtime Boogie Woogie Pianist will be playing a short concert at Camp Pine Knot. For information and reservations, call (315) 354-5532.

    On Saturday enjoy a 2pm concert at the Raquette Lake School featuring Joe Davoli & Harvey Nusbaum. These two present various traditional fiddle styles. Their fiddle repertoire comes from new and old, near and far. Old, as in the essential music for dances and entertainment before recorded music. New, as in tunes that meld world beat rhythms into melodies influenced by the old fiddle music. Near, as in the music originating right in our own backyard, sometimes called bluegrass, jazz or old time. And far, as in the Celtic styles which originate in Ireland and Scotland. Doors open at 1:30pm.



    At 5pm near the Caboose just off the village Green, the Blues Master, Midnight Mike rolls in perform a set to warm the crowd up for the Annual Boat Parade at 7pm.Anyone can enter and prizes will be awarded to first place winners in each boat category along with a Best in Show! Call Pat 315-354-4070 for more info or to register a boat at Burke’s or Bird’s Marina. Saturday’s festivities will wrap up with a spectacular fireworks show at dusk right off the barge.

    On Sunday, take a ½ price guided tour of Great Camp Sagamore, featuring 27 National Historic Landmark Buildings at 10am. There is a water taxi service to and from St. Hubert’s Isle from the village dock for The Annual Ecumenical Vespers service will be held at the Church of the Good Sheppard. For more information call 518-624-3077.

    Big Easy Playboys in Concert

    At 6pm on Saturday, July 25th, pull your boat up to the Long Lake Town Beach and start off your Saturday night with a healthy dose of Cajun and Zydeco from the bayou to get your blood pumpin’. Then add the sounds of New Orleans R&B and Louisiana rockabilly to the mix of roots rock and blues to cook up the Louisiana dance party known as the Big Easy Playboys.

    Big Easy Playboys Performing on Saturday, July 25th, LL Town Beach

    Big Easy Playboys Performing on Saturday, July 25th, LL Town Beach

    The Big Easy Playboys are traveling to New York State from New Orleans on a short summer tour and Long Lake is excited to have them. From Louisiana favorites from Jambalya to the Zydeco Boogaloo, folks will be dancing the evening away. The Big Easy Playboys are based in New Orleans, but draw heavily from the Cajun/Zydeco culture thriving all around Louisiana. They incorporate the classic instruments of Cajun accordion and fiddle with the bluesy/roots rock sound of guitars and pulsing drums and gives the listener a dose of music that lives and breathes life into the Big Easy.

    The ADK Trading Post will be on site serving up some favorites including Jambalaya, BBQ Pulled Chicken in a Cup and other goodies! Dance the evening away with a belly full of good food!

    This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.

    Happenings Around Long Lake

    It’s been a busy spring in the Town of Long Lake. The Long Lake Water Department is busy working on installing a new water line along Olivet Road to Motel Long Lake.

    Long Lake Water Department digs along Olivet Road as they start the process of installing a new water line.

    Long Lake Water Department digs along Olivet Road as they start the process of installing a new water line.

    The Long Lake Waterfront Revitalization Project has been scoped out by engineers and they are developing plans to help convert the concrete town dock into something that will be more useful in times of high water.

    Long Lake Town Dock submerged under water.  Use the State Boat Launch on the end of Olivet Road to load boats.

    Long Lake Town Dock submerged under water. Use the State Boat Launch on the end of Olivet Road to load boats.

    Volunteers have been out planting and watering flowers in the barrels located around town. On June 15th the Town of Long Lake with the assistance of the Red Cross collected 33 pints of blood. 33 Pints of blood translates to 99 patients helped. The Town of Long Lake extends a huge thank you to our donors and volunteers who made this event possible.

    Mary Hartle & Nancy Lance plant the garden at the Long Lake Town Hall

    Mary Hartle & Nancy Lance plant the garden at the Long Lake Town Hall

    And the Long Lake Town Beach is finally open.

    Long Lake Town Beach is open despite the high water!  Lifeguards on duty daily from 10am - 6pm.

    Long Lake Town Beach is open despite the high water! Lifeguards on duty daily from 10am – 6pm.

    The lifeguards help put mulch in the beach garden.

    The lifeguards help put mulch in the beach garden.

    Winter Wonderland Week in Long Lake NY

    Call us crazy, but we know what it is like to live in a Frozen Wonderland and that is why the Town of Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department has planned a weeks worth of events to get out outside, inside and enjoying all of the fun of small town living.

    Winter Wonderland Week in 2015 replaces what was formerly called Winter Wacky Week. Look for a variety of events for the whole family. Hit the snowmobile trails and when you need a break, cozy up inside at one of our fun family oriented events.



    Winter Schedule Wonderland 2015

    Raquette Lake kicks it off with Winter Carnival, Italian Night, Ladies Frying Pan Toss, Bob Shelley the Magician and closes the weekend with the infamous Cross-cut and Chainsaw Competition!

    In Long Lake we start out on Valentine’s Day with the most romantic event ever! A Fishing Derby! Yes, those Landlocked Salmon and Trout have eyes for you! Cash Prizes, Cool Door Prizes, but you have to be in it to win it. $25 a person. Sponsored by the Fish and Game Club. Registration is at 6am at the LL Town Hall. Lines in at 7am. Live Weigh in at Lake Eaton Campsite.

    The Moonlighter’s Snowmobile Club Weenie Roast is cancelled due to predicted record severe low temps with dangerous windchill.

    On Thursday, February 29th the Round Robin Dinner happens. Three Venues, for $25 enjoy salad, apps & soup at the Diner at 5:30, at 6:30pm, hop aboard our luxury Little Bus Transport to the Adirondack Hotel for your entree and at 7:30 Delicious Dessert with Eric Hample. Special Thanks to the Moonlighter’s for coordinating this. To sign up call Harry (leave a message if not there) 518.624-2116.

    There are also craft classes, Family Game Night, DJ’d Ice Skating Pizza and Dance Party, and a tubing trip to Hamilton County’s Oak Mountain.

    So much to do, so little time!

    Enjoy Presidents Week! Take pictures and submit to our Long Lake FB page at

    Long Lake