New York State's vast Adirondack Park is one of the last true wilderness areas in the eastern United States, and it has a well-deserved reputation for producing some respectable whitetail bucks and even a few good-size bears for hunters who are willing and able to go after them. Keep in mind this is most definitely not farm-fringe country, which means the deer are few and far between, so you've got to cover a lot of ground to find them. It helps to use the services of a knowledgeable guide, such as fourth-generation Adirondack guide Joe Cummins of Blue Mountain Lake Guide. Cummins is very personable, knows every inch of hundreds of square miles of territory and is dead honest about what your chances for success are. In fact, most of his clients are looking for trophy bucks with at least eight points or better and therefore pass up spikes and forkhorns, so his success rates seem much lower than a less-honest guide would claim. Cummins likes to put his clients on stands each day and drive the deer in front of them. If he has more than three hunters at a time, he hires someone to help him with the drives. As regards accommodations, he puts hunters up at a comfortable lodge.
The price for all this, including lodging, food and guide service, is $350 for three days/four nights; $425 for four days/five nights; and $500 for five days/six nights. These prices include guide services until one deer and one bear are taken. Taxidermy and packing is available nearby, but it is not included in the hunt price. Meals consist of a fully prepared, family-style evening meal and on-your-own breakfasts and lunches from food Cummins provides. The lodge has two full bathrooms, central heat, two bedrooms downstairs and a bunkroom upstairs.
On my recent hunt with Cummins, I personally took a somewhat different tack that cost even less than the low prices given above. I drove into the area with a tent, sleeping bag and food in a backpack, and asked Cummins for advice........(continued)