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Mayfield gun shop will be featured on hunting show

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Updated: 10:18 AM


MAYFIELD -- Frank's Gun and Tackle Shop will be featured on a popular Sportsman Channel television show at the end of July.

Shop owner John Havlick spent five days last November on the set of Big Deer TV, and the episode is scheduled to air July 30 at 10 p.m.

Big Deer TV follows experienced hunter Michael Hanback around the United States, Canada and Mexico as he tries to hunt down some of the largest white-tailed deer while accustoming himself to different hunting techniques.

The episode featuring Havlick was partially shot at his business and at his private campsite in Speculator, where Hanback and group of 14 men spent morning, noon and night hunting for prized deer.

To their disappointment, no deer were shot, however, neither Havlick or Hanback were too upset over the unlucky turnout.

"One thing with my show is we try to show real world hunting experiences," Hanback said. "I think most hunters, when they go out most every day, you don't get a deer. We didn't on the Speculator trip, and we showed it like it is."

Havlick said Hanback first approached him two years ago, when they were shooting a promotional commercial at his campsite in Speculator for a different hunting show on the former Versus Network.

Hanback said he was blown away by the Adirondacks' natural beauty, and knew he wanted to return to film an entire hunting segment.

The two kept in touch, and the opportunity presented itself three years later, while filming the third season of Big Deer TV.

"My crew came up last November and it was quite an experience," Hanback said.

Hanback said the show tries to film in areas of the country not ordinarily featured on national television -- and the Adirondacks fit the mold.

"I have been hunting deer for 30 years, and I never hunted deer in New York, and not in the Adirondacks, which has a lot of history and culture in the deer hunting world," he added.

When he traveled to Speculator, Hanback said Havlick hunted with a crew of 14 men. Hanback said he appreciated the camaraderie the men displayed throughout his five days with them, even without a deer to commemorate the trip.

Havlick said some of the largest white-tailed deer can be found in the Adirondacks, but they are more difficult to hunt because of the rugged environment.

"Everyone knows that in Texas, you can throw an acorn down and have 100 deer come down," Havlick said. "In the Adirondacks, it is tough hunting."

Havlick said he has not seen the pilot yet, but had a camera on him the entire time they were shooting the show.

While shooting, Havlick said Hanback first met him at the shop, where he purchases a state hunting license.

They then move on to his private campsite in Speculator, and dove right into the hunting game.

Hanback said the crew also branched out of the campsite to visit The Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum in Vail Mills, and the Remington Arms Factory in Ilion.

Although he said the TV show will boost business, overall, Havlick hopes the national exposure will draw more hunters to the Adirondacks.

Hanback said he was thrilled about his experience in the Adirondacks and hopes to come back to shoot again.

"It was fantastic, I would love to come back," Hanback said.


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