No fish tale: Outdoorsman show endures in popularity

By Kyle Adams February 16, 2015


adirondack Outdoorsman Show

Gazette Photographer: Marc Schultz
Austin Hauser of Stillwater looks over the mounts at the Johnstown Outdoorsman Show
held at the Johnstown Moose Lodge #1185 on Sunday.


As usual, the Adirondack Outdoorsman Show in Johnstown was packed with vendors from all over the state and beyond — but at the center of attention in the event’s 10th year was one very big fish.

This September will mark the 75th anniversary of the once­world record northern pike caught on Great Sacandaga Lake by Peter Dubuc in 1940, and for the area’s sportsmen, that’s reason to celebrate.

“I’ve been mesmerized by the legend of the world’s biggest pike being caught in that body of water so close to here,” said Mike Hauser, who organizes the show. “That’s where I keep my boat, that’s where I fish almost every weekend in the summer. It’s like trying to hit the lottery. You dream of hooking into the biggest pike. It’s the thing that keeps you going back there day after day.”

A mounted replica of the 52.5­inch, 46­pound pike sat at the show above a table full of newspaper clippings, photos and other memorabilia related to the record catch, including the wooden lure Dubuc used.

Hauser is currently raising funds to install two historical markers to commemorate the catch — one near where the fish was caught on the Broadalbin side of the lake, and one on Route 30.

“He was very proud of [the catch],” Gail Freeman, Dubuc’s daughter, said of her father. “And if he were alive, he’d be very proud of all the attention he’s getting now after all these years.”

Dubuc caught the pike six years before Freeman was born, but the legend clearly lives on large in her family.

“He would recount the story to anyone who showed the slightest interest,” she said. The one drawback to having his catch recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, she noted, was that he couldn’t exaggerate the fish’s size as the years went by. Hauser entered Dubuc into the Fulton County Sports Hall of Fame, created in 2012 to honor the county’s contributions to sports, with a ceremony Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the outdoorsman show continued as usual, with more than 50 vendors showing off the latest in hunting, fishing and outdoor sports gear.

Hauser said one of the things that makes his show stand out is his commitment to high­quality vendors — what he calls his “no­fluff guarantee.”

“This show started as a tribute to my grandfather, Lloyd Hauser, who used to take me fishing as a kid and really got me hooked on this whole outdoors thing,” he said. “My measuring stick is, ‘What would he think of a booth when he walks up to it? Would he be impressed?’ And if I don’t think he’d be impressed, I refrain from having them here.

Spider Rybaak, author of several books on fishing in New York State, has been coming to the show for the past five years. At his table, with books displayed in front of him, he spoke with visitor after visitor, some asking about walleye techniques, others about the best Adirondack ponds.

“A lot of guys just come by because they want to shoot the breeze,” said Rybaak, who can shoot the breeze better than most. “They ask me questions about my experiences, want to share their experiences. You get a couple of fishermen together, we could talk for hours.”

Rybaak goes to outdoors shows all over, big and small, and said this is one of his favorites.

“I’ve been coming here for five years, and I think it’s one of the better sports shows,” he said. “I’ve done them all kinds of places, none of them are as well­attended as this one. And all of the people are nice.”

Most in attendance were hunters and fishermen looking for a new gadget, a good deal, some tips and tricks or just good company.

“There’s a lot for the sportsman,” said Paul Giardino. “I’m a hunter and fisherman, hiker, canoer, I do a little bit of everything. And I really enjoy seeing the new products and visiting with some old friends and meeting new people.”

Hauser said the show has been a big hit from the very first year, when the line at the door of the Johnstown Moose Lodge stretched down to Route 30.

“It was a success right out of the gate,” he said. “And it’s grown every year since.”





Bigfoot at the Moose
Researcher describes sighting, vendors demonstrate products
at Adirondack Outdoorsman Show

By JOHN BORGOLINI , The Leader Herald | February 17, 2013


The Eighth Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show began Saturday in Johnstown. Here, Larry Schmiedel of East Worcester, Otsego County, holds a reverse-limb crossbow at the event as Tom Poyhe, right, of the New York Crossbow Coalition, assists him.


Bill Brann, left, and Brian Gosselin, center, both of the Northern Sasquatch Research Society, speak Saturday with Clayton Thomas of Fonda during the Eighth Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose. The event continues today.


Ronald R. Boutin, representing the Trout Unlimited Clearwater Chapter, demonstrates how to tie a fly for fishing during the Adirondack Outdoorsman Show on Saturday. (Photo by Bill Trojan/The Leader-Herald)

JOHNSTOWN - Late one August evening in 1976, police officer Brian Gosselin was monitoring radar in the woods around Whitehall, in Washington County.

Suddenly, Gosselin's brother Paul and a friend pulled up in a vehicle. They told Gosselin they had just seen an 8-foot-tall creature that they believed to be the ever-elusive "Bigfoot."

Gosselin recounted this tale throughout the day Saturday for visitors to his organization's booth at the Eighth Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club. He was one of several featured guests at the event, which attracted visitors from around the region.

Gosselin, representing the Northern Sasquatch Research Society, recalled how on that night in 1976, his father, Sgt. Wilfred Gosselin of the Whitehall Police Department, called local police, a Washington County sheriff's deputy and state police to the scene.

The responders watched a "big, tall creature" - not a bear and not a man, he said - walk 500 to 600 yards through the hedgerow off the road.

"My father told me that he saw something out there that does not belong here," Gosselin said Saturday. "I believe my dad. My father was a big-time authority. I said, 'Come on dad, tell me what you saw.' He said, 'We all saw it.'"

The next night, Gosselin said, he went back to the hedgerow with a state trooper. Gosselin was in his vehicle at the bottom of the hedgerow while the trooper parked near a hayfield about 750 feet away.

He said the two were talking back and forth on their radios for 45 minutes when the trooper asked, "Did you hear that?" Both officers heard a limb cracking. The state trooper began cursing, drove right past Gosselin and didn't stop until he was no longer in sight.

Gosselin thought the officer was playing a joke on him. He got out of his vehicle and heard what sounded like a large creature in the brush. He turned on his million-watt spotlight and saw an 8-foot-tall creature with dark black and reddish hair cover its eyes and let out a deep-toned scream, he said.

"My life flashed before my eyes," he said. "A billion thoughts [in a split second] ... I'm seeing something that doesn't exist, yet there it is, right in front of me."

For the next five minutes, Gosselin said, he watched the creature turn and walk 1,000 feet up the hedgerow and disappear over the ridge.

The two-day Adirondack Outdoorsman Show is scheduled to continue today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Johnstown Moose Family Center on South Comrie Avenue. On Saturday, it attracted more than a thousand visitors from all over New York and even Canada, Maine and Alaska.

The vendors and attractions included hunting groups, a world-record-holding fisherman, gun enthusiasts, an interactive crossbow booth and all things outdoors.

Gosseli's booth and the Parker Company Bows booths garnered a lot of attention on Saturday, and when other vendors weren't talking to interested guests, they were sharing their love for the outdoors with each other.

Richard Stanton of Lake Ontario Sport Fishing in Auburn said he enjoys coming to these events to see what other vendors have to offer, and he said New York state has everything you could ever want from the outdoors.

"Hunting, fishing, hiking, camping - no matter what it may be, it's here," Stanton said. "No matter where you live in New York state, you have the best fresh-water fishing in the world at Lake Ontario. You have the Finger Lakes. You have the Adirondacks. Where can you go in the whole country and get all of this in one state? That's why I love it."

Ed Lugdon and Randy Hill drove 11 hours from Maine to staff an informational booth on hunting at this year's event after hearing about it during a trip to Peck's Lake in the summer of 2011.

Lugdon said he has had experience traveling through the state when he drove his daughter to Elmira College in the early 2000s.

"I was always impressed with this countryside," he said. "When you think New York, when you're not from New York, you think the city ... The people and the countryside are identical [to Maine's]."

Hill said the show was very-well run and he was impressed by how many people he saw.

Chuck Booker is a fisherman from Buffalo who holds 58 world records and said he doesn't normally attend this type of show, but he made an exception for this one. It was his first time in the area, and he said it was beautiful.

Mike Hauser, who organizes the event each year, said he understands that people can see some of the vendors on television, but it's a different experience when you meet them and discuss the outdoors with them face-to-face. And that's what draws people to the show each year.

"You can strike up a conversation with them and see it first-hand [here]," Hauser said. "That's the kind of interaction you're not going to get from watching it on television ... Where do I see the show going? I see myself continually fine-tuning and tweaking vendors - creating new and unique featured guests every year."

When the event continues today, visitors will be able to view and try out outdoors equipment, including a hands-on crossbow lesson.

Tickets cost $5 for adults and $1 for youths 15 and younger.

John Borgolini can be reached by email




Luring outdoorsmen - Sportsmen visit show in Johnstown
By RICHARD NILSEN , The Leader Herald | February 19, 2012



Owen Graf, 10 years old, center, and his friend Colin Hennessey, right, also 10, and Colin's mother Dawn, all from Mayfield, test out rubberband guns at the The 7th Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show in Johnstown on Saturday, February 18, 2012. The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

JOHNSTOWN — At the 7th annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show, Don Wharton began to feel nostalgic for the week-long outdoorsman shows in Amsterdam during the 1940s.

“The idea of bringing this show back is nice,” said the 73-year-old Wharton, who lives in South Glens Falls. “It’s like the old times.”

And he should know. As the defacto historian of these types of events in the region, his knowledge is on record in books on sale at his table.

Event organizer Mike Hauser practically beams when Wharton speaks about how the past is being kept alive.

“I tried to model my show after what I heard about those shows,” said Hauser, who was too young to ever attend the past events.

This year’s show was at the Johnstown Moose Club, which was ready to burst at the seams with all the vendors and visitors packed in. There were tables from all over the state selling guns, archery equipment, spices, fishing equipment and nearly anything a serious outdoorsman would want.

Hauser said he only allows tables that are purely about the outdoors and keeps out the “fluff vendors” that are commonly found at larger shows.

But that didn’t mean there weren’t some kid-friendly sites, like Steve Hutchins of Oswego County, who was selling wooden rubber band shooters designed to look like guns. He described them as timeless toys that offer a break from video games.

“The kids aren’t wearing out their thumbs doing this,” Hutchins said.

The shooters caught the attention of Colin Hennessey, 10, of Mayfield, who convinced his dad to open up his wallet so he could buy a shooter and a large bag of rubber bands. Hennessey promised not to shoot any siblings or pets, including his three-legged cat with diabetes.

He chose his particular shooter because it was accurate during some trial shots, didn’t jam and could shoot farther.

Unfortunately for 9-year-old Owen Graf, also of Mayfield, who was at the show with the Hennessey clan, his family wasn’t around to approve and finance his own purchase. Instead, he was forced to only admire the shooter that was designed to look like a Tommy gun.

One of the more traditional stands was the bird decoys from Gary Doviak of Perth. He was displaying and selling wooden models of waterfowl for anywhere from $125 to $500.

“People come up to me and they can’t believe they’re made out of wood,” Doviak said as he sat by his stand, carving the head of a goose. In addition to selling his wares, he was also providing a seminar on making the decoys, which include geese, ducks and songbirds.

There were also guns on display, being raffled and being sold, but Hauser stressed that this was only one facet of the show.

“We’re very diverse. It’s not a gun show, but we do have guns,” he said. “If you’re just a gun collector, you’re going to be disappointed.”

Every few feet, Hauser would be stopped as he walked through the crowded building, and he said this was a testament to the personal feel of his event.

“By keeping it here in Fulton County, we keep that local flavor alive,” he said.

The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Today’s event includes a turkey call contest from 1 to 2:30 p.m., with youth and adult divisions and awards to the top finalists.



Luring outdoorsmen - Sportsmen visit show in Johnstown
By RICHARD NILSEN , The Leader Herald | February 19, 2012

Harrison Bicknell of Glenville makes a “wooly bugger” fly for fishing during the seventh annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club on
Saturday. The show continues today.

The Leader-Hera ld/Bill Trojan

Gary Hollen, left, of Burnt Hills, talks with Guy Famiano at a booth during the seventh annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club on Saturday

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan


Michael Sumner Jr., of Fort Plain, shoots a rubber band shooter at a target during the show.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan


William Toner of Medford, Suffolk County, takes a close look at the scope on a rifle during the show.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan


Dave and Penny Kovacs, of Queensbury, take a close look at a Hoyt Carbon Element
compound bow at the event.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

JOHNSTOWN - A steady flow of sportsmen filed into the Johnstown Moose Club on Saturday for the seventh annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show.

Dan Pudney of Galway said he was visiting the show for the first time and was intrigued with the camouflage process that could be placed on a variety of surfaces, from gun stocks to animal skulls.

John Klepey of Gloversville is the graphic artist behind "JohnnyBoy Hydrographics," and said he can affix the camouflage patterns to almost any surface.

"It's an eight-stage process with liquid ink floated on water that is chemically activated," Klepey said. "I've even done wedding shoes and wedding bands for red-neck weddings."

Fishing fly-tying, steer roping and search-and-rescue activities were some of the demonstrations performed at the show Saturday. Seminars at the show included field goose hunting, carving decoys, wild turkey calling and Adirondack writing with author Don Williams.

Brian Petoff of Broadalbin and his son Brian Jr. said they thought the detailed craftsmanship shown in making fishing rods, knife making and duck decoys all made the trip to the show worth it.

Other displays drawing a crowd included "The Bone Man," Sy Lloyd, with his articulated skeletons and bone studies and Doug Moody, creator of the Barkeater bamboo fly fishing rods.

John Sparks of Northville said he was intrigued by the artistry of the bamboo fishing rods.

Sparks also was looking at the older guns at the show, noting the prices on them have risen over the years.

"I like the older guns. I like to price the things," he said.

To prepare an animal skull for mounting or camouflage coating, Bob "Bobcat" Kozlowski offers a taxidermist alternative with his Euro Mounts of trophies. Instead of the traditional fur and hide mount, Kozlowski of Galway uses dermestid beetles to eat away the flesh around the skull so the skull can be mounted or coated.

"It's a relatively inexpensive way to have a trophy at about a quarter of the cost a taxidermist might charge," he said.

Writer Don Wharton from South Glens Falls was at the show with his books as well as photos of animals taken with motion-detecting cameras in the wild. He said his father was the president of the Amsterdam Fish and Game League and used to put on outdoorsman shows in Amsterdam during the 1930s and 1940s. The shows were so popular local businesses complained they took their customers away, he said.

An outdoor writer from the Syracuse area, J. Michael Kelly, said it was his first time at the show.

"I'm very impressed by the turnout," he said.

Promoter Mike Hauser of Twin Cities Sports Promotions said he couldn't put a number on how many people were likely to pass through his show this weekend, but he was very pleased with the turnout.

Hauser said the eight to nine months of preparation for the show were worth it. He noted that each year, the show gets a little easier to put on.

"The first year I had to get creative to get vendors to come," Hauser said. "Now I don't have to, but I like to bring in new faces as well as familiar faces from previous years."

The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit


Exhibiting the outdoors
By JOHN R. BECKER, The Leader-Herald | February 20, 2011

Bill Donato, left, of Albany shows James Gowans of Mexico, Oswego County, how to tie flies at the sixth-annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club on Saturday.
The Leader-Herald/John R. Becker

JOHNSTOWN - Mike Hauser knows outdoor enthusiasts in this area are a passionate group.

Hauser, organizer of the sixth-annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show, said he found that out when he put together the first show in 2006. Since then, he said, it's gotten bigger every year.

This year, 60 vendors, exhibiting items including elk meat, hunting dogs, guns and archery equipment, set up at the Johnstown Moose Lodge. The show began Saturday and continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hauser is the owner of Twin Cities Sports Promotions Inc. His company, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, has put on sports memorabilia shows featuring star athletes. Eight years ago, Hauser came up with the idea of an event that catered to hunters and fishermen.

"We spent nearly two years looking for vendors and talking to professionals in the industry to see if we could get the support we needed," he said. "There are a lot more hunters and fishermen in this area than there are sports memorabilia collectors."

Landon Jessup Dingman of Broadalbin tries his luck with a wooden rubber band gun at the sixth-annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club on Saturday.
The Leader-Herald/John R. Becker

Tom Yacovella of Utica is a record-holding trout fisherman and a wildlife artist. His most famous sculpture, "A tribute to the Whitetail," took two years to complete.

"It's made of 100 percent shed deer antlers," he said at the show. "I've always loved the whitetail deer and I'm fascinated by their antlers."

Hauser sees the annual show as a tribute to his late grandfather, Lloyd Hauser.

"My grandfather took me on my first fishing trip in 1972, and I've been hooked on the sport ever since," he said. "His lures were my inheritance when he passed away."

The popularity of the show demonstrates that the Mohawk Valley area is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities, Hauser said.

Rob Javarone, left, chats with Tom Yacovella, seated, during the sixth-annual Adirondack?Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club on Saturday. In front of Yacovella is a 5 pound, 4.5 ounce Brook Trout he caught in Hamilton County.
The Leader-Herald/John R. Becker

"It shows the quality of hunting and fishing opportunities in this area" he said. "You don't have to go to Canada or out west; you have opportunities right here in our own back yard. We're making Johnstown the epicenter of the outdoorsman's world."

Scott Earl True of SET Kennels in Swain, Allegany County, breeds and trains hunting dogs, including eight chocolate labrador puppies his family brought to the show.

"Labradors are wonderful dogs, whether as pets or as hunters," he said.

Don Williams, a former principal in the Gloversville Enlarged School District and a columnist for The Leader-Herald, was one of several authors who set up at the show.

"Don is an absolute icon in this industry," Hauser said. "He was one of the first people I contacted."

The show also includes a number of demonstrations and seminars. Fly-tying demonstrations will take place all day at the Trout Unlimited booth. Other demonstrators include the Fulton County Sheriff's Department K-9 team, record-holding trout fisherman Tom Yacovella, archer Russ Holmes and walleye expert Spider Rybaak.

John R. Becker can be reached at

© Copyright 2011 The Leader Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Into the Outdoors - Annual show draws crowd
By AMANDA WHISTLE, The Leader-Herald | POSTED: February 21, 2010

JOHNSTOWN-Outdoorsmen got a taste of life in the Adirondacks on Saturday with Elk meat samples, fly-fishing demonstrations and even seminars for writing about the outdoors.

The Adirondack Outdoorsman Show, an annual weekend event for the past five years, was held at the Moose Club on Route 30A from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will continue today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About 60 vendors from Buffalo to Massachusetts set up tables to showcase the latest in trapping gear, hunting gear and specialty pieces.

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Outdoors enthusiasts flock to show

By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald
September 13, 2009

JOHNSTOWN - This year's edition of the Adirondack Outdoorsman Show - going on this weekend at the Johnstown Moose Club - has truly become an outdoors show.

Organizer Mike Hauser of Twin Cities Sports Promotions explained Saturday that the event, continuing today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., was conducted exclusively indoors for about six years. But this is the second consecutive year the popular show is being conducted both inside the Johnstown Moose Club and outside on the grounds of its Route 30A property.

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Outdoorsman Show - Annual event draws bigger crowds, organizer says

By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald
POSTED: February 15, 2009

JOHNSTOWN - Judging by the large crowds Saturday at the fourth annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show, the weekend event at the Johnstown Moose Club for those who like to hunt and fish is becoming increasingly popular.

"It's getting bigger every year," said organizer Mike Hauser of Twin Cities Sports Promotions. "We're getting more and more quality vendors who want to get involved. We're starting to draw from further away."

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The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Elijah Claus, 2, of Gloversville, goes fishing for magnetic fish at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation booth during the Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Concordia Club in Johnstown Saturda

Adirondack Outdoorsman Show expands to Autumn
By RICHARD NILSEN, The Leader-Herald POSTED: September 14, 2008

JOHNSTOWN - There was a little bit of everything at the first fall Adirondack Outdoorsman Show which took over the Concordia Club grounds Saturday on West Fulton Street Extension.

Jim Van Deusen of Johnstown said he liked the show a lot.

"There were a lot of venders and a good turnout," Van Deusen said. "The show was good. We don't have them often enough."

Organizer Mike Hauser said it was the fourth such show he had put on and each one has increased in size, scope and variety.

"This year we had an art show as part of it," Hauser said. "We had 75 interior spaces rented to venders and 25 more outside.".

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Adirondack Outdoorsman Show 2008
Third annual outdoorsman draws crowd to Johnstown Moose

By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald
POSTED: February 17, 2008

JOHNSTOWN — Tales of the whopper caught and the buck that got away are being shared this weekend at Twin Cities Sports Promotions’ Third Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club.

“We expect 2,000 to 3,000 people over the weekend,” Twin Cities Sports Promotions President Mike Hauser said Saturday....
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Adirondack Outdoorsman Show
Event to continue today at Johnstown Moose Club

By JASON SUBIK, The Leader-Herald
Published on Sunday, February 25, 2007

JOHNSTOWN — For Janet Lincourt, the Second Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show offered many attractions for her little man, 10-year-old Brandon.

“There are so many interesting things here,” she said. “[Brandon is] into hunting, fishing, guns, knives - you name it.”

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1st Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show
By MATTHEW RABIN, The Leader Herald (Sunday, March 5, 2006)

JOHNSTOWN - Everything from rifles to cabinets were on display at the Adirondack Outdoorsman Show Saturday morning and attendees came to check it out.

Attendees said they were awed by the variety of the booths they could shop from. Turnout was such that in the early hours of the show the room was so packed attendees could barely move, according to Larry Carver, who was manning the Lock Stock and Barrel Sporting Supply, LLC booth.

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