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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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May 02, 2017

A Wilderness Finger Lakes B&B ~ For Outdoorsy Men & Women Part II

by Bob Banfelder

What is additionally and exceptionally appealing about the The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast and its deer processing operation is that it has two professional butchers on hand to assist you: Frank Hartenstein (owner), and his associate, Barry Dunning. Frank is the full-time meat manager at Tops Friendly Markets in Watkins Glen; Barry is the full-time meat manager at Tops Friendly Markets in Ithaca. Both men take time off from their jobs during the whitetail gunning season to process your deer . . . the way you want it. Custom processing and packaging is not a problem. The first thing one observes as you enter the premises is that the place is spotlessly clean—all areas of operation. While watching the two men busy at work, you quickly realize that they are undoubtedly professionals, doubtlessly having turned the operation into an art form. The men work to a rhythm. Donna and I loved watching the pair ply their trade.


Frank Hartenstein and Barry Dunning processing venison


Hanging Area

Frank's wife, Andi, is most affable, having given Donna and me an extensive tour of the deer hanging area, processing room, cabins and property, complete with pond and paddleboat. In a word: impressive. Andi is also a certified event planner. Weddings, receptions, anniversaries, family reunions, office parties, birthdays and other such party celebrations have accommodated up to 300-plus people. Cottages normally rent for $70 per day (double occupancy) during the regular summer, spring, and fall seasons—apart from their in-season Hunter's Special weekly rental rate explained earlier in Part I. I'd look to book now for the 2017 season. You just can't beat their rates for what you receive.

The Hartenstein's Wilderness Bed and Breakfast is but a half hour drive from lake country wine tours, three State parks, Watkins Glen Speedway, Cornell University, and Ithaca College. Upon request, Andi can arrange first-class limousine service for wine country tasting tours, shopping at Waterloo Premium Outlets mall, Tioga Downs Casino & Racing, and airport pickup. Or just hop in your vehicle, slip in a CD, preferably Willie Nelson's On The Road Again, and travel to this fishing/hunting wonderland. There is truly something for everyone in the Ithaca/Newfield area. The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast website is http://www.thewildernessbnb.com/; Frank & Andi Hartenstein, 45 Chaffee Creek Road, Newfield, NY 14867 ~ Tel. (607) 564-0995.


Andi's Rescued Horses

As an aside, a December 2016 pig roast for Wounded Warriors in Action was hosted by Andi. Several warriors had stayed over at Frank and Andi's and participated in a whitetail deer hunting event. Among the group was the son of Billy Walkabout (March 31, 1949 – March 7, 2007). Billy is believed to be the most decorated Native American soldier of the Vietnam War. Billy had received the Distinguished Service Cross, five Silver Stars (one upgraded to a Distinguished Service Cross), ten Bronze Star Medals, one Army Commendation Medal (inclusive of a Valor ribbon, plus two oak-leaf clusters), and six Purple Hearts. Andi did all the arranging and cooking and did not charge for her time. These are the kind of top-shelf folks that you are dealing with at Newfield's The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast.

For a fishing and hunting paradise, visit and explore the Newfield/Ithaca area.


One of several rainbow trout that fell for The Gimp ~ a once-famous but often-forgotten fly


The Gimp

In keeping with an eye on travel, next month (June 1st and 2nd) we're going to take a close look at a pair of compact yet completely dedicated light–medium-action travel rods and reels for spinning and fly-fishing—not one of those generic, dual-purpose rods that serve as a substitute for both angling methods. Also, I'm going to custom-fit a hard case with beefier medium–medium-heavy action spinning and fly-fishing travel outfits that will handle most fresh and saltwater applications. As Donna and I will be doing more and more traveling, both these travel outfits will be at the ready for spontaneous adventures.

Back home on the North Fork of Long island, schoolies are in—along with some stripers with serious shoulders. Donna and I have been busy field-testing these dedicated travel rods and reels. The month of May will prove to be productive as bunker are in the Peconic River and adjoining bays. We're watching osprey carrying sticks to build a new nest and bunker to feed the family. See you on the water.

Bob Banfelder
https://www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning
Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer

Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Cablevision TV Host Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo

Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater ~ presented on the 1st & 2nd of every month.


Available on Amazon in paperback & e-book formats


Available on Amazon in paperback & e-book formats

May 01, 2017

A Wilderness Finger Lakes B&B ~ For Ourdoorsy Men & Women Part I

by Bob Banfelder

In response to Part I of my April 1st article titled Spectacular Outdoor Activities Await the Adventurous, several folks called or e-mailed, requesting to see more photos and wanting to know more (actually a lot more) about The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast located in the Finger Lakes region of Newfield, New York. Another gentleman commented nostalgically, having had attended college in Ithaca, fishing Fall Creek and Cayuga Lake when he could find the time. I encourage all of you to visit this wonderland. The Wilderness B&B is a great base to begin your outdoor adventures this spring, exploring the area's gorges, waterfalls; fishing its lakes, streams, and ponds—not to mention spectacular deer hunting opportunities come fall and winter.


Two of six Wilderness B&B cabins, grounds ~ 21 acres, pond [winter 2016]

Snuggled just 11.2 miles southwest from the tip of Cayuga Lake, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, lies a little-known B&B sanctuary that caters to outdoors men and women. At first blush, the establishment is appropriately named The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast; that is, until you learn that the enterprise does not serve breakfast during the off-season. The ‘off-season' corresponds with those dates set aside for hunting white-tailed deer during the gunning season in the 7R area of Central New York. Therefore, the appellation is not necessarily a contradiction in terms. What happens is that come deer hunting season, the operation receives a transformation, a metamorphosis if you will. While the cozy, warm, clean cabins accommodate deer hunters, The Wilderness B&B deer processing operation springs into action. It then becomes a deer hunter's mecca; a haven for the hearty. Through the remainder of the year, but not limited to one particular season within this pristine wilderness area, other outstanding opportunities abound for outdoorsy folks: fishing, bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, or just plain lounging around for a bit of R&R. Come springtime, many outstanding angling opportunities abound throughout this pristine area, all within proximity to The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast.

Just 2.1 miles down the road from the B&B is the Newfield State Forest, encompassing 1,552 acres. The forest is connected to the New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC), Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area, which covers more than 11,000 acres.

Additionally, the NYSDEC has Deer Management Focus Areas (DMFA) to help alleviate the overpopulation of deer. This is a homerun for those who want to increase the odds of bagging a trophy. More information is available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/82382.html. One of these Focus Areas is Cornell University in Ithaca, which is 12.5 miles northeast of The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast. Cornell land is but one of those areas that provides great hunting opportunities: http://www.cornellbotanicgardens.org/our-gardens/natural-areas/stewardship/deer.

Six private, spaciously separated cabins dot The Wilderness Bed and Breakfast landscape within a picturesque twenty-one acre property. The establishment provides a bathhouse with separate men's and women's bathrooms, game room, horseshoe pits, and although breakfast is not included during the ‘off season,' guests have their use of the kitchen facilities located in the main (common) cabin area where folks may prepare their own meals. Frank Hartenstein and his gracious wife Andi run a first-class operation.


Andi Hartenstein in the Common Area

During late fall and running through the winter deer hunting firearm season, the wilderness operation is truly unique in the sense that it offers a Hunter's Special weekly rental rate for a nominal $200. That's under $29 a day! Now get this: Two of the larger cabins can accommodate up to five folks for the same weekly rate. Do the math. We're talking about clean, comfortable, cozy lodging for less than $6 a day per person!


B&B Wilderness' warm, cozy cabins

In the Finger Lakes area, winter weather and temperature changes can vary dramatically, so one has to be ready for anything. For example, lake-effect snow can drop in on you within a surprisingly short period of time. For example, on the opening day of deer season, November 19th, 2016, with clear skies, the high and low for the day was 67º/32º Fahrenheit, respectively. By the following day, 7 inches of snow covered the ground. Gusts of wind were whipping up to 40 miles per hour. With the wind chill factor, it was 22º. By the 21st, 3- to 3½-foot drifts had piled up in certain areas. It was still snowing; 18–20 inches blanketed the landscape—2 inches over the tops of my Muck boots as I tracked, trudged, and still-hunted for white-tailed deer, eventually making it to one of my treestands. Days like that are for the hardy. I was set up by 6 a.m. as I had for the past few days. I took a nice button buck with a handgun, which became the highlight of the hunt because that challenge was on my bucket list. The high and low for the day had been 29º/26º.

By late spring and early fall, the area is a fishing mecca for sportsmen. Small and largemouth bass blanket many small ponds. Rainbow and brown trout fill the streams; lake trout and landlocked salmon laud crystal clear clean lakes. Shown below is a nice size catfish caught at the foot of Cayuga Lake, just steps from the Ithaca Farmers Market. Its dock and pier are open to the public, so you can shop, or fish, or take a leisurely stroll around the waterfront.


Local fellow with catfish caught at the foot of Cayuga Lake

Tomorrow we'll continue with PART II, covering more of this unique B&B operation and the area in general, so please stay tuned.

Bob Banfelder
https://www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning
Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer

Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Cablevision TV Host Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo

Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater ~ presented on the 1st & 2nd of every month.


Available on Amazon in paperback & e-book formats


Available on Amazon in paperback & e-book formats




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