Tavernkeeper Gary Sanderson says that the need for a guide has often been mentioned during conversation with guests who wanted a whirlwind tour of the Pioneer Valley, off the beaten path. So, he decided to offer his services to his guests - be it on a foliage tour of Franklin and Hampshire counties and southern Vermont, a shopping spree and sightseeing tour to Manchester, Vt., a look at the five-college neighborhood, or a history tour of the upper valley. It is said that the best sights in New England are most often seen along the secondary roads of a region, and no one knows the back roads of Hampshire/Franklin counties better than Gary, a Deerfield native with Connecticut Valley roots dating back three centuries. Ride the Pocumtuck Trail, which led English settlers to the Bloody Brook Massacre of 1675, or the Post Road to Bennington, which carried the mail and stagecoach passengers alike from Greenfield to southern Vermont and beyond. And listen as Gary tells the tales of the road, pointing out landmarks along the way.
For Old Tavern Farm guests who enjoy hunting and fishing, Gary - an outdoor writer for 20 years - will be at your service. He can show you the haunts he considers his favorites after years of exploration. Gary can take you on turkey and deer hunts, or let you join him and Ringo, his English springer spaniel, on hunts in upland bird coverts, be it in pursuit of woodcock, grouse, pheasant or all of the above. He can also take you stream fishing for trout on any of the waters in the Deerfield River basin. Sometimes Gary is able to book an impromptu driving tour, however, hunting and fishing trips must be arranged in advance and require a non-refundable deposit covering half of the total fee.
RATES (hunting, fishing and tours):
Full-day (8 hours) - $275
1/2-day (4 hours) - $175
Three-day package - $950 (lodging included)
Gary is always on vacation and available for guiding during the Bay State's shotgun and blackpowder white-tailed deer seasons.
Gary is always available for weekday upland bird hunting in the fall.