Cayuga County Sportsmen's Association

4680 Rockefeller Rd Auburn NY 13021


Continuing the Tradition

A 50 plus year tradition revived – The Field Day.

Beginning in 1936, the field day was a tradition that had become a fall season mainstay in Cayuga County for many years.  Many fondly remember field day activities.  This year the Sportsmen’s Club is revived the tradition. Various events, similar to what has been done in the past, will be offered for sportsmen, sportswomen, their children, and interested community members.

 During previous field days traditional outdoor sporting activities as well as new events were continually offered.  For example, at the 17th Annual Field Day in 1953, shooting dog field trials were the featured event.  Participants from all over the northeast participated.  Also, archery, a relatively new hunting sport, was highlighted under the supervision of the 1945 national field archery champion Fred Marco, a member of a prominent local sporting family and friend of the famous archer Fred Bear.  Skeet and trap shooting were featured with the county skeet champion determined during the day.  Red bird shooting, rifle and pistol shooting, and bait casting on the club pond were all available.  Food and refreshments were served throughout the day.

 Years later the field day grew into a two-day event.  In 1968, under the leadership of Thomas J. Ogar, William M. Granger, Charles E. Lawrence, Oscar J. Masdam, Deming F. Clark, R. Murray Johnston, and Stanford A. Ward, a two day field day was held including such traditional sporting activities as trap and skeet shooting, white bird shooting, high gun, archery, mock running deer shooting, and rifle and pistol shooting.  In addition there were games and pony rides for the children. Vendor exhibits included recreation vehicles, boats, fishing and camping equipment.  Scuba diving equipment, snowmobiles, motorcycles, guns and cameras were on display.  There was a horse show, a demonstration of state police bloodhounds, and a live display of the trout and game birds inhabiting the area.   Helicopter rides were available and a mini tractor pull was featured.  Once again, food and refreshments were on hand for all to enjoy.

 By 1979, however, the field day had been reduced back to the original one-day event.  The events included trap and skeet shooting, mock running deer shooting, displays and demonstrations by the Cayuga County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and instruction in archery by the Cayuga County Archers.  Also, an evening dance was held featuring the Soda Ash Six band.  Food and refreshments were available all day.

 In 1988 the 52nd and last field day was held.  Among the many activities were practice skeet, practice trap, red bird shooting, mock running deer shooting, a turkey shoot, and black powder demonstrations and shooting.  The New York State troopers had a display, as did the Cayuga County Sheriff’s department.  The local model airplane club and ham radio club participated.  The Owasco fire department also was on hand.  During the evening festivities the Good Dues provided music. 

Among the many club members instrumental in the success of field day activities over the years were Ray Robinson, Ernie Parks, Bob Dean, Norm Marco, Gerard Marco, Bob Contiguglia, and the Dickman family.

 This year (2004), under the leadership of Jack Cavanaugh well known local photographer, assisted by Joe Di Vietro, Bob Pacelli, and Scott Barnes, another one day field day was be held on the Cayuga County Sportsmen’s Club grounds on Rockefeller Road on the east side of Owasco Lake.  Activities began at 9 a.m. on September 18 with a fishing derby for youth 15 and under in the newly built fishing pond on the lower grounds.  Bass Pro Shops and Auburn Wal-Mart provided prizes for successful anglers.  Later in the morning The Fly Shop at Bass Pro Shops gave a fly-fishing demonstration.  There were youth shooting instruction and a dog demonstration by the Southern Tier Schutzhund Club.  The New York State troopers and the Cayuga County sheriffs department also had demonstrations.  

 In the evening, a sportsmen’s banquet for raffle ticket holders catered by Balloon’s Restaurant and a raffle drawing was held.  A silent auction featuring sporting memorabilia and collectibles was also featured.

 For many years, the Cayuga County Sportsmen’s Club annual fall field day was an activity that was warmly received by members of the community.  Originally designed as a “tune up” for the fall hunting season, it evolved into a celebration of the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  The revival of the field day event is an attempt to continue with this tradition and also introduce the public to some of the increasingly popular new outdoor sporting activities.  It is the hope of the members of the Cayuga County Sportsmen’s Association that this will be the beginning of many years of increasingly popular fall celebrations of the great outdoors.