The day I became a bowhunter

I remember this buck like it was yesterday.  This was the first deer that I saw taken with a bow and dads best buck of his bowhunting career.  Flashback two days prior, Methuen, Massachusetts.  I had been shooting everyday all summer to prepare for my first whitetail archery hunt, 13 years old at the time I was beyond excited. Dad had me shooting very young, from toy bows as a toddler to the youth compound I was now using.  It was finally time, I could finally put all my practice to use.  He hung a double set in an area with heavy buck sign on a major run intersection.  It was late October, we were hunting in a dense area that at one time was an apple orchard but was now over grown with thorns and tall timber, a mix of oak and bull pine.   We woke early, got up to the set, settled in and started the waiting game. Now, dad had been drilling as much info into my head as possible to help me be successful.  “watch your movement, watch the deer’s body language, wait for a good shot, move slow even if you don’t see anything, their eyes are 1000x better than ours in the woods” all skills he had learned the hard way. Well there we were about half hour after sunrise and dad slowly turns and says to me “joe, you hear that? There’s something coming up the run, get your bow, get ready, move slow or you’ll get caught” I clipped my release to the string, and within seconds there he was, nice tight and tall, 8 points no more than 5 yards away.  At this point my heart was beating so fast you could see it pumping through my clothes, my knees were about ready to buckle, my legs were shaking unstoppably, I got so worked up when I went to draw I didn’t even have the strength to pull back the same bow I had been shooting religiously all summer long.  The buck looked up at me, blew, and in a split second was gone.  Dad turned, looked at me and said, “what the hell happened?”  But then realized the excitement got the best of me, as he has been there before too and knew the feeling all too well.

We had a deal, that him and I would switch every morning, one morning he brings his bow the next morning I bring my bow.  We went out the next morning, dad had his bow and the activity was minimal, couple of doe if I recall.  We were only able to hunt for an hour or so, then I had to go to school. The third morning it was my turn to take my bow, but dad had this feeling and asked if I cared if he took his again that day, of course my answer was yes. There we were, day 3, just settled into the stand, just starting to get that first light.  Dad hears a small snap of a twig, 15 minutes later another.  His seasoned ears knew this was a deer, moving very slowly and cautious, most likely a mature buck, dad let out a couple faint grunts.  Now, keep in mind we didn’t use trail cams, or feeds, or attractants, he judged the size of an unknown deer by the sign it was leaving.  Time was ticking, I had to get to school, dad made the smart decision and said, “son you’re not going to school today”.  For almost an hour the faint snapping of twigs and footsteps kept coming and going, this deer was slowly working his way around us to get down wind of the grunt he heard.  Finally, after more than an hour of waiting for him to show, we saw a flash of antler in the thicket.  I remember seeing this deer and being in awe, he was the biggest I had ever seen, cautiously making his way toward us, I knew I had to stay still or my dad would never get a wack at him.  He slowly worked his way closer staying in the thicket, at about 15 yards he stopped, turned and took a few steps out just enough into the clearing for dad to land a double lung shot on this beauty.  I turned and looked at him and he looked at me and said, “you did great son, I thought you would spook him but you didn’t, you did great” we waited a good hour, climbed down, retrieved the arrow, covered in bright red blood my dad knew the deer was down.  I short track and we found him, from that day on I knew I was a bowhunter, I was hooked.

Joe Luccisano

Made by hunters, for hunters

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Bowhunter Business – Northeast Products

Full Article : Bowhunter Business Article

Peter Luccisano had a problem. The 30-year-old carpenter and part-time truck driver had just finished his shift of snow plowing at midnight, and as he gathered his hunting gear to meet his brother by 4 a.m., he realized that his Hot Seat was damaged. The weather was cold,and snow covered most of the New England deer woods. Peter didn’t want to hit the frigid woodlands without a seat, and as he pondered his dilemma, he thought of laminating together some pieces of foam house-siding insulation. He tried it, and it worked. Pete Luccisano’s spark of an idea solved his immediate problem, and it eventually changed the rest of his life. He still has his first foam seat.

The foam cushion worked so well that Peter was soon fabricating seats for his hunting buddies. He was also contemplating “hanging up his hammer” for a life in the hunting industry. It is often said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In Luccisano’s ‘ case, necessity helped him launch a new career. Thirteen years later he is still going strong and has not stopped to look back, to ponder “What if?”

What first started as a one product cottage industry has grown into an enterprise with annual sales as high as $750,000. Today, servicing some 700 accounts requires nine full-time employees, including Luccisano and Linda Collupy, his office manager for the past eight years. Northeast currently occupies 20,000 square feet of a l00 year old mill building on Franklin Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, about 50 miles north of Boston.

“The first real education I received was in the variety, types, and properties of closed cell foams. There are many different foams, each with its own attributes. Initially I gravitated to Evazote,a type of foam manufactured in England and imported into the U.S.. I found that purely from a performance standpoint, it was the best. I still think it is.

“We continue to sell a great number of my original ‘Therm-A-Seat’ made of Evazote. It’s my favorite, and it’s the best when it comes to durability. In fact, it has all the features sportsmen prefer. Unfortunately it’s also very expensive. Consequently, we also offer foams for the price-sensitive buyer.

“Back in 1992 and ’93 we learned a very important lesson when competitors introduced dirt-cheap copycat products and almost put us out of business. They were using inexpensive foams in products that looked like ours but delivered less than optimum results. But, unfortunately, by visual inspection alone the general buyer couldn’t tell the difference between Northeast and its competitors. “We made our comeback by offering a wide variety of products and price levels,” Peter continued. “That way we had something to sell almost every potential customer. Spreading our name by word-of-mouth, through national advertising, and by attending both trade and consumer shows helped build our brand name recognition.”

Northeast Products’ latest catalog offers a variety of products for bowhunters, including cushions for both treestands and ground blinds. These cushions come in solid colors as well as camo patterns, including Realtree, The Therm-A-Seat for treestand platforms and Therm-A-Grip bow handle warmer are specifically made for bowhunters. Cold Stopper pack boot foam replacements
and Hot Footers heat-retaining shoe insoles round out the product line.

Different foams offer different degrees of waterproofness, durability, weight, comfort, flexibility, and noise. Peter Luccisano explained, “The challenge is to match the right foam to the application. We do all of our manufacturing in-house, including pattern screening and cover fabric application. This way we have total control of our inventory levels and quality, and we benefit from the added-value operations. And, by manufacturing in-house we have total control over costs and overhead expenses.”

Northeast Products’ comfortable cold weather gear is handled by archery pro shops, catalogers, and mass merchants. Owner/Founder Peter Luccisano feels that actively developing and introducing new products, continuing to advertise nationally, maintaining high quality standards, delivering products quickly, and satisfying individual customer’s requests are some of Northeast Products’ secrets of success. But he really believes that his “secret weapon” is attending consumer shows.

“I personally attend a lot of shows and talk one on one with the hunters who use my products,” Peter said. “Those hunters provide the very best feedback I can get. They tell me what’s working, what needs to be changed, and how best to tailor our products to their specific needs. After 13 years I still come home from every show with lots of new ideas, fresh opinions, and input that help us stay abreast of our segment of the industry.”

For a product catalog,
Northeast Products:
375 Jaffrey Road,
Peterborough, NH 03458
(978) 784- 5671


From Carpenter to Cushion King – Local Hunter’s Plight Leads to a New Career

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Peter Luccisano is a 39-year-old carpenter from Methuen who loves to hunt. Each year Peter and his brother, Vinnie, would leave Methuen on the Sunday before the shotgun deer season opened and spend a week deer hunting in the Berkshires, In 1982 there was a major snowstorm the night before the shotgun season for deer opened. Because Peter and his brother plowed snow for the state during winter, they were called out for the storm. It was not until midnight before they were relieved.

The two hunters decided to leave at 4 a.m Monday for the Berkshires. While on the phone planning their departure, Peter’s brother ran through a list of items they would need. Peter had everything for the hunt but a Hot Seat used to sit on in the woods. His Hot Seat was tom and he forgot to buy another.

In desperation Peter searched for a substitute seat. He found four pieces of foam used for insulating houses when applying vinyl siding that was left over from a job. He glued four one-quarter inch thick pieces together and cut them into a round seat. The improvised seat worked so well his friends wanted them too. They suggested that he ought to sell them.

One day while siding a house Luccisano banged his thumb with a hammer. The swelling and pain decided his fate. At 30 years of age, Luccisano decided to try to manufacture his hunter’s seat. “If I didn’t mash my thumb with the hammer while doing a siding job, I might still be in the business. I much more enjoy producing the cushions and being a part of the outdoors product scene,” he said.

It took a great deal of learning before Luccisano could embark on his new adventure. First were patent lawyers who told him he could not pattern a round cushion. However, they advised him that if it was shaped differently he could possibly apply for a patent.

Peter came up with the idea to produce the cushion in the shape of a seat from a kitchen chair. A patent was granted and Peter Luccisano is now in business.

Through the years, Luccisano has had to learn the intricacies of various foam products, how to screen paint them so that the ink would not adversely affect the foam, and finally, how to market the product.

In 1985, Peter Luccisano sold his first Therm-a-Seat made of one inch thick Evazote through his company, Northeast Products. The seats were first made in Peter’s shed on a part time basis. By 1988, he was producing’ Therm-a-Seats full time from a new shop in Methuen.

Today, Therm-a-Seats can be found in sporting shops nationwide. And to meet a growing demand, different shapes and sizes of seats
have been developed, Seats are now sold from one Inch to two inches thick in several foam types. Luccisano is now making stadium seats with team logos, foot cushions, tree stand seats, and hand warmers for the grips on metal compound bows. Peter Luccisano is living proof that sometimes a sportsman’s last minute emergency can turn Into something positive.

Peter Luccisano invented a new seat cushion because his old one was ripped. His spur-of-the-moment invention changed his life forever.