Mike Raykovicz

Getting the lead out

The use of lead ammunition for hunting has become an environmental issue due to its toxic effects on wildlife and children. Game organs, which are discarded when field-dressing an animal, often contain fragments of lead bullets. These organs, which are left behind are known to cause death in birds such as eagles and hawks who often consume the discarded offal….

Wintertime walks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love walking in the woods just about any time of year but, late winter is an especially fun time for me. Usually, there is snow on the ground and, from the tracks I see, it’s easy to determine what kind of wildlife has been out and about. The tracks of deer, rabbits, turkey, fox, and coyotes are…

Keeping up

Art Buchwald was an American humorist best known for his column that appeared in the Washington Post. Buchwald’s column was published nationwide in over 500 newspapers. I read him regularly and one of his column headings was, “Things a Columnist Wouldn’t Know if He Didn’t Open His Mail.” Like Mr. Buchwald, I too find the information I occasionally glean from…

Christmas gift ideas

Almost every year someone asks me for a gift idea for the sportsman on their list. With all the gear and gadgets available today you’d think it would be easy to make a recommendation but frankly, whenever asked, I have to think about it. I always tell anyone who asks not to consider gifting things like camouflage clothing or boots…

Small first-aid kits can save the day

Over the years I’ve discovered that an essential piece of outdoor equipment and one that many hunters and even fishermen fail to consider is a small, compact first-aid kit. It could be argued about what should be included in a first-aid kit, but I try to keep things simple. When hunting, I carry what I feel might be required for…

Oak awareness

As a bowhunter, I’m always on the lookout for food sources that are likely to be utilized by deer during the open season. There are a few producing apple trees on the farms I hunt, but for some reason, the trees seem to be on the decline. Apple trees that drooped with fruit in years past hardly bear fruit anymore….

It’s in the bag

I first got interested in archery when I was in high school more than 60 years ago and, out of necessity, I made my own targets. I began by putting cardboard boxes inside each other, and later by stuffing rags into a burlap feed bag. This arrangement suited me well as long as I was shooting a fiberglass longbow with…

Adelgid nightmare

A while back we reported on another threat to New York’s forests. Today, it’s no longer a threat, the menace is here.  Last spring while turkey hunting here in the Southern Tier I noticed just about all the hemlock trees are infested by an insect called wooly adelgid. The hemlock woolly adelgid is an aphid-like insect that covers itself with…

Walleye adventure

When former New York Outdoor News Editor Steve Piatt called and asked if I wanted to join him on a fishing trip to Lake Erie, I jumped at the chance. I’ve heard about how remarkable the fishing was for both bass and walleye and I was eager to find out for myself. The fishing is so good, in 2019 Bassmaster Magazine named…

Camping tips for beginners

If any good ever came out of this Covid thing is that people are getting out more and that includes going camping. According to a report published by Kampgrounds of America (KOA) the total number of camping households has increased by 6 million since 2014 and 53 percent of them are choosing tent camping for the first time. Camping is…

Fishing is fishing

I once heard an old fisherman say, “catching fish is easy once someone shows you how.” I agree. I’ve fished for bass, walleye, pike, and trout for most of my life, but I’ll readily admit what I don’t know about saltwater fishing would fill a small book. Ok, make that a big book. My only saltwater experience occurred years ago…

The morel of the story

Here it is the mid-June and I’ve been beaten again. Not by the turkeys I chased throughout May, but by a woodland denizen far more elusive. In over fifty years roaming the spring woods and searching everywhere I’ve encountered the mysterious inhabitant only once and, that was by accident. Twenty years have passed since that first encounter and I’ve been…