Mike Raykovicz

Deer keds a nuisance

My buddy Dave shot a deer this past bow season and was skinning it when I stopped by. Be careful about any ticks,” I told him. Dave had the hide just about off and told me there seemed to be quite a few until a neighbor stopped by and said what he was looking at weren’t engorged deer ticks but…

It’s not all about deer

It’s mid-October and make no mistake, my thoughts are all about archery season and deer hunting but, hunting something other than deer gets my attention as well. Ever since I can remember, late September and early October meant one thing to my parents, it was mushroom season and the venerable popinki, or potpinki was the star of the show. For…

Fighting fall’s biting bugs

September is here and that means many of us will be out and about in our favorite deer woods checking things out for the upcoming archery season. While I’m doing that, I annually search for honey mushrooms or popinkies as they’re commonly known. I’m not the only one out there however because campers, hikers, and other mushroom pickers are also…

Organizations opposed to repeal of Pittman-Robertson

In case you haven’t heard, according to a report issued by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) has introduced legislation that would repeal the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on firearms and ammunition. The NSSF along with dozens of conservation organizations has raised concerns about the ill-advised scheme to alter the funding of the American System of Conservation Funding….

Eels in the Susquehanna

My first encounter with a live eel came when I was in high school. My friend’s father would often take us to the Laxawaxen River in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains to fish for trout. We fished downstream from Lake Wallenpaupack where the river continued east, joining the Delaware at Lackawaxen near Narrowsburg. One afternoon I was drifting a hellgramite through a…

Boating safety

When my son and his friend Dan were young boys, my friend and I took them canoeing on the Delaware River. The boys knew how to swim and we all wore a personal floatation device. In the unlikely event that we would capsize, the boys were instructed to hold on to the side of the canoe until they were told…

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…