Mike Raykovicz

Woodland apartment

For no good reason I was recently thinking about this past deer season and the things you notice when you sit for hours in a deer stand. While on watch, my eyes constantly search for a tell-tale flicker of a deer tail in the evergreens or, for a horizontal shape among mostly vertical trees. For the most part, though, much…

Reloading revisited

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFew things give me greater satisfaction than taking a deer with ammunition I crafted at my reloading bench. As satisfying as that is, it’s just part of it. I can cite numerous additional benefits and pleasures of loading or reloading ammunition, but they would be too numerous to list here. Most people who begin to reload say they…

A tangled web 

Things seem a little slow around our house nowadays. Other than an occasional trip to the grocery store and a daily walk, my wife and I haven’t been anywhere and have no plans to go anywhere, at least until we get the proper dose of the COVID vaccine. When I talk to some of my friends who are taking similar…

Another ammunition shortage

About a year ago, I was visiting friends in Pennsylvania. They live near a gun shop I often did business with and so, I decided to stop in. Reloading supplies are tough to come by where I live here in New York because some dealers have gone out of business and the big box stores don’t carry reloading components. The…

Taking a break

By the time this blog appears, Christmas will be over. However, for many New York outdoorsmen and women, the week between Christmas Day and the new year offers hunting opportunities for small-game species, including rabbits, squirrels, grouse, snowshoe hares and even pheasants. I’ll admit that, other than wild turkey hunting, which I consider a passion, I don’t hunt small game…

Goodbye, Rocky

When the traditional Christmas tree for Rockefeller Center in Manhattan was cut in Oneonta last November, no one had any idea of the attention it would create. The tree itself, a Norway spruce, wasn’t much different from the others that stood in place for scores of years, it was what was hidden among its branches that caused all the fuss….

All the rifle I need

When it comes to preferred rifle calibers for hunting deer there are as many preferences and opinions as there are hunters in the woods. Some would say they wouldn’t consider hunting deer with anything but a lever action Winchester or Marlin in 30-30, .32Winchester or .35 Remington calibers. However, today it seems the darling of the hunting fraternity seems to…

Trail cam tricks

Of all the gear and gadgets I own, none give me as much satisfaction and pleasure as my trail cameras. By strategically placing them in appropriate locations I’ve gotten pictures of fishers, turkeys, bears, racoons, coyotes, foxes and yes, even deer. However, this success didn’t come without a learning curve. I bought my first trail camera years ago in the…

A lot to do

Archery season is just about here, and the firearms season will be here before we know it but, before all the fun begins, there’s work to be done. I’m fortunate to still be able to hunt my friend’s farm even though he passed away several years ago. Nature has a way of taking over and if it isn’t kept in…

Consider letting the big ones go

Who hasn’t dreamed of catching a big fish? I know I have but, that was a while ago, and any big fish caught I might catch nowadays is photographed and released. My altruism is rooted more in practicality than principle because if I want fish for supper, I’ve found the smaller ones make the best and safest eating.  Scientists tell us…

And the three top bass baits are …

Bass season is finally here and I’m glad. Bass are found just about everywhere in New York state including rivers, lakes and even farm ponds. They are game fighters and the smaller ones make a tasty addition to any frying pan.  As a youngster, Susquehanna river smallmouths were our favorite bass species and our fishing equipment was minimal. The only…

Lessons learned

I first fished Black Lake in the early 1970s after moving to the Southern Tier in August of 1969. My next door neighbor Bob, who quickly became my long time fishing and hunting buddy, had a place on the lake in Edwardsville, and I was more than a little excited the first time he asked me if I’d like to…

Of turkeys and ticks

Turkey season has finally arrived, and for this hunter, it hasn’t come soon enough. Because of shoulder surgery in February, I was doubting whether I would even been able to go. Three years ago, I missed the entire spring season because of a bilateral knee replacement and the thought of possibly missing yet another season was more than I could…

Killing time at the reloading bench

I was sitting around one morning several weeks ago and wondering what I was going to do that day. The outside temperature was near freezing while a mix of wet snow and rain kept me from going on my daily walk. Suddenly, it occurred to me. I would reload some deer rounds for next season, but first I had to…

Battling for the bay: Chesapeake Bay cleanup likely heading to court

The Chesapeake Bay takes in water from 150 major rivers flowing from six states, including the Susquehanna here in New York. It is an invaluable estuary from which a dying breed of watermen still make their living, but it is getting harder for them to do so.Pollution of the bay’s waters is a product mainly to unsanitary stormwater runoff, over-fertilization and pollution from animal wastes. Deforestation, wetland destruction…