Mike Raykovicz

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…

It’s not the size of the deer, it’s the size of the memory

Let’s face it. Deer season is about memories, both good and bad. I can vividly remember the morning a beautiful 10-point cautiously walked across an overgrown gas line that bisected the farm on which I was hunting. I was about 100 yards above him and the shot was easy. His antlers now grace a wall in my office. On the flip side, I still remember last deer…

Hanging up the bow, sighting in the rifle

Archery season has come and gone and it remains to be seen as to how the next few weeks will play out now that the firearms season has opened. After chasing deer with a bow and arrow in two states for over six weeks, I remain deerless. Sure, there were those two small four points I could have arrowed, and the two spikes that sparred and butted heads…

Don’t knock lighted nocks

Few can argue about the impact technological developments have had on archery in the past decade. From broadheads to bows, these advancements now allow many of us to shoot straighter and to achieve better results both in the field and on the range. Lighted nocks are one of those developments, and the first ones were developed by brothers Eric and Curt Price, who introduced their new…

Preparation is key for archery hunters

September is now a memory and archery season here in New York’s Southern zone is already open. Pennsylvania’s archery season opened on Oct. 5t and I believe this is the first time the New York season opened before the Pennsylvania season. I’ve always felt extremely lucky to be able to hunt two states because there’s no Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania but there…

Pennsylvania CWD regs could impact New York hunters in the Keystone State

Chronic wasting disease is an untreatable and fatal brain and nervous system disease found in deer, elk, and moose and it’s of grave concern for biologists around the country. Fortunately, there have been no cases discovered in New York since 2005. However, that’s not the case with 24 other states, including Pennsylvania, where CWD has been discovered in both captive and free-ranging deer in several southcentral counties. Following the…

States, including New York, continue to grapple with CWD fears

Chronic wasting disease is an untreatable and fatal brain and nervous system disease found in deer, elk, and moose, and it’s of grave concern to biologists around the country. Fortunately, there have been no cases discovered in New York since 2005. However, that’s not the case with 24 other states, including Pennsylvania, where CWD has been discovered in both captive and free-ranging deer in several southcentral counties. Following…

Drawing interest: Getting kids into archery

Things are different than they once were, of that there is no doubt. As kids, my friends and I entertained ourselves without the intervention of any adults because our parents were too busy working to make a living. Today, there are dozens of activities that seem to be competing for a youngster’s attention. A few weeks ago I picked up the local paper and I was astounded…

In New York and elsewhere, mud puppies matter

Quick now, what’s the official amphibian for New York state? Don’t know? Don’t feel bad, because I didn’t know either – until I read an article about the hellbender, or mud puppy, being designated by the Pennsylvania State Senate as the official amphibian for the Keystone State. So I had to look it up. The move by the Senate to name the hellbender (mud puppy) as the official state amphibian…

Bass season kickoff presents plenty of options for N.Y. anglers

New York’s season for both smallmouth and largemouth bass traditionally opens the third Saturday in June, which this year means June 15. Bass are a favorite among fishermen because of their relative numbers and the fact they readily adapt to life equally well in large, shallow lakes or even farm ponds. Newcomers to bass fishing should look for bass near obvious cover such as lily pads,…