New York – Mike Raykovicz

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…

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…