New York – Mike Raykovicz

Getting even

It’s been just over a week since deer season ended here in the Southern Tier and I’m still bummed out. Archery season was good but I still like getting out and being able to spend all day in the woods with a rifle in my hands. My lunch menu for these all day hunts hasn’t changed in over 50 years,…

CWD remains ticking time bomb

The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania was confirmed a few weeks ago in a three-year-old doe raised on a game farm in New Oxford, Adams County. The disease may have links to another game farm near Williamsport, near the middle of the state and another in the southern part in Dover, York County. The infected doe…

Wild entertainment from the treestand

Although rifle season has opened here in the Southern Tier, friends often ask me if I get bored waiting in a treestand during archery season. I always reply with an emphatic “no.” Admittedly, while standing in a tree doesn’t give me much to do, blending with the surroundings provides me with so much more to see. From my vantage position…

When things go wrong

One of the things I remember vividly when I was growing up is my mother admonishing me to “Never count your chickens before they’re hatched.” We’ve all heard it said but when it comes to deer hunting nothing could prove to be truer than that caveat. As reported here last week, early in the season I was extremely encouraged about…

Home, sweet home

We returned to the states earlier this month after two weeks in Europe visiting a friend. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity; one I just couldn’t turn down despite my having to miss the opening week of bow season in both New York and Pennsylvania. Needless to say the scenery in both Italy and France was beautiful, but…

Overseas for the Oct. 1 opener

Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve scouted my hunting area, hung my stands, brushed them in and set my trail cameras. All is in readiness for my return to the states. By the time this is published I’ll be in Rome and then Florence, Italy. From there it’s on to Nice, France to spend a week with a friend. I plan…

Early openers tighten schedule

I can’t believe September is almost gone. Usually the first week or two of this first month of fall I relax a little and do a little scouting for the upcoming deer season. This year, however, I feel a little puckered up because the New York bow season opens on Oct. 1 in the Southern Zone and, in Pennsylvania where…

Black Lake bowfin

Years ago when my fishing buddy and neighbor had a cottage on Black Lake we would often go there in early September. We both were working so we could only go for the weekend. Largemouth bass were our targeted species and we fished for them in the thick weedbeds with topwater lures like Hula Poppers. We caught bass most of…

Crayfish catching days remembered

When my son Lee, now 40, was nine years old he and a friend would often go to down to the Choconut Creek on hot summer afternoons to catch crayfish. The water was ankle deep and the two boys would spend hours overturning rocks and netting the scuttling crawdads. Sometimes we’d use them for bait but most of the time…

Crabbing on the Jersey shore

We're fortunate to have close friends who live near the New Jersey coast in Avalon and every summer we head south for a few days of relaxation and fun. Yes, we go to the beach and yes, we go to the casino but the highlight of the trip is spending at least a half day boating the coves in the…

What's your line?

The opening scene from Meredith Wilson’s musical "The Music Man" begins with a group of traveling salesmen asking about Harold Hill’s line of work. “What’s his line, what’s his line?” the first group asks. “Doesn’t worry about his line, doesn’t worry about his line,” the others reply. Fishermen, however, especially serious ones, do worry about their line – their fishing…

Don't blame the skunks

I was mowing my yard a few weeks ago and noticed a large patch of dug up turf. Grass roots were scattered everywhere. My first inclination was to get the varmint having the nerve to come into my yard and destroy my lawn. It annoyed me and I planned on getting even. My idea was to set a live trap…

Old motor, new problem

I have two old, and I mean really old, outboard motors stored in my basement and my wife is always after me to get rid of them. “You haven’t used them in 25 years,” she reminds me. The other day I thought I’d call her bluff and take them out of storage with the anticipation of using one or both…

Invaders in the woods

A Burmese python found in Florida's Everglades last summer regurgitated a whole guinea hen and 10 intact eggs. These snakes and others like them are creating havoc in the Everglades ecosystem because of their penchant for devouring deer, raccoons and other small animals. The fact of the matter is non-native pythons, like other snakes native to the area, eat young…

A weighty issue: The turkey vest

For a dyed-in-the-wool turkey hunter there’s nothing worse than a rainy day in May, or is there? When I’m turkey hunting, it seems no matter what I do to stay dry, I somehow manage to come home wet. Besides, leaving the house in total darkness with rain splattering the roof is a depressing feeling. To make myself feel better about…

All-day turkey hunting

For years I’ve always said I’m glad we can only hunt spring turkeys until noon because if we could do it all day it might just kill me. Don’t get me wrong, I love hunting turkeys in the spring and even before I retired I was in the woods every morning. I never missed going out even if it meant…

The waiting game

If there's one thing that sends a chill down the spine of a turkey hunter it’s the sound of a gobbler at first light. With turkey season fast approaching I decided to visit several of my favorite spring turkey hunting areas to see – or rather hear – what was going on. Just like deer hunting, I don’t want the…

Way ahead of the game

I took a ride last week to get some fresh eggs from the farmer whose land I hunt and found him in the milkhouse finishing up milking chores. “How do you like the weather?" he asked “Couldn’t be better,” I replied. “We’re at least a month ahead of ourselves so far this spring and I’ve got a lot more done…