Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

Better tasting venison

I like to cook, and I like good food. As a result, I’ll admit I’m somewhat of a food snob. I drive my wife crazy when we eat at a restaurant and I occasionally comment on the dish I ordered…

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…

A haunting we will go

For a variety of reasons, hunting with my friend Jonathon was a memorable experience each time we went and, that was nearly every day after work. Jonathon and I both worked at the same high school and after school hours…

A shot too far

I spoke to a good friend who has never hunted with a bow and arrow until he bought a crossbow two years ago. We discussed how the season played out and he told me he shot a beautiful ten point…

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…

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…

Deer urine ban may not be a good idea

While this blogger is in favor of doing whatever it takes to slow or prevent the spread of CWD, banning the use of deer urine may be the least effective means. 

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…

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…

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…

How 'knot' to let the big one get away

Learning to tie effective knots is not hard to do and can make the difference between bringing home a bragging-size fish or just talking about it. 

Some early notes on turkey season

To say the first two weeks of turkey season were unusual would be preaching to the choir. Anyone who went out or who still goes out every morning can attest to the crazy weather that drove most of us 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…

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…

Hemlock trees under attack in New York, Pennsylvania

I have a special fondness for hemlock trees because to me they symbolize the very essence of the northwoods. Between New York and Pennsylvania, I bow hunt from at last six different treestands and they are all hung in hemlock…

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…

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,…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

About This Blog

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Mike Raykovicz has been a professional outdoor writer for nearly thirty years. In addition to being a regular contributor to New York Outdoor News since its inception, he is currently an archery columnist for Pennsylvania Game News, the official publication of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and has had many articles published in New York’s Conservationist magazine. In addition, Mike does equipment reviews and dealer profiles for ArrowTrade, a trade magazine of the archery industry. He is an avid spring turkey hunter and lives for the October bow season. He and his wife Mary Lou reside in Vestal (Broome County).

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