Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

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…

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…

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…

Decoys are effective on gobblers, but let’s use them safely

When using a decoy setup in an area where another hunter might be encountered, it’s beyond wise to play it safe. If you see another hunter stalking your decoy setup, call out in a loud, clear voice to warn them, and never wave or make a turkey sound to get their attention.

Tips on selecting a turkey hunting vest

Next to your gun and your turkey calls, a good turkey vest is perhaps the most useful item a turkey hunter can own. A little knowledge of what to look for will help you choose the right vest.

Orange regs may change – in Pennsylvania

Game Commission is currently considering abolishing the blaze orange requirement for archers, but fall turkey hunters would still be required to wear an orange hat while moving. The regulations concerning deer and bear hunting during the firearms season would remain the same. No orange is required for hunting spring turkeys because that requirement was rescinded back in the late '90s.

Binocular-buying 101: raise a glass

Sure, you can hunt without a good set of binoculars, but without top-quality optics, the writer believes you will never be as efficient or successful as someone who constantly glasses their surroundings.

Following a blood trail: mark it along the way

By marking a sparse blood trail, the hunter can use the information to determine the animal’s line of flight and, if need be, come back the next morning to easily pick up where he or she left off.

About This Blog


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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