Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

Much-needed rifle repairs

I can’t understand how anyone could put a fine rifle away without cleaning it or at least giving it a spray with an anti-rust product. Yet, I know guys who, after getting a deer or finishing the season just hang their rifle on a rack until it's needed once again. I’m not one of them. 

Keeping up

Art Buchwald was an American humorist best known for his column that appeared in the Washington Post. Buchwald’s column was published nationwide in over 500 newspapers. I read him regularly and one of his column headings was, “Things a Columnist…

Christmas gift ideas

Almost every year someone asks me for a gift idea for the sportsman on their list. With all the gear and gadgets available today you’d think it would be easy to make a recommendation but frankly, whenever asked, I have…

Small first-aid kits can save the day

Over the years I’ve discovered that an essential piece of outdoor equipment and one that many hunters and even fishermen fail to consider is a small, compact first-aid kit. It could be argued about what should be included in a…

Trailing techniques

Last season, I was sitting on a Pennsylvania hillside overlooking an overgrown cow pasture when I heard a shot from above me. I turned just in time to see what appeared to be a 4-pointer running down the hill to…

Weather matters

Others may disagree but, when temperatures drop, I’ll be in my stand with the confidence I’ll be seeing deer, especially bucks. 

Oak awareness

As a bowhunter, I’m always on the lookout for food sources that are likely to be utilized by deer during the open season. There are a few producing apple trees on the farms I hunt, but for some reason, the…

It's in the bag

I first got interested in archery when I was in high school more than 60 years ago and, out of necessity, I made my own targets. I began by putting cardboard boxes inside each other, and later by stuffing rags…

Adelgid nightmare

A while back we reported on another threat to New York’s forests. Today, it’s no longer a threat, the menace is here.  Last spring while turkey hunting here in the Southern Tier I noticed just about all the hemlock trees…

Walleye adventure

When former New York Outdoor News Editor Steve Piatt called and asked if I wanted to join him on a fishing trip to Lake Erie, I jumped at the chance. I’ve heard about how remarkable the fishing was for both…

Camping tips for beginners

If any good ever came out of this Covid thing is that people are getting out more and that includes going camping. According to a report published by Kampgrounds of America (KOA) the total number of camping households has increased…

Bass fishing lessons

Small ponds often hold bass as well and some really big bass can be found in these smaller ponds that are often overlooked by many fishermen. Give one try. You might be surprised as to what lives there.

Fishing is fishing

I once heard an old fisherman say, “catching fish is easy once someone shows you how.” I agree. I’ve fished for bass, walleye, pike, and trout for most of my life, but I’ll readily admit what I don’t know about…

The morel of the story

Here it is the mid-June and I’ve been beaten again. Not by the turkeys I chased throughout May, but by a woodland denizen far more elusive. In over fifty years roaming the spring woods and searching everywhere I’ve encountered the…

It's your call

It was a pretty quiet morning in the turkey woods and, after hours of hearing nothing I decided to take a break and just enjoy the spring woods. Sitting on a hillside with my back to a large red oak…

All hen'd-up

Turkey season is now more than a week old and it’s likely many if not most hunters will encounter toms with hens especially in the early part of the season. The term “hen’d up” will often be heard among hunters…

Brook trout – a fisherman's favorite

New York’s trout season opened a few weeks ago and there is little doubt many area anglers were out enjoying the opportunity to fish for what arguably might be called New York’s most popular game fish. Trout are beautiful and…

Fracking along the Delaware River

Anyone who has ever fished or canoed the Delaware River can easily understand that it is a priceless recreational resource that is as pure and clean as any river in the United States. It is a renowned trout fishery in…

Too good to be true

As popular as online shopping is, it’s not without its perils, especially when buying archery equipment and supplies.

Woodland apartment

For no good reason I was recently thinking about this past deer season and the things you notice when you sit for hours in a deer stand. While on watch, my eyes constantly search for a tell-tale flicker of a…

Reloading revisited

Few things give me greater satisfaction than taking a deer with ammunition I crafted at my reloading bench. As satisfying as that is, it’s just part of it. I can cite numerous additional benefits and pleasures of loading or reloading…

A tangled web 

Things seem a little slow around our house nowadays. Other than an occasional trip to the grocery store and a daily walk, my wife and I haven’t been anywhere and have no plans to go anywhere, at least until we…

Is there a future for lead ammunition?

One has to wonder if there might be a better, perhaps safer way to kill game such as deer without running the risk of accidently ingesting any lead fragments. Fortunately, for those with this concern, there is.

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…

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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