Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

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…

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…

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…

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…

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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