Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

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 No orange is required for hunting spring turkeys because that requirement was rescinded back in the late '90s.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.

A small first-aid kit 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 ad infinitum about what should be included…

While watching Pennsylvania, New York maintains CWD vigilance

There is a lot at stake here because in states where CWD has been present for many years, deer and elk populations declined. Deer hunting here in New York represents a $1.5 billion economic value to rural communities and small businesses throughout the state.

Today’s coolers are marvels of modern technology

Some of my fondest memories as a kid are of the summer weekend picnics our family took to a favorite picnic grove along the Big Bear Creek in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. After arrival, my father set up a folding picnic table then placed the…

Tent camping tips based on experience: Go bigger or stay home

Rummaging through a storage closet a few days ago I came upon the backpacking tent I frequently used on our overnight canoe trips down the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. Back in the day, the Eureka tent company held an annual tent sale where…

Feets of strength: Take care of your hunting boots

Turkey season is over, and hunters will put away their calls, clean their guns and hang up their camo clothing. But there’s one more thing to do before calling it a season. Unfortunately, it’s a chore many hunters forget about.…

Field of nightmares: Dealing with tough gobblers

Ask any turkey hunter what’s the toughest turkey to hunt and you’ll most likely get a variety of answers. Nobody’s asked, but I’ll volunteer my opinion anyway. For me it’s the strutting tom in a field. Turkeys are likely to be…

Early-season trout can be hit-and-miss

New York’s trout season opens April 1. This may pose a problem because April 1 is also Easter Sunday. Nevertheless, there are bound to be those diehards who will find a way to get out on the water. Early-season anglers are…

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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