Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

Boating safety

When my son and his friend Dan were young boys, my friend and I took them canoeing on the Delaware River. The boys knew how to swim and we all wore a personal floatation device. In the unlikely event that…

Dying apple trees

Considering what’s happening to the ash, dogwood, beech, oak, and hemlock trees in our forests it appears it won’t be long before the wild apple trees disappear as well.

Four calls that do it all

Because they are so small and compact and imitate most turkey vocalizations, the writer always carries one in his shirt pocket for use both in the fall and spring.

Getting the lead out

The use of lead ammunition for hunting has become an environmental issue due to its toxic effects on wildlife and children. Game organs, which are discarded when field-dressing an animal, often contain fragments of lead bullets. These organs, which are…

Fishing for a new rod

It’s important to know what kind of rod best suits the fish you are targeting and your fishing style.

Hunting in the off-season

Much can be learned about the game you hunt and their habits and this can make you a more efficient and possibly successful hunter next year.

Wintertime walks

I love walking in the woods just about any time of year but, late winter is an especially fun time for me. Usually, there is snow on the ground and, from the tracks I see, it’s easy to determine what…

Feeding wildlife in the winter – it's not the answer

In the long term, it is sound wildlife management practices and deer densities closer to their compatibility with overwinter carrying capacities that will limit wildlife losses due to severe weather conditions.  

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…

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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