Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

Deer keds a nuisance

My buddy Dave shot a deer this past bow season and was skinning it when I stopped by. Be careful about any ticks,” I told him. Dave had the hide just about off and told me there seemed to be…

Hunting essentials

The nice thing about this blogger's essentials is that they all fit into the pockets of his hunting coat so there’s no need to carry a backpack. 

Buckle up and come home

Firearms season is just around the corner here in New York and if you know someone who climbs without using a safety harness remind them of the consequences if the worst should happen.

It's not all about deer

It’s mid-October and make no mistake, my thoughts are all about archery season and deer hunting but, hunting something other than deer gets my attention as well. Ever since I can remember, late September and early October meant one thing…

Binocular-buying basics

Whether you are a deer or turkey hunter or simply enjoy watching birds or other wildlife in your backyard, nothing is more useful than a good pair of binoculars.

Fighting fall's biting bugs

September is here and that means many of us will be out and about in our favorite deer woods checking things out for the upcoming archery season. While I’m doing that, I annually search for honey mushrooms or popinkies as…

Organizations opposed to repeal of Pittman-Robertson

In case you haven’t heard, according to a report issued by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) has introduced legislation that would repeal the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on firearms and ammunition. The NSSF along with dozens of…

Chesapeake Bay insights

Most New Yorkers know about the Chesapeake Bay, but how many truly know about its importance to millions of people in these ways?

Eels in the Susquehanna

My first encounter with a live eel came when I was in high school. My friend’s father would often take us to the Laxawaxen River in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains to fish for trout. We fished downstream from Lake Wallenpaupack where…

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…

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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