Straight Shooting by Mike Raykovicz

CWD remains ticking time bomb

The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania was confirmed a few weeks ago in a three-year-old doe raised on a game farm in New Oxford, Adams County. The disease may have links to another game farm near…

Wild entertainment from the treestand

Although rifle season has opened here in the Southern Tier, friends often ask me if I get bored waiting in a treestand during archery season. I always reply with an emphatic “no.” Admittedly, while standing in a tree doesn’t give…

When things go wrong

One of the things I remember vividly when I was growing up is my mother admonishing me to “Never count your chickens before they’re hatched.” We’ve all heard it said but when it comes to deer hunting nothing could prove…

Home, sweet home

We returned to the states earlier this month after two weeks in Europe visiting a friend. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity; one I just couldn’t turn down despite my having to miss the opening week of bow…

Overseas for the Oct. 1 opener

Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve scouted my hunting area, hung my stands, brushed them in and set my trail cameras. All is in readiness for my return to the states. By the time this is published I’ll be in Rome…

Early openers tighten schedule

I can’t believe September is almost gone. Usually the first week or two of this first month of fall I relax a little and do a little scouting for the upcoming deer season. This year, however, I feel a little…

Black Lake bowfin

Years ago when my fishing buddy and neighbor had a cottage on Black Lake we would often go there in early September. We both were working so we could only go for the weekend. Largemouth bass were our targeted species…

Crayfish catching days remembered

When my son Lee, now 40, was nine years old he and a friend would often go to down to the Choconut Creek on hot summer afternoons to catch crayfish. The water was ankle deep and the two boys would…

Crabbing on the Jersey shore

We're fortunate to have close friends who live near the New Jersey coast in Avalon and every summer we head south for a few days of relaxation and fun. Yes, we go to the beach and yes, we go to…

What's your line?

The opening scene from Meredith Wilson’s musical "The Music Man" begins with a group of traveling salesmen asking about Harold Hill’s line of work. “What’s his line, what’s his line?” the first group asks. “Doesn’t worry about his line, doesn’t…

Don't blame the skunks

I was mowing my yard a few weeks ago and noticed a large patch of dug up turf. Grass roots were scattered everywhere. My first inclination was to get the varmint having the nerve to come into my yard and…

Old motor, new problem

I have two old, and I mean really old, outboard motors stored in my basement and my wife is always after me to get rid of them. “You haven’t used them in 25 years,” she reminds me. The other day…

Invaders in the woods

A Burmese python found in Florida's Everglades last summer regurgitated a whole guinea hen and 10 intact eggs. These snakes and others like them are creating havoc in the Everglades ecosystem because of their penchant for devouring deer, raccoons and…

A weighty issue: The turkey vest

For a dyed-in-the-wool turkey hunter there’s nothing worse than a rainy day in May, or is there? When I’m turkey hunting, it seems no matter what I do to stay dry, I somehow manage to come home wet. Besides, leaving…

All-day turkey hunting

For years I’ve always said I’m glad we can only hunt spring turkeys until noon because if we could do it all day it might just kill me. Don’t get me wrong, I love hunting turkeys in the spring and…

The waiting game

If there's one thing that sends a chill down the spine of a turkey hunter it’s the sound of a gobbler at first light. With turkey season fast approaching I decided to visit several of my favorite spring turkey hunting…

Way ahead of the game

I took a ride last week to get some fresh eggs from the farmer whose land I hunt and found him in the milkhouse finishing up milking chores. “How do you like the weather?" he asked “Couldn’t be better,” I…

Syrup season comes to an abrupt end

Another season has come to a close here in New York but few are likely to know it. The mild winter weather has been heralded by most of us as a godsend and wildlife certainly has fared better without having…

No contest

I don’t quite understand why we’ve become so competitive. Competition in sports is good, of course, and I enjoy a good baseball or football game as well as the next guy. But today it seems there’s a competition for just…

Monitoring menhaden

Quick now, raise your hand if you know the answer. What is a menhaden and why was state legislation needed to protect it (them)? Just as I thought. I don't see many raised hands out there so I shall continue.…

Is it Spring yet?

Taking advantage of the nice late January-early February weather we've been having here in the Southern Tier, my wife and I went for a walk. The temperature was in the 50s and the warm weather was predicted to hang around…

Home, sweet home

The more I travel, the more I love where I live. Consider for a moment that in order to obtain a general and bowhunting license in New York state a person must take a hunter safety course. These courses are…

Reading the mail

There's talk of the U.S. Postal Service cutting back to a five-day weekly delivery because it's losing money. No wonder. Who writes letters anymore? Heck, I don't even pay my bills by mail anymore, either. Seems like all I get…

School daze: Deer cull halted

The bunny huggers are at it again. It seems Binghamton University, located not in Binghamton but here in Vestal (Broome County), has a deer problem. The deer apparently have found the university's nature preserve much to their liking and, as…

Outdoor gear better than ever

One of the perks of my job is that I get to see a lot of neat outdoor equipment before it appears on the market. I was in the resort town of Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., earlier this month and had…

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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