Mike Raykovicz

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 State. So I had to look it up. The move by the Senate to name the hellbender (mud puppy) as the official state amphibian…

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 in large, shallow lakes or even farm ponds. Newcomers to bass fishing should look for bass near obvious cover such as lily pads,…

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 No orange is required for hunting spring turkeys because that requirement was rescinded back in the late ’90s.

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 in a first-aid kit, but I try to keep things simple by including what I feel might be required for…

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 cooler of food my mother packed in a shady spot under a large hemlock tree. If memory serves, the cooler was a green…

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 they sold tent “seconds” at really cheap prices. My friends and I never missed it. At one sale I bought a two-person backpacking…