Stories by Mike Tontimonia

Valentine’s gift: Teaching anglers to catch walleye

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hey Mr. Fisherman, if you think simply turning an electronic depth finder on is all there is to it, think again. That’s exactly what several anglers attending Lance Valentine’s Walleye 101 fishing seminar learned recently when Valentine brought his popular walleye fishing school to Ravenna Marine. And schooling walleye guys is what Valentine does. According […]

Sports show’s decision to pull guns sets a bad precedent

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What was to be the annual big event of the year for sport show fans may be at death’s door. Indeed, the Eastern Sport and Outdoor Show was scheduled to run this week in Harrisburg, Pa. as it has for years, but an ugly turn of events kept the sprawling Pa. state capital farm complex […]

Middle of winter means time for sports shows in Ohio, Pa.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dreary winter weather wearing you down? Tired of being tired. Itching to climb out of the recliner? Then gentlemen, start your engines because starting today, the show season starts. Starting today, Cleveland’s IX Center is full of shiny boats and big bucks as both the annual Mid-Eastern Sail and Power Boat Show and the Cleveland […]

Resolutions fall short, trying to set goals in 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Another year past and time to set some goals for the coming 12 months. Most people call them New Year Resolutions, words that for the most part are synonyms for worthless promises stated then forgotten about as quickly as yesterday’s lunch. So I call them goals, more professional and lasting words that if put in […]

Lake Erie’s thinning walleye population troubling

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The coming summer’s Lake Erie rod and reel fishing forecast may be even less enthusiastic than those of recent years. At least the numbers point in that direction. Ohio’s Division of Wildlife test nettings aren’t encouraging. Let’s start with walleyes, the number one draw for the big lake, which may still be considered the walleye […]

Undercover poacher was dedicated to his job, and the hunting sport

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Outdoor enthusiasts are the most law abiding group ever created. Hunters follow daily limits, time charts, and a host of regulations as if there were someone looking over their should every minute when in fact, there is practically no one checking. Fishermen and trappers are cast from the same mold, policing themselves as well as […]

Hitting a deer may be easier than hunting one

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ever wonder just how many deer-vehicle collisions occur every year? According to numbers crunched by State Farm Insurance and reports published by the Outdoor Hub New service, well over 1 million crashes occur each year nationally with over 50 percent of them in just 10 states. And yes, Ohio ranks right near the top, with […]

Buckeye State is top 10 destination for nation’s whitetail deer hunters

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ohio’s woodlots are full of deer hunters this week, as over 400,000 orange-clad Ohio residents and non-residents chase whitetail deer, easily the nation’s most popular game animal. Is this a big deal or what? You betcha, say economic bean counters who claim that each fall deer hunters drop over $800 million on gear, food, shelter, […]

Hunters take note, EHD affecting deer population

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Opening day for Ohio deer hunters is Monday, but for some, especially those used to seeing several deer by noon, it may be slim pickings. Yes, the deer herd in some areas of Ohio has been noticeably affected by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, a cruel and quick deer killer born by tiny midges, which most typically […]

Outdoorsman essentials make the best holiday gifts

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It’s gift buying time. Like, hate it, or anything in between, it is time for Santa to emerge and do the deed. I’ve assembled a few of my favorite pieces of gear, things that make outdoor pursuits more enjoyable, comfortable and successful. Binoculars are like good gloves. Hunting without binoculars is like bowling with a […]

Neither drop camps or guided hunts can promise results

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I get an armload of questions about long distance big game hunts, namely hunting trips for elk, antelope and bear. Most questions concern the choice between outfitted and guided hunts. Just a few weeks back, I was part of a four-man group that hunted elk in south western Colorado. We used an outfitter based on […]

Luck and hunting skills made elk hunt successful

Thursday, November 1, 2012

GUNNISON Colo. — Luck trumps skills every time and, yes, getting an eyeful of elk, a bull at that, and in reasonable shooting range, involves a basket full a good old- fashioned luck. A beauty There he was, a decent bull at about 200 yards, a slam dunk if ever there was one. I belly […]

More than just elk live in the Rocky Mountains

Thursday, October 25, 2012

GUNNISON, Colo. — A group of four friends are here to live a dream — to hunt Rocky Mountain elk, the most coveted of all lower 48 big game. But given that, there are more critters involved in this play than elk. Take the golden eagle that winged up from a nearby kill to create […]

Memories frozen in pictures

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Time flies, it really does. Pictures don’t. Pictures freeze time, age, and reality. Such is the case of the pencil image that I’ve used for decades. That one. Yes, that timeless image that leads this column, a snap shot turned classy by the hand of an artist, of a much younger me. I don’t know […]

Adventurers raise fund for cancer cure, tap new technology

Thursday, October 4, 2012

For those who seek excitement, a sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction an adventure provides, climbing mountains is right up there. Not just climbing of course, but summiting — the actual ascent to the very top, the highest point, the summit. The question of “why climb at all” is paramount to those who prefer armchair […]

Making weight: What items do you really need?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A pound of cotton socks weights the same as a pound of sharp knife. You need to pare down your duffle so what do you leave at home? It’s your choice. Do you value warm feet and do you see a need for a good skinning knife? Yes to both questions, so back to the […]

Shooting is not a chance event, practice is needed

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pre-season target practice is a basic requirement for hunters. To depend on last year’s shooting performance is to ask for problems. Indeed, what it was does not predicate what it will be. Shooting Here’s what is known about shooting. Erratic scores, inaccurate groups, missed targets, and other shooting fu-paws are typically not caused by the […]

I can’t deny it — the Internet has everything

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My sister says everything is on the Internet. It hurts to admit this, but she’s right. I hope she doesn’t read this. According to Mark Drury, a call maker, archery pro staffer and hunting show producer, time spent on the Internet prior to hunting season can be time well spent. That Drury proclamation was one […]

Don’t forget the camera when you head outdoors

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Good pictures don’t just happen. And, too, the best camera can’t take a good picture on its own. Good pictures are born in the eye of the photographer and all the rest is basic, easily learned technique. Let’s talk about cameras first. The best camera for any person without exception is the one that the […]

Mules have many good attributes, but don’t leave them behind

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Western packers (wranglers and cowboys who move gear on the backs of sturdy animals) love a good mule and it’s easy to see why. A creation of planned outcross breeding, a mule is the result of crossing a mare and a donkey; and a mule, typically anyways, is a fine beast of burden indeed. Mules […]

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About Mike

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.