Stories by Mike Tontimonia

On the outdoors: Striped bass bounces back from brink of extinction

Thursday, May 26, 2011

When the water warms, the big stripers return to the Chesapeake Bay to spawn. A limited number of giants are taken there each spring. This one weighed in the mid-thirties. It’s a better comeback story than Rocky Balboa’s and while it’s not a hit at the box office, the return to glory for east coast […]

If it’s not the rain, it’s the mice

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Talking recently to an area trapper and avid collector of mouse traps, yes mouse traps, I came to think about famous mice I’ve been associated with. The first is not one mouse but a herd of the little fellows that might have been related, at least that’s my guess since they seemed bent on following […]

Program seeks hunters willing to donate venison to feed the hungry

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ohio hunters fed a lot of people in recent months by participating in the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program. From last winter’s deer harvest Ohio hunters donated more than 125,150 pounds of venison, tasty and nutritious meat that provided the main course at food banks for over a half million meals. What a […]

Love-struck turkeys throw caution to the wind

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring turkey season is nothing short of a hoot. A hoot that contains within it’s owl-like sound, a haunting, shadowy-like mix of gravel on one end and trumpet on the other, as well as the asking of a question. Indeed a fake owl hoot, one done in rhythm and done in the very first light […]

Memorable hunt taught me how to pack

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One of my fondest memories happened over 20 years ago when several friends banded together to hunt caribou on the wild, Alaska tundra. It was the first opportunity any of had to pack for a week-long, fly-in hunting trip, a drop camp in the wilderness, a test of outdoor skills, and the first time we […]

Eastern Sports, Outdoor Show is bliss

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Since childhood I’ve been fascinated by and addicted to sport shows, those late winter places where outfitters, vacation destinations, travel deals and every new gadget and piece of gear is displayed and explained. Places where impulse buyers get their kicks (Yes, I came home with a new duck call and may have wanted one more […]

You can’t just uncover the boat and head out onto the lake!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Smart anglers and other boat owners need to spend a Saturday afternoon getting boat, motor, and trailer ready for the first half of the fishing and boating season.

Collectors attracted to character and individuality of duck decoys

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The art of deception is a fitting way to describe the reason and realism of duck decoys. And so is the fact that decoys provide the perfect example of functional art. But more that that, the making, collecting and use of decoys are the glues that keep a large, international group of people coming back […]

The Cleveland sport and outdoor show is alive and well

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Now hear this. The Cleveland Sport, Travel, and Outdoor Show is alive and well. Currently living in Euclid, Ohio, the show is celebrating 74 years of entertaining those of us who would rather be out than in. And for those of us who are old enough, please turn back the clock and remember the trip […]

Big bullies: Coyotes are efficient hunters and clever killers

Thursday, February 10, 2011

For the most part, coyotes live an invisible life, but in recent years they are showing themselves as bold neighborhood bullies as they adapt to city life.

Asian Carp poses threat to future of Great Lakes

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The date is 2019. It’s mid-summer, mostly sunny, with a nice, cooling breeze and sky full of deep blue. What a fine day to head to the deep water. Lake Erie’s central basin is choppy and warm, a perfect day to troll for walleyes. The lines are set, the Cleveland skyline is partially hidden in […]

Junior Duck Stamp contest showcases talent and gives a shot at scholarship

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This one is for serious kids who have artistic talent, an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors and are looking for a way to show those talents off. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting entries for the 2011 Ohio Junior Duck Stamp contest, which is administered by Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Entries […]

Anglers may see better results in Pymatuning Lake

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Those anglers who have been whining about the lack of walleyes in Pymatuning Lake can tune up for some better songs. State wildlife officials including those from Ohio and Pennsylvania have jointly announced that there have now been three successful years of stocking since 2008. But the three successful stocking efforts didn’t just happen; they […]

Boating into new year with shows, options

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Boaters! Start you engines. Yeah, sure, with a foot of ice on every lake, temperatures cold enough to freeze a bad word in midair, and stored boats deep in hibernation mode, it’s hard to talk boating. But that’s exactly what happens this week as the Cleveland Boat Show opens for a ten-day run of boats, […]

Great Lakes offers great opportunities for anglers in 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It will be interesting to see what the Great Lakes offer fishermen during the coming months. If last summer serves as a predictor, there will be good news and bad news depending on where, when, and what. For instance, walleye fishing in Lake Erie, the most productive of all the Great Lakes, has been on […]

Hunting deer is necessary to keep herds healthy

Thursday, December 30, 2010

According to figures just released by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, hunters killed 21,064 deer during the two day bonus weekend gun season held Dec. 18- 19. So far this fall and early winter, 210,361 deer have been taken by archers and gun hunters, down slightly from last year’s 227,748 total for the same time […]

When deciding how to mount a deer, it’s wise to be picky

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Whether it’s a 12- or 14-point monster, probably the trophy of a lifetime or a spindly fork horn, perhaps the very first deer taken by a beginning hunter, it may deserve a spot on the wall. According to Portage County taxidermist Paul Fedorchak, the only thing that ought to earn any deer a trip to […]

A few basics result in great pictures

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Memories are forever. If however, a picture reminding one of that great memory exists, it’s even better. Thus, every hunter, angler, hiker and outdoor enthusiast ought to be armed and somewhat familiar with a decent digital camera. A camera small enough for a handy inside pocket and loaded with an unfilled memory card and fully […]

I still have a lot to be thankful for in life

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On this week and day of Thanksgiving, we all have so much to be thankful for. As our family sits down to a bountiful dinner, I am given to thoughts about the last several months. Our family has been blessed in so many ways, with each blessing overshadowing the setbacks, injuries, and problems. Shoulder surgery […]

Best advice for a Western elk hunt: Plan ahead

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yes you can. That’s the answer to the most asked question about western big game hunting. You can afford a western elk hunt in a quality area, in a comfortable camp, experience a horse and mule pack trip just like you’ve read about and dreamed about and honestly expect to see elk. Our choice for […]


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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.