Stories by Mike Tontimonia

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.

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 […]

Number of hunters increasing in USA slowly

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the distant past, hunters could be blamed for discouraging new hunters or at least failing to encourage participation, reasoning that more people in the field meant more competition and less personal opportunity. The same can be said for tradesmen who did little for years to encourage newcomers to the trades, fearing that more workers […]

Ohio fish and the records set in summer 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ohio anglers have plenty of opportunities to become record holders if catching the largest specimen of one of the 47 types of fish recorded by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, an organization of outdoor communicators in charge of the record book, is their mission. All it takes is fishing skill, determination, focus, an investment of […]

Shooting simulator shows difficulty in training

Thursday, August 2, 2012

PORT CLINTON, Ohio — In a soldier’s trained hands an automatic weapon looks right. It is powerful, fast, and reliable. But in my hands, those assemblies of mostly thumbs, the AR felt every bit as heavy as a lead pipe and as foreign as a lion in a petting zoo. Levers here, switches there, adjustable […]

Shooters compete for marksmanship honors

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Port Clinton Camp Perry is alive and well. It’s media day and opening day for this summer’s annual National Matches, the Super Bowl of rifle and pistol shooting. And it’s a good media day because it isn’t just about seeing what others are doing. A bunch of us are hunched over our rifles and going […]

Ashtabula is gaining a good fishing reputation

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A spelling bee contestant would probably spell Ashtabula with a capital A, but it might make more sense to start the name of Lake Erie’s top summer walleye fishing spot with a capital H, maybe even three capital H’s as in Hot, Hot, Hot. Ahead of schedule Indeed, walleye fishing success in the deep central […]

Start your own family tradition in Canada

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ABOVE: Columnist Mike Tontimonia’s grandson Ian Frame won fishing honors at the family’s annual “guys” trip, with a huge 12-pound walleye that he landed on our last evening on Lake Temagami. TEMAGAMI, Ontario — Although a chubby bird and all the fixings have been our traditional Father’s Day meal, a menu change seemed appropriate this […]

Nature truly provides the best fodder for stories

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The stiff stems of the mowed hay field were as brittle as the business end of a straw broom and each step produced an easily heard crunch. I was doing a clumsy crouch toward the crest of the slope and trying my best to stay as hidden as possible behind a well packed and neatly […]

Take advantage of outdoor activities

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Olcott, New York, a prime Lake Ontario fishing port just east of Niagara Falls, has been named America’s Ultimate Fishing Town, an honor bestowed by a record number of votes tallied by the World Fishing Network organization. Winner In what has become an annual competition, Olcott and 504 other fishing oriented U.S. towns were nominated […]

Personality matters when pairing hunters, dogs

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Good hunting dogs are born to be good but can often be side tracked, or kept from being a truly good performer, by the wrong owner. That is, a hunting dog and its owner have to play well together if they are to reach their potential. Step one is to understand that the process of […]

Bad gas causes problems for boaters

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jarrod Craft, lead mechanic at Ravenna Marine, has a big cardboard box full of bad news. Bad news to boaters that is. The stuff Craft collects represents lots of ruined boating days. Wreckage His bad news box is packed with costly pieces and parts, things like plugged fuel filters, degraded fuel pump parts, carburetor floats […]

New York offers fish power that some areas don’t

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Great Lakes salmon are like no other fresh water game fish. They’ve got what sport fishermen like; muscle and lots of it. Hook a mid-size king salmon and enjoy the fight. Hook a big one and tie yourself to something solid because a mature king salmon is nothing short of one big bully with the […]

Oszust is not just a name, but a breeding reputation in beagles

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If you thought the Queen of England, Prince Charles, and young William share a protective pride of their royal surname, you ought to meet Mike Oszust, a Carrollton, Ohio, keeper of perhaps the most reverent name in beagling. Top pedigrees Here’s a man who has made it his life mission to keep the historic blood […]

A day of fishing on Lake Ontario

Thursday, May 10, 2012

WILSON HARBOR, N.Y. — The last day of April and it feels like the first day of winter. A northeast wind blowing straight from some imaginary ice field in Siberia sends chills through any amount of layers but fingers don’t feel cold at all. On a mission In fact, fingers don’t feel anything. Best advice? […]

Turkey season proving to be popular

Thursday, May 3, 2012

If the name Al Kisamore rings a bell, it ought to. Often called big Al, we are referring to a very active grandfather who sets traps, shoots deer, chases bears, and does the same to Quebec moose. And he’s good at all of it. I’ve mentioned the times and travels of Kisamore many times, enough […]

What do you learn when you follow a coyote

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interesting things we can learn from The Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s coyote population.

The spring gobbler season is as addictive as texting

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring gobbler season is as addictive as texting. A dedicated turkey hunter just can’t enough, can’t suffer enough, can’t break the habit.

A closer look at the 2011 deer season harvest

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Although hunters are often asked if they were successful, the majority of Ohio’s deer hunters find success in just being there whether they manage to bag a deer or not. Regardless, hunting success will always be rated by a number. So let’s look at the numbers for deer hunters who hunted at any time during […]

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