Yes, we all need new guns and lures

hunting rifle

The most popular of all Ohio hunting seasons, the annual week-long, gun season for deer, has come and gone, leaving many of us empty freezer folks with just the two-day “bonus” season on Dec. 15-16, to enjoy, as well as a four-day muzzle loading statewide hunt Jan. 5-8, 2019, to harvest a share of venison roasts, chops, and burger.

Bad weather challenged opening day deer hunters, most of who tested their rain gear for much of the day and suffered from heavy winds all day. The results were less than spectacular with just 13,614 deer checked.

Compared to last year’s opening day tally of 22,366, one might say that last week’s much-anticipated opener was a wash-out.

Rain and wind always anchor deer since they depend on their hearing and scenting ability to stay safe. Thus deer movement was extremely limited.

I find it interesting that Ohio deer hunters have shown a rapidly growing interest in hunting with rifles of certain calibers that have only recently been added to the allowed list of firearms. Recently, meaning just since the 2014 hunting season.

Last year, 10 percent of deer killed during the gun season were taken by rifle. Keep mind that the permitted rifles are not the high-powered, long-range rifles allowed in less-populated states and regions, but are limited to straight wall cartridge calibers, many of which are simply handgun calibers.

In my opinion, the move to a rifle instead of the traditional shotgun/inline muzzleloaders we’ve used for decades is simply an excuse to purchase another gun. That may sound limp, but that’s the way it is.

And yes, I am now holding a brand new, really cool single shot .44 mag. and I am quite sure that it will not improve my ability to kill a deer one iota.

My old Ithaca, purchased in 1961 for a well-earned $96, is still as good at taking deer as it ever was, but this new Henry carbine called my name and I responded.

It’s shiny and new. I liken it to fishing lures. I have a lot of them, certainly many more than I need. But every year there are new colors, new shapes, and even new wiggles. New lures now look more like real fish than real fish do.

A knowledgeable manufacture once told me that, in all reality, if you could purchase only lures that were white in color with a red nose or a dot, that they would be all any angler would need.

So maybe fish aren’t impressed with the new colors, shapes and wiggles, but fishermen are — and that’s who buys them. So there.

Vendors wanted

Amanda Suffecool, director of the REALIZE firearms awareness coalition, is accepting applications from vendors who would like to participate in the organization’s annual spring Preppers Ball March 9.

Just a few years old, this event continues to attract a wide variety of people who share an interest in self-dependency and learning basic to advanced skills of survival. Contact Suffecool at 330-993-7080 or

Trap shooting

Interested in trying your skills at trap shooting? Try the Copley Trap Range at 1665 Jacoby Road on Saturdays from 9-3 p.m. The open event features NRA certified instructors, rental shotguns, and proper ammunition. Go to

The Edinburg Sportsmen’s Club holds open trap shoots every Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., at 7261 Tallmadge Road, just east of Edinburg. These weekly shoots are just practice events and ideal for beginners or experienced shooters. Shooters will need their own shotgun and ammo.

Go to

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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.



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