It's certainly interesting how "reasonably" intelligent people can participate in the same conversation, man to man, and come away with a polar opposite message. What's disheartening to me is the total lack of respect. I'm usually a pretty good judge of character but I was wide left on that one.
Lack of respect? Surely you are kidding! I've said on a dozen occasions, on this site, that Mike Tonkovich is personable, bright, articulate, and a very likable man. If you are talking about me respecting Mike Tonkovich, I think I have given him respect where he has earned it in my eyes - as an individual. Do you honestly think he has done his job in a respectable way...from my perspective? Surely NOT! I told you, and him, we had more deer in 1995 than we do today. Both of you stated, "No way". That tone suddenly changed when I pointed out that we killed 2x as many deer in 1995, with far less liberal regulations and less opportunity. I mentioned to him that I did not think he was giving predation enough consideration when factoring recruitment into his population model. His initial response; "They are a non-issue because there is little we can do about them anyway"...Fair enough, but don't you think it makes a huge difference in recruitment; "It could, but we really don't know". Then, he returns from a conference in Florida and asks you to pass along to me that he may start looking into the impact coyotes have on Ohio's deer herd. He arrived at the conclusion that it did in fact need looking into because many of the other researchers at the conference had already done the legwork and found that coyotes are now killing a HUGE percentage of fawns. How about when Mike T finally decided to reduce Fayette Co from a 4 deer-kill county to 2. I remember that well, and I'm sure you do also. You sent me a text shortly after gun season because Mike T asked you to again pass along to me that he would be reducing Fayette's bag limit the following year. His reason; he had squeaky wheels in the area, and there was the little issue of Fayette Co's preliminary numbers showing 83 deer killed during gun season...a little low for a 4 deer county. In fact, your exact statement concerning those numbers was, "Jeez, there are more deer than that killed off the ridge behind my house". So NO, from my perspective, Mike T has not done a stellar job managing the deer herd in my neighborhood, and I know his job is to manage the herd across the State.... I can only speak about what I can see, and what I've seen here has not been impressive. Thank God, he HAS pulled the reigns a little by cutting our county back to 2 deer, but we have the exact same amount of opportunity as every other county in the state...and you know opportunity is what kills deer!
I respect Mike Tonkovich greatly for taking the time to come enjoy the campfire chats with a group of he "greatest cyber critics" as you labeled our group. I think the first time around, our group handled the discussion well, not disrespectful in any way. You took the time to post on this site how these "cyber critics" were less rowdy than a group of old ladies at a Mary Kay party, or something silly like that. You confused courtesy for weakness or lack of backbone to state the simple facts. Though he was welcomed and treated well at the second "campfire chat", I am certain he understood our point of views, backed with facts as provided by the DOW's own numbers. And lets not forget the greatest MT quote of all time, "But Joe, most hunters are too stupid to realize"....uh, wait....
Regarding you, I have respect. I've enjoyed most of our time together. I believe you to be a good father, husband, business man, and hunter obviously. I also think you are so full of your own crap you have difficulty breathing. I don't know why it is you choose to make snide comments about my selling pizzas, wings, Stromboli, calzones, subs and salads (which are available Mon-Sat, call 981-9700) for a living when you sell chemicals to men to treat their wood... How does that make you anymore of an authority or make you more capable of analyzing deer than a common pizza flipper? Answer; it doesn't. It simply gives the appearance that you're an ass. I've spent enough time around you to know you are not a full-time ass. Quit trying to prove me wrong on that issue.
You once told me you'd like to not discuss all this deer management business with me anymore. I told you to quit bringing me into these discussions via comments about the pizza man, or mentioning me by name regarding my thoughts on the DOW's handling of our deer herd. You haven't quit, but if you would, I would have NOTHING to say on the matter. I no longer feel the need to crusade the cause, plenty of others have picked up the torch, so leave me out of it if you do not want to read my response!
And to keep things on track with this thread, I don't think we have to worry about Ohio outlawing baiting any time soon, and could care less either way.