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I saw this on another forum and got a real kick out of it...........


I recently read an article by Dan Bertalan, who was one of the scorers that measured the Rompola rack. He is also the Marketing Director and PR man for the scent company that was associated with Rompola. Now take this for what it's worth but I found it very interesting. The article is in a magazine that is about 10 or 11 years old. It wasn't a main article but one of the shorter 1-2 page variety. Here's what was amazing. The article was about how Dan Bertalan and a friend fabricated a rack and attached it to a full body mount. Now the mount itself looked identical to what a deer would look like if it was freshly field dressed. They then proceeded to strap the deer to the top of the SUV and drove around the gather peoples impressions. Dan bertalan described the rack as being an eye catcher, very wide with long tines. There's a very small picture included with the article showing the deer from the back while it is strapped to the roof. It looks a lot like the deer Rompola claimed to have shot. I think the article was done as a joke and to see people's reactions to it. But what bothers me is this rack looks identical to the deer Rompola apparently took even though this article was written in the early 90's. Now doesn't something seem odd here? There is no doubt in most people's minds that this rack was faked. I can't believe there are still fools out there that are buying into this crap. Probably the reason dan Berataln is rehashing this B.S. in D&DH is it's getting close to archery season and its time to start promoting the products he is associated with. You may be interested to learn that it wasn't so much Mitch that was behind this hoax but rather the scent company that was promoting his "buck" as the next world record and taken using thier product. It's now widely believed that the Rompola buck was just an elaborate marketing scheme to launch "Buck Fever Synthetics"... Here's the story that has been circulating out there.

Once upon a time there was a deer hunter by the name of Mitch Rompola. Now Mitch was a very good hunter and was unemployed during most of the year so he had plenty of time to scurry through the woods looking for deer and deer sign. That was part of his success.

But being a good hunter wasn't enough for Mitch. Mitch had always had dreams about striking it rich someday and ripping off the local food bank wasn't going to cut the mustard so a plan was hatched. Mitch realized that people made a good living by displaying large racked whitetails, especially state and world records. Perhaps this was one way that Mitch to help his cash flow situation.

So Mitch set out to fulfill his dreams of being known as one of the greatest hunters of all time and spent countless hours in the field scouting and doing all the right things in order to find record bucks. Of course it didn't take long for Mitch to realize that not every tree has a record buck behind it and after several years of hunting had not managed to reach his goal.

Mitch just knew there had to be a way to make this work, but actually finding these huge bucks was getting to be too much like work, and Mitch was a professionally unemployed person and proud of it. So Mitch sat down one night and thought and though and thought. Finally it came to him. Why bother shooting a legitimate buck? Perhaps there is a way to fabricate a rack and make it appear real.

So Mitch began making long arduous journeys to the local library, where he diligently looked up information on how to make a rack that would look just like a real one. Of course Mitch also realized that he would have to establish his credentials so he fabricated several sets of record class racks and then pretended to "harvest" them over several years. Once his reputation was established as a consistent taker of big bucks Mitch's next phase of the plan kicked in. It was time to bring out the rack he had fabricated that would break the existing state record.

Of course when he did, because of his past accomplishments and reputation, no one questioned the authenticity of this buck nor was the buck ever verified as being legitimate. But Mitch's past "achievements" gave no reason for those entering it to doubt it's authenticity. Of course something was not right but Mitch was no mathematician. Mitch's limited intellect didn't realize that the odds of shooting all these deer made taking them as he said virtually impossible. But this fact would not come to light until the final master stroke of Mitch's plan was implemented.

After Mitch "took" the state record he was sorely disappointed to find that not only was fame elusive but the cash windfall he was expecting also did not materialize. He was no better off than before he began all of this scheming. Think Mitch, think. There must be a way. After all the guy who shot the world record is making a fortune. And then like a bolt of lightening it came to him. What if I were the one that had shot the world record. Then all of the fame and fortune that area associated with it will be all mine.

But Mitch ran into a stumbling block. He needed to bring someone else on board in order to not only promote this next record but someone that could offer him as lucrative side deal for endorsing their product with his buck. Enter Kevin Kreh and Dan Bertalan. Now Kevin was also just getting started with this scent company he owned and Dan was the company's marketing director. They believed their stuff worked but there were so many other scents out there, how could they get the word out to the hunting public that theirs was best?

As luck would have it Mitch and Kevin knew each other quite well and a plan was hatched. So prior to the buck being "taken" Mitch and Kevin along with Dan entered into a contract. Mitch trusted Kevin so he told him what had been going on and how they could cash in on it. So the plan was put into effect. Kevin and Dan realized that any buck his friend was going to take that year was not authentic but he also knew that by having his product associated with a world record would bring his company fame and fortune. Not only that Dan had many years ago written an article about how easuily people could be fooled by fabricating a rack and putting it on a full body mount. So what if a few hunters got duped in the process. What was important to both of them was the state of their bank account.

So the next year Mitch took what he claimed to be "the next world record typical" and Kevin and his scent company began to promote the buck along with their scent. It brought instant nation wide recognition to both mitch and Kevin's scent company. What neither realized was the scrutiny that the buck would be put under. After all none of Mitch's other bucks were ever challenged, why should this one? But in the back's of their minds they knew this might occur but they were prepared for it. After all it is only getting your name out there that counts. Isn't bad publicity better than none at all.

But as things began to heat up over the controversy both men began to realize serious flaws in their plan. First and foremost, it looked like the rack was about to be subpoenaed by the legitimate owner of the world record rack for examination. "Oh no, this can't happen. It will ruin everything we've "worked" so hard for the past few years" said Mitch. Kevin was in total agreement. An examination of the rack would not only prove it was fake but would also cause his scent company to fall into disrepute. What were they to do? The answer was obvious. Let the rack disappear into obscurity for ever (in other words make it vanish so nobody can examine it) and continue to promote it by word of mouth. After all they knew there would be millions of people there that would continue to buy the stuff. They got the national exposure to launch the scent and they knew people would continue to buy it regardless. So long as there wasn't any concrete way to disprove their claim they could continue on.

So the rack vanished, never to be seen again. But Mitch and Kevin didn't care. Their plan had worked. They had duped the hunting world into thinking Mitch had taken the world's record and were beginning to make money off of the product that was associated with it. There was no solid way to disprove their claim so anytime anyone questioned them, they would just say "jealousy" and a bunch of other things. To this day Mitch and Kevin are having a good laugh over how they pulled the wool over everyone's eyes. And they're laughing all the way to the bank"..........ANY RESEMBLACE TO ACTUAL PEOPLE IS PURELY INTENTIONAL

So if you want to believe Romopla and his croonies are the real deal, go ahead. It's your perogative. Myself, I prefer reality.
 

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Let's just call it plausible with a capital P!

To this day, it just slays me when folks throw out the "jealosy" card whenever someone questions the veracity of Mitch's amazing tale.

dfd, where did you find this gem?
 
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Go to the Whitetail Hall of Fame down off of I-94 near Jackson I think and talk to Craig Calderone about ole Mitch. Him and that guy just don't get along at all. Craig seems like a nice guy, and he told me ALOT about Mitch. I too think Mitch and his morphidite(sp?) buck are a fake................Just my lil ole 2 pennies. Matt
 

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NO, NO, NO!!! Run away, run away :eek: Not another Rompola thread!!

All Mitch has to do is enter the buck and prove it is legitimate. Oh, I forgot, he signed an agreement not to enter it. HMMMMM???

Dan
 

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Howdy-

jk hillsdale, do a search here on Rompola and you'll see the story as it unfolded....

Surprised to see this surface again after sooo long and sooo many confrontational posts. Seems this story will never die....

I had been a supporter of Kevin and Mitch, but as time goes on and more info comes to light.......:confused: :( :rolleyes:
 

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what i don't like about this whole thing is there was noone that we really heard from that didn't have something to gain or lose. mitch and dan pushed for legitimizing the deer while criag calderone had financial reasons for it not to be true.( he already has paid for and owns the current state record.)
that was the two sides of the story that we were told.

my thing is

there are many very good outdoor writers out there, too bad none of these guys were called in to do the story.
 

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Both Gwizdz and Sharp covered it, locally, statewide, and nationally, till the frenzy really got going, then I think it was probably a universal concensus to just let it die...and when it finally did die down a couple of years later, it was considered old news, and today the Rompola story is the stuff that legends or old wives' tales (however you view it) are made of...Richard P. Smith also got involved on a big basis, as I recall. To this day, he still believes in Mitch. Talked to him about it a year or so ago.

That was pre MON days, and since the Traverse City Record Eagle mainstream press covered it door to door and wall to wall, (they never even asked their outdoor writers to do anything-when it comes to mainstream newspapers, they don't even think about using their outdoor writers for BIG news outdoor stuff unless their outdoor writer gets the "scoop" first, the Freep is the only one that does that I can think of) I never got involved as a writer. I never really wanted to...because it would have been hard to keep my personal feelings out of the issue. Remember, I live up here, have met Mitch, heard a great deal about him over the years, and know a lot of people who know Mitch. I've heard some pretty vocal opinions over the years...

Continuing to cover it, except maybe in a column format, would just perpetuate the controversy, and I think there's a whole lot of outdoor writers that would just prefer to let it die. I know I would. I never felt that this issue did a darn thing to improve the image of Michigan hunters. It just perpetuated the "trophy" thing.

I put the whole thing into a perspective similar to my belief about the cougar thing-it makes great message board fodder for those of us stuck in our offices who would much rather be out enjoying a beautiful summer day...;)
 

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Richard P. Smith included buck(s) shot by Mitch before "the big one", in his Michigan Whitetail Stories books. Just from the bucks he shot previously, I'd consider him a better than average (or lucky) hunter.
 

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hey linda,
my dad claims to have seen a cougar a couple of weeks ago. it crossed the road infront of him around 8am on a little gravel road by his house.
 

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Prty Mollusk,

Sorry for the confusion on my previous post. I was attempting to be "tongue in cheek" when I said that this is the first time I've heard of the Rompola buck. We were living in Wisconsin at the time that the story broke and the legitimacy of the deer was very hotly debated there as well.

Anyway, based upon everything that I've read ( I don't know Mitch Rompola or anyone who does know him so I can't develop an opinion based on that) I guess I would be characterized as a strong skeptic. I am interested in what the author of the upcoming month's article in Deer & Deer Hunting will have to say.
 

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I'm not trying to get off the topic, but I thought I'd clarify my thoughts on cougars in MI...I just finished yet another article on the subject for the next issue of MON.

I believe it is very possible that in some of the far western reaches of the UP, there may be a truly wild cougar or two running around. In areas that aren't often hunted by dog hunters pursuing bears, bobcats, coyotes and raccoons-in other words, very remote areas. And I believe it's possible that once in a while, one of these lions takes a walk, ending up in places like the Garden Peninsula...I also believe it's possible, that like more than a few wolves, probably a lot more than anyone's aware of, some of them meet untimely, illegal ends...which might explain why none have ever been brought into the DNR.

Wild cougars, truly wild, not just an escaped exotic, which the cities are all full of, despite the fact that in most states it's not even legal to be in possession of these critters, have been found in Minnesota and as far south as southern Illinois a few years ago-one was run over by a train in a very remote area of the Shawnee National Forest.


BUT, I do NOT believe that truly wild cougars exist anywhere in the Lower Peninsula...unless they traveled from out west or the remote area of Minnesota that one was found in...past Chicago, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint or Grand Rapids...past miles and miles of open southern Michigan farm country...pretty unlikely without being seen, right?

I can see where a wolf, like the one in the UP that ended up in Missouri a couple of years ago, could get away with that kind of travel and not get identified...with that collar on his neck, I'm sure a lot of people thought he was a great big dog...but not a mountain lion-a pretty unique critter.

I do believe in what Brad Wurfel called species "Ownerus Roadiseus Dumperus"...you bet...the Monroe County cat is one of them, I'm sure.

and then there is the mistaken identification, which happens all the time, even to the best and most woods-wise of us. A few years ago, I was helping the local conservation district do a spring tree sale at the local DNR fire ranger's office. A guy came in, a "local", who has lived in northern MI all of his life, an avid hunter, trapper, and angler, who appeared to be completely sober...swearing that he'd just seen a dead baby bear at the intersection of a state highway and a county road. I had to go by there to get home, anyway, so I told him I'd check it out and get hold of the DNR CO's for him...the tell-tale flat tail told me it was NOT a bear-but a BIG beaver...;)
 

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Yep, the Bowsite censors have struck again. That was a pretty entertaining thread. Must have gotten out of control again :D

Dan
 

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Sounds like there might be something in the works to bring the Rompola buck back in the spotlight. Maybe a possible public display and panel score of the buck? Something is up with all the newest podcasts so recently and the appearance of Gary Berger, who was an official scorer that measured the world record antlers, and along with Mitch's stepdaughter who also said a statement in the past day or two.
 
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