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Outdoor writers .. Anyone like 'em?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. On a recent week-long fishing trip into the wilds of Canada, I (re)discovered Field and Stream magazine.
    I skipped past all the technical articles - about guns and gear and such - and found some really interesting and well written stories: a Salmon fishing adventure in Alaska; a woman making her first Elk hunt in Colorado (she had never hunted before and had been training to go -- Great.. Great story!) http://www.fieldandstream.com/fieldstream/hunting/photogallery/article/0,13355,1565630,00.html; another about the final season of deer camp with a group of longtime hunters, and fascinating survival story about a couple who got trapped in a Alaskan snowstorm in the bush.

    Most recently, on my latest trip to the barbershop, I read an outstanding piece about a Stag hunt in the Scottish Highlands.

    I think some of F&S's writers are remarkable talents. I have never seen much about outdoor writers or writing discussed here.
    I would like to see SMG interview at least one of the more prominent outdoor writers in the country.
    Does anyone else read Field and Stream, or another outdoor magazine, and share my opinion? Or disagree completely?

  2. Ed_Hardin

    Ed_Hardin New Member

    I'd hoped to retire as an Outdoors writer, but I no longer believe there will be an outlet. It's funny, an Outdoors column I wrote a couple of weeks ago has produced something like 100 e-mails, so I know there are still people who want to read about hunting, fishing etc. It is the epitome of community sports. But how many full-time Outdoors writers below the 250,000 circulation line are there? Any? By the way, how was the fishing?
  3. Kato

    Kato Active Member

    Our editor is convinced that we will grow readership through more outdoors stories.
  4. funky_mountain

    funky_mountain Active Member

    you should purchase 'grays sporting journal' for fine outdoors writing. there are great "outdoors" writers -- the novelist thomas mcguane being at the top of that list. find a copy of 'the longest silence.' rick bass is another fine one, but more of a nature writer. david james duncan too. novelist and poet jim harrison is one my favorites. harrison used to write fishing stories for SI in the '70s. charley waterman is one of the all-time greats. harmon henkin. find a copy of 'silent seasons,' a collection of great outdoors writing. harry middleton, now dead, was great.

    some people here make fun of the outdoors stories that make basw, but the writing is often outstanding.

    as for daily print guys, i've always liked eric sharp at the detroit free press. the ny times' peter kaminsky does good work.

    inky_wretch, i'm sure, will chime in at some point.
  5. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    You have an intelligent editor.
  6. The fishing wasn't so great and we ran out of beer three days into the trip. I'll be damned if I'm paying that much for beer in Canada. JESUS!
    I still had a good time.

    The Charleston Gazette and Daily Mail (W.Va) both had full-time outdoor writers. Most papers here have an outdoor writer - most of whom suck - but none of them are fully devoted to outdoor writing as a full-time job.

    I always thought I wanted to be an outdoor writer, till I actually did it. Didn't care for it much -- and I sucked at it to boot. I like to hunt, I hate to write about it.

    My dad, who has taken many national writers on hunting and fishing trips, said half the writers can't hunt worth a damn anyway.

    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's outdoor writer (Ben Moyer) spent a few days with us one year at deer camp and he was real nice guy - brought a case of Yin-Yang Black and Tan and a hunting buddy.
    Everybody got a buck that week - 'cept Ben.
    We had a high old time.
  7. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    One of the first stories I had published in a real newspaper was an outdoors piece. The genre has been hurt (and limited) by the inability to write forcefully about topics of interest outside hunting and fishing. It's turned out that no one wants to read (and buy ads for) stories on mountain biking and Tony Hawk.
  8. StaggerLee

    StaggerLee Well-Known Member

    I find that most of the outdoor writers I meet are retired sports writers. I guess it's a natural progression for some people. Cover sports your entire life, then go into something more relaxing with a lot less stress, like outdoors.

    I know the year I spent as the outdoor writer was easily the most laid-back year I've had in the newspaper business. People are passionate about hunting/fishing/etc., but not to the point where they go crazy on you. They seem to be appreciative of you telling their stories.
  9. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Yes, yes I will. ;D

    Gray's is a great, great magazine. Though it's aimed at high-end readers who primarily fly fish and upland bird hunt. Can't remember the last deer hunting story I saw in it. But if you're looking for well-written outdoors stories, it's top notch.

    I enjoy F&S. But I dropped Outdoor Life after Jim Zumbo was canned. Zumbo, the hunting editor, mentioned in a blog posting that he didn't think assault-style rifles were legitimate hunting equipment. That, naturally, started a firestorm with the NRA ... even though Zumbo was a stauch supporter of the organization. OL fired Zumbo due to the controversy. And I immediately cancelled by complimentary media subscription due to his firing.
  10. AreaMan

    AreaMan Member

    As a guy who knows nothing about hunting or fishing our outdoorsy kinds of things, I'm always surprised at how much I like reading our outdoor writer's columns. Maybe its my inner hunter wanting to get out.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    As far as newspapers, Sam Cook in Duluth is the best I've read.
  12. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiosity, where did you go fishing?
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