The Writer’s Life, August 13, 2012
This post may be heard after its broadcast date and will be indefinitely available as an archived show and on Apple’s iTunes. To go to the show click on the following link: http://webtalkradio/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/ .
An outdoor writer’s life is appealing to many. On this show four writers who are members of POMA, (Professional Outdoor Media Association) were selected at various stages in their careers for interview along with some of the associations and outdoor vendors with which they commonly interact.
The youngest, 24-year-old Josh Wolfe, holds degrees in English and Photography from two universities. He was fortunate enough to almost immediately land a job with “Sporting Classics Magazine” which prides itself on publishing outstanding outdoor articles from both past and present outdoor writers. I can think of no better training for an outdoor writer that to constantly be exposed to some of the best stories that have ever been published. Many of these stories originally appeared in popular magazines, such as the “Saturday Evening Post.” In those long-ago days before TV, the arrival of each issue was eagerly anticipated and read cover-to-cover by everyone in the house. To see some of Josh’s work go to www.joshwolfe.com.
Moving up to the mid-career range Wildlife Biologist and Maine Guide Bob Humphrey came into outdoor writing from a different direction and has now produced many magazine features as well as three books. He is now advancing more into on-line markets. Bob often writes about bowhunting and has a column in Pedersen’s Bowhunting magazine. Bob has a website, www.bobhumphrey.com , that showcases his work.
Mark LaBarbera wanted to be an outdoor writer, sought a degree in English and moved through the ranks of several outdoor publications with progressively more senior editorial positions and now heads the Mule Deer Foundation, an organization that hopes to restore the declining mule deer population throughout the western U.S. He is shown here with a smallish mule deer that he shot last year. To find out more about, and to help support the Foundation go to: www.muledeer.org.
Bill Miller was for 20 years the most visible individual in the North American Hunting Club and now has branched out on his own. He recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan where he visited with U.S. servicemen. To help aid paralyzed veterans and find out about support services for them go to: www.pva.org or www.pvaheritagefund.org. The Heritage Fund is the part of the PVA that supports veterans’ outdoor activities and arranged for Miller’s trip. To find out more about what Bill’s consulting and other activities in the outdoor industry go to: www.billmilleroutdoors.com.
Outdoor writers interact with many companies and associations and among these are Brownells, a family owned company that supplies gunsmithing supplies and components for many popular guns including the AR-Platform rifles and Ruger .22 rifle and pistol. For an on-line view of Brownell’s products go to www.brownells.com. I enjoy writing about these multi-generational outdoor companies to remind people that every outdoor company started with one person making one product. On an earlier show I outlined how to start your own outdoor company, and there are 21 YouTube videos on line to help you along the way on the wmhoveysmith Channel.
Outdoor writers also draw on many organizations for information on pending national and state legislation that impacts hunters and gun owners. On of these is the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. Sharon Hayden, the Assistant Director of Communications Data provided a brief insight in to that organization’s activities. The USSA has a free, high quality on-line newsletter and you my subscribe by going to: www.ussportsmen.org.
One ounce of no. 8 shot fired at 10 yards from the Traditions’ Blunderbuss.
One of the popular features at Range Day was the shooting a Traditions .54-caliber Blunderbuss which the author built from a kit and partly finished with products that are available from Brownells. This was its first, outing and it patterned well at close range with a 1-ounce load of small shot. A video of me shooting the blunderbuss may be seen at: http://youtu.be/qdjAEE4QJqA. Blunderbusses were most commonly used in the late 1700s as self-defense guns and by naval units fighting aboard ship. On land, they were used by the largely untrained United Irishmen during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 to supplement the pikes that were employed against the British regulars commanded by General Lord Cornwallis. After having lost a large part of Britain’s American possession in North America, he was determined not to also lose Ireland. The Irish used any firearms that they could get and also enlisted French aid, but their efforts ultimately failed. If you are interesting in building on of these guns go to www.sportsmansguide.org. This company will sell the blunderbuss as long as supplies last, and they usually make only one-time orders for specialty guns like this. If you want one, get it now.
Although not particularly well adapted for hunting, I will attempt to take, Elmer Fudd like, game with this gun during the 2012-13 hunting season. The belled muzzle only aids in more rapid loading and the gun shoots as well as any 20-gauge cylinder-bored gun and can also use a .54-caliber round ball. This will be a fun, and challenging, gun to use.
I also participated in my first outdoor cooking contest that was ultimately won by Bill Miller. My catfish, green bean, squash, peach, pepper and onion stir fry was very well cooked and tasty, but lacked in imagination and presentation, according to the judges.