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January 4, 2010

An Outdoor Columnist Loses His Forum


As newspapers close or cut back on staff, one unfortunate result is the loss of coverage of hunting, shooting and fishing by outdoor writers. With The Washington Times eliminating its sports section last week, longtime outdoor writer Gene Mueller said his farewell in a final column that celebrated nearly 25 years of outdoor pursuits along with the travel and friendship that go hand-in-hand with them.

Gene writes:

Since February 1985, I have been privileged to share with you news and views about fishing, hunting and boating, occasionally giving the devil to the opponents of our time-honored outdoors sports. There can be no doubt that a number of milquetoast "antis" now will rejoice because a spokesman for hunters and anglers has been silenced.

We hope that Gene is not "silenced," which sounds so final, but continues to comment on and promote outdoor activities through other outlets, benefiting what surely is a large, loyal readership.  

If SHOT Show media registrations are any indication (and they are, we're sure), outdoor media is moving to Web-based outlets at a fast pace. There are more Web sites, online magazines and video channels, blogs and forums covering outdoor sports and equipment than ever before.

Millions of hunters, target shooters and gun owners are eager for information from trusted sources like Gene and, with so many new electronic delivery methods available, it's never been easier for outdoor communicators to reach them. You can follow this blog, for instance, through an RSS feed or subscribe to the @NSSFComm Twitter account and receive a link to new posts immediately after they are made. Or find it via NSSF's homepage, www.nssf.org. Outdoor communicators need to keep on telling their stories because, for the most part, it’s the pastimes and products with stories that survive.