At first, I have to admit, I thought twice about the National Wild Turkey Federation’s move to close its specialty publications and roll them all under one cover titled Turkey Country magazine. I always suspected that publications for women, the disabled and children had to be “loss leaders” for their organizations, because the numbers just aren’t there to support the paper and ink.
But, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. And, having flipped through the pages of the electronic version of the new Turkey Country magazine, I have to say kudos to the publications staff, but even more so, kudos to the powers-that-be at the NWTF that saw fit to do this task.
Last year when I worked as editor for the Women’s Outdoor Wire (and kudos to Tammy Sapp’s leadership of that publication now), I told my partners that I did not want to coddle women or have an online publication that singled out women as being special because they like to be outdoors. To paraphrase what I recall saying, “I want women to be able to pick up gear that they can handle and fish or shoot or hunt alongside any guy and not have it be a big deal.” That’s what I want.
The NWTF has taken a big step in this direction. I’m starting to see it more and more, like in a recent Ring Zone ad and a subhead in American Hunter magazine about deer hunting that read, “Boys and Girls Needed.”
It’s a fact. Men and women need to work together to conserve and to protect our traditions of fishing, hunting and shooting. In the meantime, we need to be exploring the outdoors on foot, hiking on water in a kayak, riding bicycles on trails or sitting on the back of a mule.
Go ahead, figure out something new to try outdoors and push a little more. Oh, and don’t forget to take a kid with you.