A letter from Thomas R. Pero to OWAA members.
I have been writing professionally about good old-fashioned fishing and hunting for close to 50 years now, and I’ve been a continuous member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America for nearly 40, having been sponsored during the early 1980s by my late friend, the legendary Lee Wulff.
I have never been more concerned about the future of our beloved sport—and the gun aspect is only part of it.
For the last dozen years, Wild River Press, my little book-publishing company, has focused on producing exceptional-quality sporting books such as A Passion for Tarpon, Atlantic Salmon Magic, and A Passion for Grouse. Nearly every one has won national awards. Many of you have enjoyed being part of the literary legacy we have created. Others have given us some fine reviews and our authors much-appreciated praise. Thank you.
Now a new era is upon us. It is a challenging era, to say the least. In some areas, wild resources are vanishing at an alarming rate; access for the ordinary person to traditional fishing and hunting areas is shrinking. Across the board, ranks of active hunters and fishers are diminishing. They are not being replaced. Demographics are shifting.
We must face this challenge, boldly and imaginatively.
Wild River Press is pivoting. We are expanding our reach. We recognize that, as the old adage goes, if one is not part of the solution, one is part of the problem. So please join us in redoubling efforts to welcome women to our sports of fishing and hunting. They really are the future. Collectively we’ve been singing this song for a long time. It has never been truer.
Next week, Wild River Press will release Fifty Women Who Fish, a gorgeous large-format hardcover production of more than 300 pages with hundreds of color photos. It sells for $59.95.
For two full years, author Steve Kantner sought out a wide range of female anglers, extraordinary individuals from age 20 to 90, from the Florida Keys to Alaska. They fish for nearly every species that swims in freshwater and salt. They fish with lures and flies and bait. They fish offshore out of multi-million-dollar sport-fishing yachts and in the mangroves out of kayaks, off piers and off beaches, in rivers and in lakes. All are passionate about their favorite outdoor sport. Their personal stories are fascinating.
And in June, we will release Why Women Hunt by K. J. Houtman.
Both titles are unprecedented, engaging and provocative. And these books are just the beginning. I ask you to join in the cause and help us spread the word. Whether you write a newspaper column, a blog, host a talk-radio show or have an in with a magazine whose readers should hear about these new books, please reach out to me. I will be pleased to put you in touch with one or both authors.
In the pages of Fifty Women Who Fish and Why Women Hunt are dozens of rich personal stories waiting to be shared. These authentic individuals are talented and highly quotable. Allow me to introduce you to some wonderful women anglers and hunters from your state or region. We need you to use your communication skills. We need you to tell their tales.