Outdoor magazines (the kind you get in the mail, hold in your hand, and leaf through while riding a recliner) are as popular as ever, a rare fact considering that today’s reliance on hand-held devises to deliver all that is news. It seems that anything in print is doomed for extinction sooner or later.
But hunters and fishermen still hold dear a shiny cover with lots of pages full of hook and bullet stories.
When I was a kid, my heroes were guys like Jason Lucas, Jack O’Conner, and Zane Grey. O’Conner took me on many great adventures as we hunted and shot our way across the country. Lucas taught me how to fish better, harder, and more successfully.
These fellows and other talented outdoor writers like them visited me every month as stable contributors in Outdoor Life and Field and Stream magazines. In fact, if it weren’t for outdoor magazines I may not have read much as a youngster and I most certainly wouldn’t have been so inspired to tread the same life paths that I have.
The “Big Three” are pretty much the same trio of magazines that have been the most recognized titles for a century or more.
Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and Sports Afield fill continue their dominance. For everyday hunters and every opportunity anglers, it is really the big two now as Sports Afield has bent more to globe-trotting big game hunters.
But there are more. Some good, some not so good, and some so inclined to a niche that they are dependent on a small group or interest.
Sports Afield is probably the oldest of the Big Three, with a start date of 1887. It was sub titled as the Journal for Gentlemen even then and the title has survived several owners, changes in theme, and bad choices.