The secret to success is never enjoying it too much. Because when you do, you risk losing the competitive edge that put you on top in the first place.
I’m confident that never being satisfied is what separates the great from the very good. Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson were both supremely talented boxers, but Ali was driven by a never-ending desire to be the best, while Tyson was content to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor. The results speak for themselves.
It’s the same in any endeavor, including bowhunting. Some years, I’ve had the good fortune of punching my buck tag early in the season. As great as that success feels, it also comes with an amazingly powerful temptation to become fat and happy. Have you ever noticed how a full freezer and nice rack make it so much harder to get out of bed in the morning? Before you know it, the season is over and you’ve got a handful of unfilled antlerless tags still in your pocket. It’s tough to be content and maximize your potential at the same time.
Resisting the urge to be satisfied is a constant battle, and it’s something I’ve tried to be conscious of as editor at Petersen’s BOWHUNTING. When I arrived a little over a year-and-a-half ago, I was placed at the helm of the world’s biggest and best bowhunting magazine. I inherited a great base of loyal readers and a team of legendary field editors in Eddie Claypool, Jim Dougherty, Kathy Etling, Patrick Meitin, Randy Ulmer and Bill Winke. I’d be lying if I said there was no temptation to be satisfied, and as I wrote in my very first editorial, the trick is figuring out how to constantly improve without eroding the firm foundation my predecessors built over the course of 22 years.
With that in mind, our editorial team embarked on a top-to-bottom review of BOWHUNTING magazine and online offerings. We also solicited your feedback to get a better sense of what was working and what wasn’t. We learned a lot in the process, and I want to personally thank each reader who took the time to share an opinion with us. You are the reason we’re here, and your input played a critical role in the evaluation process.
I’m sure many of you have noticed some significant visual and content changes in recent months. While there likely will be additional tweaks here and there, this June issue essentially marks the completion of our update effort. With that in mind, I wanted to provide a brief overview of the highlights:
- First and foremost, I want to call attention to BOWHUNTING’s first visual redesign in a decade. Our new look, which debuted with the January issue, features a streamlined table of contents and modernized departments highlighted by color-coded tabs and icons designed to make navigation through the magazine easier than ever.
Our Field Gear section features a new, in-the-field photo spread format, while our High Grade Bow Reports offer better-organized test results and a new draw-force curve. We’ve also improved our feature layouts to make better use of bold colors and great photography.
This visual update – our first since 1999 – was long overdue, and I owe many thanks to Art Director David Siegfried for shepherding us through the redesign process.
- In conjunction with our visual redesign, we have switched to higher quality paper stock for the magazine cover and inside pages. The new paper, which is thicker and brighter than before, has increased our printing quality dramatically and really makes text and images pop off the pages. If you compare this issue to any of our 2009 editions, you will understand exactly what I mean.
- We’ve beefed up product coverage in response to your requests for more useful information. We now include retail prices for virtually all covered products, plus real-world evaluations and advice. For examples, check out Associate Editor Dan- iel Beraldo’s backpack review in the April/May issue and Field Editor Patrick Meitin’s arrow buyer’s guide on p. 47 of this edition.
- Our Web site has dramatically expanded multimedia offerings. A new video player on our home page features Center Shots demonstrations from Bill Winke, new product highlights from the ATA Show and On Target with Petersen’s BOWHUNTING, a new series of instructional shooting segments from former USA Archery team member John Dudley. Dudley is a hardcore bowhunter and highly decorated pro shooter with dozens of titles under his belt, including IBO and NABH national championships, a British indoor championship and Australian field championship. I guarantee his tips will make you a better archer.
In addition to video, the Web site features our new Stuck in the Rut blog, links to our new Petersen’s BOWHUNTING Radio podcasts on iTunes and a host of Online Extra features that offer expanded content from magazine features and product coverage. It’s all free at www.bowhuntingmag.com.
- We’ve taken advantage of social networking sites that allow us to connect with fellow bowhunters on a daily basis. If you haven’t done so already, join our Facebook fan page and check us out on Twitter @BOWHUNTINGMAG. These are great forums to follow the BOWHUNTING team in the field, share your own success stories and ask technical questions about gear and shooting.
- The final change, which you will note on p. 36 of this issue, is the inclusion of some new crossbow coverage in the magazine.
Despite the healthy – and often heated – debate that surrounds the topic of crossbow use during archery seasons, there is no disputing the fact these weapons are garnering more interest. Bowhunters and crossbow hunters alike use many of today’s most popular archery products. Archery manufacturers, meanwhile, have significantly increased their focus on the crossbow market, with many of the industry’s oldest and most respected names now offering crossbow-specific products.
We realize the mere mention of crossbows can stir controversy, and we respect the divergent opinions on this topic. However, like many of the changes we’ve implemented, this is being done in response to numerous reader requests for crossbow information. As the archery hunting community’s leading publication, we want to serve that community as best as we can by informing and educating about all segments of the landscape.
Take a look at the changes and let us know what you think by e-mailing your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the old saying goes, the best never rest. And we here at BOWHUNTING don’t intend to take a breather anytime soon.