Looking Back and Moving Forward

David Siegfried

It's hard to believe, but this December issue marks the completion of my first year as BOWHUNTING editor. It seems like only a couple weeks ago that Publisher Jeff Waring was introducing me on this very page. As the old saying goes, time flies when you're having fun.

It's certainly been an exciting year. After arrowing my first Rio Grande gobbler down in South Texas in April, I spent the summer shooting the heck out of my Bowtech Admiral and PSE X-Force in preparation for fall whitetail hunts in Missouri, Illinois and Pennsylvania, not to mention an October caribou quest on the tundra of northern Quebec.

I look forward to sharing details of these adventures with you in upcoming issues.Of course, the year hasn't been all fun and games. In fact, it's been a lot of hard work.

Despite that, I've really enjoyed the day-to-day responsibilities of putting together the world's largest -- and best -- bowhunting magazine. It's also been great building relationships with legendary BOWHUNTING personalities such as Bill Winke, Jim Dougherty, Patrick Meitin, Randy Ulmer, Kathy Etling and Eddie Claypool. Now that I've settled in and gotten my feet on the ground, it's a good time to take a quick look back and let you know where we're headed from here.

Back when I started, I noted that BOWHUNTING has an editorial team that is among the best in the business. That belief has only been strengthened with time. Since its debut in 1988, this magazine has clawed its way to the top with an unmatched mix of compelling feature articles, top-notch hunting advice and the most up-to-date reports on new bowhunting products and technologies. And as I promised when I arrived, those things aren't going to change under my watch.

At the same time, the past year has given me an opportunity to gather input from readers, archery industry figures and fellow BOWHUNTING staffers about things in the magazine that aren't as good as they can be. Some changes -- such as increased use of custom illustrations for feature articles and new "real world" testing methods for our High Grade bow reviews -- have already been implemented. And we're planning a number of additional changes for 2010 that will make BOWHUNTING better than ever.

One change I am pleased to announce -- effective immediately -- is a major expansion of our online presence. We recently launched Stuck In The Rut, the official BOWHUNTING blog, and revived Petersen's BOWHUNTING Radio as an all-new podcast format available through iTunes.

As the name implies, Stuck In The Rut is an interactive forum designed to keep your bowhunting passion burning all year long! Members of the BOWHUNTING team will use text, photos and video to post field reports from across North America, share expert shooting and tuning tips, discuss the latest bowhunting trends and keep you informed about new archery gear. Check it out today at www.bowhuntingmag.com/blog. Those on Twitter also can follow us at www.twitter.com/bowhuntingmag.

Nicole Mahany

In addition to the blog, hardcore bowhunters can subscribe to our Petersen's BOWHUNTING Radio podcasts. Hosted by myself and Associate Editor Daniel Beraldo, the free, bi-weekly interviews will feature bowhunting's foremost experts and biggest personalities. The debut installment features a chat with Travis "T-Bone" Turner from the popular Bone Collectors TV show. BOWHUNTING Radio will be packed with entertaining stories and invaluable bowhunting insights. You won't want to miss a single episode!

Yet another significant change you'll see starting with the January/February issue will be inclusion of retail price information with virtually all our product coverage. Several readers have requested this, and I agree it will make our product coverage more useful.

Along the same lines, we're planning to beef up the technical aspect of our product testing so we can present the kind of unbiased, empirical data you can rely on when making difficult buying decisions.

The final change I wanted to mention concerns BOWHUNTING's design. The magazine has looked more or less exactly like the one you're now holding for nearly a decade.

Considering we live in a digital media age where things literally change by the second, it's fair to say we're overdue for something fresh.

Share Your Opinion & Win Winke'

The BOWHUNTING staff is busy planning a number of changes for 2010, and we want readers to be involved in the process.In short, we want you to tell us how we're doing. What are your favorite features and departments? What are your least favorite? What topics would you like to see more often? What topics do we cover too much? If you have a suggestion about how to make BOWHUNTING even better, we want to hear it.E-mail your comments, along with your full name and address, to bowhunting@imoutdoors.com. Every reader who responds by Dec. 1 will be entered into a random drawing for one of five copies of Field Editor Bill Winke's new book, Setting Up The Perfect Hunting Bow.


Our redesign effort will be led by Art Director David Siegfried, who joined BOWHUNTING with the November issue. Those of you who fly fish may recognize Siegfried's name, as this outdoor media veteran spent the previous 14 years as art director at Fly Fisherman magazine. David is an extremely talented designer, and I'm confident he'll do a great job bringing BOWHUNTING's layouts into the 21st century.

I also want to offer a word of thanks to former Art Director Nicole Mahany, who recently decided to pursue a career change. Nicole started her InterMedia career nine years ago as an art assistant on the company's shooting titles and worked her way up to art director, a position she held for s

even years. Nicole's talent, dedication and team-oriented approach played a key role in my success over the past year, and I wish her the best as she begins life's next chapter.

I want to end this month's editorial with some brief comments about the National Shooting Sports Foundation advertisement found on pages 39-42. The appearance of rifles within BOWHUNTING's pages is unusual, to say the least.

As many of you undoubtedly know, the issue of so-called "black guns" has been a hot topic in the hunting community for several years now, and there continues to be a healthy debate about whether military-style weapons have a legitimate place at the sporting table.

While it's not my place to tell you what to think, I do encourage you to take a few minutes and review the material. In a lot of ways, it doesn't seem much different from a similar debate that occurred not so long ago involving traditional bows and compounds.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with honest disagreements. But considering all the external threats to our hunting and shooting heritage, I do question the wisdom of endless debate over preferred hunting methods, so long as they are legal and biologically sustainable.

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