Changing times at New York Outdoor News

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It was more than 15 years ago that I made the acquaintance of Steve (and Paula) Piatt, when the first edition of the New York Outdoor News (NYON) made its appearance on the outdoor scene. It was probably at a New York State Outdoor Writers Association conference, either Dunkirk or Plattsburgh (or both) and the friendship grew from there.

It was also a working relationship as I contributed through regular writings and monthly blogs to NYON. As a contributor, I saw how Steve (as editor) traveled the state to handle the task at hand, reporting on the state’s outdoor news. He was a regular at the Conservation Fund Advisory Board meetings in Albany, maintaining constant contact with key DEC personnel.

He hunted and fished across the state (often with Paula) through NYSOWA conferences and safaris, VIP Days and writer FAM tours. One bucket list item I know he has yet to realize is a 5-pound smallmouth bass. We can work on that this year … after April 1.

Why after April 1, you ask? If you don’t know, this dynamic duo who have served sportsmen and women since the publication’s inception will be hanging up their editing hats from New York Outdoor News. They have been nothing but professional as they teamed to make it the best outdoor publication in the state for hunters and anglers, offering up the most current news and pertinent how-to/where-to information.

I’m sure they will continue to write stories for NYON, as well as other publications, but the constant deadline of producing this paper every two weeks will be behind them. It will certainly be a bittersweet relief. Steve came from the newspaper world so he knew what to expect. As a newspaper person for over 40 years myself, you get accustomed to deadlines. For me, I don’t think anything would ever be accomplished without a deadline.

There will be more time for Steve (and Paula) to do the things they love once April 1 hits. In the meantime, there’s work to be done before they leave their chairs.

Enter Dan Ladd of Fort Ann, N.Y. Where the heck is Fort Ann? It’s in Washington County in the eastern part of the state, on the doorstep to the Adirondacks. I’ve known Ladd for 15 years, too, through NYSOWA. He joined about the same time as the Piatts did. I’m here to say that the paper is in good hands. He’s committed to hunting and fishing, conservation and our natural resources. With the help of his contacts around the state, NYON shouldn’t skip a beat. He’s a hard worker. Welcome him at

Categories: New York – Bill Hilts Jr

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