Employee Profile – January 2021
A. I have been with Outdoor News since October 1998. The time has flown, and I have seen many changes in my life over 20-plus years, but one of the few things that has remained constant is my job.
Q. Many publications have closed their doors over the years, from daily newspapers to large national magazines. Why is Outdoor News still around?
A. It’s a testament to the niche readership and ownership of Outdoor News that we continue to stand in the wake of such adversity. After all, we have seen 9/11, a couple large recessions, and now COVID.
Q. How do you react to friends who ask you: “How is Outdoor News doing during all of this?”
A. I tell them, this little privately owned outdoor publication is surviving while airline giants are going bankrupt. It’s not a fair comparison, but it puts things into perspective for me.
Q. How have you handled mostly working from home, with occasional visits to the office?
A. We just keep doing what we’ve always done: Produce a top-notch product for the consumer. I work from home, and it has benefits and challenges. Days can be long without a lunch break with coworkers, some small talk, but I can also focus without distractions at home.
My relationship with my wife (who is 10 yards from me every day) is as good as it gets. We are now the small talk and the lunch breaks, and it couldn’t be better. Our relationships with our sons during quarantine last spring and summer also were rich.
Q. Do you have family dinners at a table?
A. Yep, every night.
Q. Tell us about your relationship with the out-of-doors.
A. During a time like this I also have a new found deep relationship with things I enjoy. The time in a duck blind last fall was great, as time seemed to slow, and I learned to appreciate the little things. A flock of blackbirds became a thing of beauty as they banked up and down, left to right, whereas before I might have been checking the time.
Deer hunting became more of a hunt of sustenance than a search for a giant.
Being on the lake was fun regardless of whether the fish were biting.
Outdoor enthusiasts seem to realize this given the recent uptick in interest in hunting and fishing. So, there’s the silver lining to COVID: People are getting back to their roots and slowing down.
Q. What’s your perspective on work and outdoors publishing?
A. So I guess my perspective on Outdoor News is that we are in a pretty good spot, albeit that’s easy for me to say. But with outdoor interests thriving again, people getting outdoors more, enjoying the simple things, why wouldn’t we be? There are a whole new batch of weekend warriors out there who will need to get their information and sources from somewhere.
That’s where Outdoor News comes into play, and our team will do the best job we can to provide the best outdoor publication in the industry.
Q. Any classic Outdoor News story you’d like to share?
A. I have been fortunate to go on a few trips over the years with work. One year we went to Turkey Track Club in the Black Hills of South Dakota to chase Merriam’s gobblers. I was newish to turkey hunting, but thought I was getting pretty good at outsmarting gobblers in the flatland areas of Minnesota where I hunt.
We were assigned a guide at Turkey Track, and mine was a billy goat of a man, Ron, who was in way better shape than me, even in his mid 60s. It was a challenge to keep up.
While walking a long stretch of a logging road along a steep bank – nothing like where I hunt in Minnesota – I was pointing out areas where I went on a rant about how I think birds roost here… then fly down into this area… probably strut and feed over there…
So, after about 10 minutes of fluffing my feathers about my turkey prowess, Ron turned back, looked at me and simply said: “This isn’t a good area.”
And then he kept walking…
The next morning I shot my first South Dakota gobbler in a flat area, similar to my top Minnesota spot.