Contributors to this thread:
I really like the trip down memory lane with episode of Mr James. In the late 70s early 80s my time in study hall was spent reading bowhunter magazine. The passion of bowhunting is as strong now as it was then, thanks to everyone that had a hand in that magazine.
Ditto, good magazine and tv show.
I devoured every issue I could get my hands on as a kid. MR James taught me more about the English language and writing than I ever learned in school.
No doubt, MR was a mentor/teacher in so many ways and in so many subjects/fields. Good guy also! Someone to look up to and respect. Anyone know where he is nowadays and what he is doing?
Last I saw/read M.R. was retired back in Indiana. Used to be my favorite magazine until Traditional Bowhunter came out and M.R. left.
M.R. still writes an occasional book. I really enjoyed the 45 Unforgettable Bowhunters book. There is a chapter on Big Dan Moore (for those who have been on Bowsite for a while).
Have been taking BH since 1973, was disappointed with them running crossgun ads but money talks. If they ever run a story on a crossgun hunt I am history. Also air bow hunt.
I subscribed to Bowhunter magazine for years. I quit after M.R. James and Dwight Schue left. It is mostly about advertising now. Even the articles advertise what the successful hunter was wearing and shooting. There is an occasional quality article still in Bowhunter, but finding one is like coming up with the pork in Van Camps "pork & beans".
MR posts on FB fairly often. Mostly happenings on his farm regarding deer.
I've been hiding in the weeds just waiting for a comment like Swede's. I cannot fathom how anyone who spends any amount of time on the Internet can possibly complain about ads in the pages of a magazine. Everywhere you go on the Web you are inundated with the most intrusive ads and commercials found anywhere on Earth. News sites are plastered with ads and if you try to watch a video you are often interrupted and "forced" to watch the commercial before you can see the rest of the video. It is a constant bombardment of advertising, and if you visit a website you will see their ads for the next month, not to mention you are being tracked by digital hound dogs known as analytics. In a magazine, you simply turn the page...Wow! What an inconvenience! Fact is, some readers like the ads and use them to discover the latest, greatest products. Ads are a fact of life in this world but nowhere are they less intrusive than in a magazine. Now, regarding the article comment, we typically remove gratuitous product mentions from the articles to keep the stories clean. However, many readers want to know what kind of broadhead the author was using, or the bow, the arrow, or whatever. So, we ask them to list the equipment used at the end of the article. Neither of us are compensated in any way because of it. It is strictly informational. There are so many things I could get into but it drives me up a wall when someone complains about ads in Bowhunter Magazine. How do you think it's possible to subscribe for an entire year for less than the cost of a trip to Dairy Queen? ...and no, we aren't sponsored by DQ. SMH
Spot on Curt Wells. It took me a moment to read your post due to the Buck Forage ad covering it.
Swede, a few years ago someone mentioned all the ads in Bowhunter, so I dug out some old issues from the early 80s for comparison. Lo and behold, the number of column inches of ads vs. articles was virtually identical to today.
Ads pay the bills. That's what keeps the subscription price so low. I never mentioned any products in any of my articles in Bowhunter or the other publications, but I got plenty of emails and PMs from hunters asking me about products. I haven't written features for several years (retired after my wife died) but I still get regular emails and PMs asking about what products I use. So hunters are definitely interested in what products other "regular" bowhunters are using, vs. the hunters who get paid to wear this or shoot that. The way I see it, if you don't like the ad, as Curt suggested, turn the page. That's not possible on the internet where advertising is ubiquitous and unavoidable.
Curt does a good job with Bowhunter. Our guys are writing a lot of articles in the magazine now. I’ve come back to reading the magazine after getting away from it for a while. Some people complain about the adds on the free bowsite. I sure learned from reading the stories in the beginning
Thumbs up, Curt. I, personally, still like the magazine and what it has to offer.
Just what makes a good magazine is a matter of opinion. If you like Bowhunter, then subscribe. I lost interest after Dwight Schue left. Personally, I would rather invest in a good book on occasion. Comparing internet services with Bowhunter magazine is poor logic, but when Bowsite starts charging for a subscription, I will be gone from here too.
I had a subscription for a long time (probably 20 - 25 years) but let it expire a few years ago. I wasn’t reading it much due to the “how to” and whitetail centric content and prefer the content and writing style/quality in Gray’s Sporting Journal so that’s about the only magazine I subscribe to separate from membership magazines such as WSF. I do miss the annual Big Game edition though! That said I really enjoyed it for several years during my earlier bow hunting days.
Who was the editor of Bowhunter magazine when Bowhunter Magazine called for a Boycott of Ontario Outfitters in April 1999!! When we needed Bowhunter Magazine the most, they went with the Anti Hunting movement. Loss of Spring Hunt. Letter to the Editor in April 1999... Dwight Shuh, An anti in Disguise!!? Shame on Bowhunter Magazine for not standing up for hunting Outfitters!! *** Curt Wells, you were calling for a Boycott of Ontario Outfitters while taking advertiser dollars from Ontario Outfitters in the same issue you called for a Boycott LOL Curt, you represent Bowhunting Magazine!!!
Spike Buck, I have no clue what you're talking about but I didn't become editor until 2010 so I had nothing to do with what you're referring to.
And Swede, pretending your Internet service is free is poor logic...
“ but when Bowsite starts charging for a subscription, I will be gone from here too.”
With any education there is normally a cost. Of course, I don’t want to pay for a bowsite subscription but it would probably be money well spent based on what I’ve learned on this site and I have been at this game for forty years!
“I can’t please everyone, so I’ll just please myself”. I believe Ricky Nelson wrote these words in the song “Garden Party”. My mama said it better. “You’d gripe if you were gonna be hung with a new rope”. Anybody that complains about ads in a magazine is foolish. I guess you would do it for free ? You’ve lost all credibility !
This reminds me of the "There hasn't been any good music made since 1974" discussions.
"This reminds me of the "There hasn't been any good music made since 1974" discussions."
I dunno Lou, kinda hard to top "The Eagles Greatest Hits" Volume 1.
Spike is correct on the call for an Onatrio boycott in after the spring bear hunt cancellation. A knee jerk reaction that hurt the hunting outfitters more than anyone and not at ll in their control. Quit with bowhunter magazine at that time frame.
Since Mr. Wells is reading this thread I'd love to politely ask for more articles on SE bowhunting. I'm taking my first midwest whitetail hunt (drew Iowa!) this year, but there are a lot of us grinding out a bowhunting life with the snakes and skeeters.
As for the pioneers of our sport, our literature, and the flagship fish wrap I'd have to say I have nothing but respect and enjoy reading the magazine. I pick up stuff all the time. Funny enough they have an article on thumb vs wrist releases this week and low and behold AT has a thread going on the same argument at the top of the forum.
I don't mind ads, I do dislike crossbows in bowhunting for all but the old, injured, and young. Just don't forget about us southern boys, many of us can (and do) read!
To emphasize what BTP said, I sure hope Bowhunter stays a bowhunting magazine and doesn’t get into cross bows. I used to also subscribe to Petersons Bowhunting, but dropped it after they got into cross bows. I’ve been a Bowhunter subscriber since the late 70s and hope to keep doing the same.
I loved Bowhunter back when I started this obsession many years ago. Used to look forward to the annual Whitetail issue and the Big Game issue. Might have to reup. Need some new "reading room" material.
I enjoy a soda pop once in a while, but I do not want to drink a gallon of it. Since Bowhunter became mostly advertisement and has very few articles of interest, I quit renewing my subscription. Curt: I have no interest in beating you or Bowhunter up on this thread. Do you ever do a product review on something that was not given to you, or they do not advertise with Bowhunter? Do you ever do a product review and warn your readers that a product has problems? I know I have purchased two bows and a rangefinder from your advertisers that were faulty. One bow had cams that slipped and went totally out of sync. It was faulty in its design and had to have the cams replaced. The other had a riser that suddenly broke in half when shot normally. The rangefinder just quit on me during a desert hunt. I know if I have had malfunctioning equipment from reputable and apologetic manufacturers, so have you. I dropped my subscription shortly after you took over. It was nothing personal. I just lost interest. Writers like Dwight Schue took the reader with them on their adventures. Good writers do that. Chuck Adams and Randy .... are great at that and so are a few others. I was just not seeing enough to keep me interested. All that said, I still think Bowhunter is as good as any and better than most. I want to commend you for paying attention here and coming on the forum to share your perspective.
Swede, I’d venture to say that every manufacturer has made a defective product. I had a bow made by one of the big manufacturers (starts with H) that blew up twice in the first 300 shots. I had another manufacturers bow (starts with M) that had a defective limb, and had to be replaced within a hundred shots. I’ve had new replaceable blade broadheads that didn’t fit together properly. I go through a lot of equipment as I’m pretty active in bowhunting so I probably see more than average or beginning bowhunter. But I suspect that most have had an equipment failure and many of those failures were advertised in Bowhunter, as well as several other publications and electronic media. So until there is a perfect product, I’ll not be pissing on Bowhunter for advertising a product that didn’t have 100% reliability.
I did what swede did, got tired of the ads and having to search for articles. If I'm paying for a subscription then I want info and stories not ad after ad. I understand your In it to make money, fine, but I don't need all the gadgets that are being pushed. Haven't picked up a BH mag in a long time, just wondering have you taken ads for the airbows yet? We get pop up ads here but we don't pay for the site and we can click the ads away, easy. The gadgets are hurting bowhunting IMO.by the time a new hunter shops/prices all the equipment they think they need to hunt they give up, loose interest. My nephew called me up complaining about the cost after looking at what he thought he needed, and I told him to stop watching the TV hunting shows and stop looking/reading the magazines. Took him out put a 40 lb recurve in his hand with some arrows and said now your ready to hunt. I wish I had a pic of his face, he was stunned. While I was teaching him to shoot he kept asking about things like sites, releases, range finders, ozonics, scent lok , rage, etc... You get the picture. We are pushing new hunters away from this lifestyle, they think it's to expensive and get discouraged. Not a knock on the editors or BH but not my cup a tea. I'm sure BH will be around for some time regardless who is in charge.
PS, Curt instead lurking in the weeds you ought to just join in and be part of the community, never understood why the guys who profit from hunters don't seem to join in on sites like these. Randy checks in now and then with content and I think I remember a post or two from Tom Miranda , but none are regular contributors, sad.
Love bowhunter magazine, they do a great job keeping it real in a very difficult period for print media. Bowhunter is the only print mag I read anymore. The others like Peterson go straight in the trash.
Spike, I don’t remember bowhunter calling for the Ontario boycott? You sure about that? Bowsite participated in it along with many others in an effort to apply pressure to that crazy minister to reverse course. However my recollection was Bowhunter Magazine simply reported on the boycott but did not advocate for, or against it.
Thumbs up, Curt. I, personally, still like the magazine and what it has to offer.
Have been a big fan of Bowhunter and instilled the passion in me, when I was 13 years old many years ago . we didn't have much growing up but got a subscription to BH for XMAS and continue to receive today. Like the show as well
Pat, it was the April issue in 1999. Caused Outfitters here alot of grief. I was right on it. Editorial called for the boycott of Ontario Outfitters. I was the one who put a letter to the Editor. Ted Nugent called for a Boycott also, then about faced, he apologized for his boycott. But we have the Spring Hunt back now.
Pat, Curt should have the issue somewhere.
I used to get Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and Bowhunter magazine. Outdoor life and field and stream are online now only. I need to start up my Bowhunter mag again. There are very few choices in good Hunting magazines like there were 30 years ago.
The two bows I wrote about were faulty by design. The one had such hand shock; I believe it finally just broke in two. The other needed new redesigned cams to straighten out its problem. I understand every manufacturer has product failures. Do the Gear Guides and the product reviews covered by Bowhunter ever provide the kind of information I have come to expect from Consumer Reports, or is it all just a big ad? Everyone working for Bowhunter must live a charmed life if they have never gone on a hunt and had an equipment failure. Did you pass the information on about those failures or is it caveat emptor?
Okay, I found the editorial in question. It was in June/July 1999, not April. Dwight Schuh wrote the editorial on the Ontario bear issue and, yes, he did call for readers to "...choose hunting and fishing destinations outside Ontario until the government comes to its senses." Given the hindsight we all now benefit from, Dwight may have chosen different words. He was trying to make an impact and ultimately help in some way. At the time, he didn't know that the Canadian government, even today with that squirrel of a prime minister, does not care about the tourism industry and least of all outfitters. The pandemic was further evidence of their disregard and disrespect for outfitters and lodges. We've since learned that boycotts can't put a dent in stupidity.
However, to call Dwight an anti in disguise, or believe that Bowhunter Magazine would somehow be against outfitters, is a ridiculous concept. I tried to post a photo of the editorial but it failed. I will try again and hopefully you can all read for yourself and decide if Dwight's words were worthy of a 23-year grudge.
Swede, you're barking up the wrong tree again. We don't do head-to-head product testing. It does nothing but create problems for everyone involved. And many readers would dispute any results regardless of what they were. Not saying you're one of those people but, just saying...
Thanks for posting Curt... Bowhunter Magazine was calling for the shutdown of our hunting industry. It's not a grudge but a reminder to your readers you failed to stand up for Hunting Outfitters once before. If you were in our shoes, you would think different. Now, thanks to Ontario Bear Outfitters providing solid data on Bear hunting in Ontario, we have the Spring hunt back. Next time,... Dwight's words, "Lets all stand together UNIFY!" I will say no more on this issue.... Chris Lavoie, Pine Acres Bear Camp. I have a Bear to track now.
I was a subscriber for many years. Every time a new mag showed up in the mailbox I would sneak it pass the officer at the gate and read it while on assignment. I have since let it expire as I no longer have time to read now that I am retired.
I have been a many year subscriber to Bowhunter magazine and am damn grateful that I have been. Reading the words of Dwight (I mourned when he passed), M.R., Curt, Fred, and Randy have made me a better bow hunter. I have always enjoyed reading the exact products that successful hunters used to kill their game. That part of the stories is one of my favorite parts. I’m not a huge fan of cross bows being in the magazine but I can overlook things that I don’t love. People Kind of have to do that in life every day. I cannot think of one piece of Curt’s work that that I disagreed with but I can think of several that I whole heartedly agreed with. One such article is when he took a stand against social media and others that glorify extremely long range shots at game. I believe that is to take a stand with ethical hunting and I thank you Curt for having the guts to put your name on that kind of thing. Good luck to all you bow hunters this fall now I have to go finish up the last few pages of my Big Game Special.
I didn’t recall that, thanks Spike and Curt for clarifying. Bowsite called for the boycott too. It was a good lesson for all of us, we believed we were trying to help the outfitters by applying economic pressure to a rational government. Unfortunately they were not rational and all it did was harm the outfitters we were trying to help.
Sadly, it was just a preview of what the next 25 years would look like.
I found the Bowsite because of Bowhunter magazine.
Thanks guys, for the input, both good and bad. I like to know what bowhunters are thinking, which is why I visit Bowsite almost daily. Take care and have a great fall.
I have always loved the magazine but thought Mr. James took the low road in his “forgettable Bowhunters book” when he took a swipe at Fred Bear for his position on drug tipped or “poison” arrows. That was a different time when Fred and Ben and Howard were taking 80 yard shots. Freds concern was the resulting wounding problem.
Curt: I appreciate you participating in the discussion. I started hunting in the late 1950s and was hooked on it by the early 1960s. I started bow hunting in the early 1970s to be a "two season hunter". Back in those days I never thought about B&C or P&Y. My recurve, and quiver full of wooden arrows was about as good as it got. Being out hunting was its own reward, and a fat three-point buck was as good as it got. Now it seems we are all about the biggest animal killed and fancy ("expensive") equipment. To me, Bowhunter magazine and the others epitomize the new thinking and values. I can't say they are wrong. It is just not where I am. It takes a big person to sit in front of your monitor and read this and I applaud you for it. I know you do your best to serve your clients. Best wishes.
Great Bowhunting magazine… The best in IMHO. I do have to admit there was a time frame where I was dissatisfied with its amount of content to add ratio , while literally cutting the number of pages by by 1/2 compared to previous issues. It could be aggravating flipping pages… That being said…I took solace in the fact that the stories were written by some of the most experienced bowhunters on the planet and the wealth of knowledge/ add ratio was worth it. Plus they put some handsome bastards in there occasionally…
I recall bowhunting antelope about 1990, near Douglas Wy. I killed one at a water tank mid afternoon. I had a mile walk down a black top road to my truck. As I was making the walk a suburban came down the road and stopped. The driver asked if I was hunting and if I needed a ride. I said yes, and sure. I hopped in and noticed dozens of bowhunter magazines in the auto. The driver introduced himself and said he was asst editor of Bowhunter. He asked that I send a pic of my antelope and he would put it in Bowhunter.I did, and he did. In those days there was a section of 2-3 pages of bowhunters and their kills in the back of Bowhunter. I still have the magazine.
Strictly speaking about ads.....I'd don't care for them but I understand they are needed to keep the lights on.
I think the folks who have a strong interest in the subject, in this case bow hunting, will read the magazine regardless of ad content. From the business side of it, the leadership would want to not only keep current readers but also attract new readers for sustainability. There would be a balancing act between having interesting and useful content and fluffy ads. You don't want to turn off potential, new subscribers. The mission statement should lay out what the goal of the magazine is.
The attached link has folks in the business discussing the what they think the ratio of content to ads should be. It's a good read.
Mark, that is a handsome looking grass carp!
The crew hunted with my buddy here in Salida at "Ute Trail Outfitters" and Joey (owner) said that Matt and I believe Danny were great to hunt with, ethical, and hard working. Outfiters typically (especially busy ones like Ute Trail) shy away from the hoopla of tv'd hunts but Bowhunter was welcomed and did a great job. If you get a chance watch the show called: "Bottom of the Ninth Bull"
Ty Lou… that’s what I was speaking of
Curt: Thank you for your cogent, logical responses/explanations. And a great magazine!
I've subscribed to Bowhunter since sometime in the late 70s early 80s. When I first subscribed, I bought every backorder issue available at the time. I've read every issue cover to cover and still have them to this day. Now with boxes and binders full of these I've been looking for someone that is interested in them. Otherwise, my plan would be to re-read every issue in order after I retire. Great magazine and all the contributors are the best of the best of the sport we all love.
Been a huge fan of the magazine since I started bowhunting at about 12 years old. I'm a continued subscriber and love the TV show as well. Keep up the great work, Curt (and the rest of the Bowhunter crew)!
I still love getting magazines in the mailbox, and subscribe to plenty of them. Bowhunter magazine has always been the premier bowhunting magazine, even today in difficult print environment. Curt Wells is one heck of a writer and does a fantastic job with the magazine. Of course there are ads, but it's easy to flip past them to get to the meat of the magazine.
Agree with jmiller above regarding Bowhunter magazine being the premier bowhunting magazine and I subscribed to them all back in the day. I also agree with his comments about Curt Wells. I learned a lot from that magazine which included many fine authors. I continue to read from a second generation subscriber's magazine (my son). Badbull
I think the crew at Bowhunter does a great job. Dwight and MR made a good choice in Curt Wells. It's a tough market for print media these days but I always look forward to the next issue. Don't mind the ads either, most very informative.
Curt, you have a thankless job.
One thing I have learned in life is universally the only thing people are good at is complaining. Thanks for Bowhunter Magazine, I’ve been reading since 1980.
Thanks for Bowhunter TV. There are not many outdoor Tv shows worth watching.
Thanks for the ads to keep prices down on both of your products. I have enough mental capacity to skip by the ones I’m not interested in.