By Dan Kidder
Managing Editor

This issue of Sportsman’s News Magazine marks my eight-year anniversary as Managing Editor.

It has been an amazing road so far. Eight years is the longest I have ever worked anywhere. In the past eight years we have published 96 issues of the magazine. The publishing business is never-ending. Once you print an issue, you immediately start working on the next month. Deadlines, article submissions, chasing after writers, coordinating graphics, staying on top of the printers and all of the daily activities of editing the largest free outdoor publication in America keep you so busy that you scarcely have time to reflect on how fast the past eight years have flown by.

In the past eight years Sportsman’s News has seen some amazing transitions. We added a website in 2008. In 2010 we added a very active online forum where our readers can interact with other readers, post and seek outdoor jobs, find discounted hunting and fishing trips and discuss all things outdoors. We currently have close to 15,000 registered users of our forums.

In 2013, we added a Digital Edition of Sportsman’s News that is delivered directly to the Email Inbox of our subscribers. This digital product provides the same content as the print edition, but with added articles and more in-depth content, all with the convenience of in-home delivery.

In addition to our work to create our great print magazine, we have stepped up production of our television shows, Sportsman’s News Television, sold as a DVD in Sportsman’s Warehouse stores. Filming and editing these shows and video product reviews keep us pretty busy as well.

Because the production schedule never ends, there isn’t as much time to spend doing fun things in the field as we would like and the chance to get out and test gear or film a TV spot is often the only “excuse” I get to leave the office.

Knowing all of this, I will let you in on a little secret; I have never killed a deer. While I do have a background in tactical shooting and firearms instruction, I was never a hunter. The photo up above of a massive Russian Boar is the only big game animal I have ever shot. See, Sportsman’s News didn’t hire me because I am a knowledgeable hunter. We have plenty of staff for that task. They hired me because I know how to build magazines. So, on most days, I am firmly ensconced in my office chair, working away on the next issue, while the rest of the staff are out in the field bringing you great content.

Well, God willing, this is the year all of that changes. I have drawn a muzzleloader buck tag in one of the premium units in Utah and have the support of some of the top experts in the outdoor industry to try to help me take my first deer. If I am successful, you can read about it in an upcoming edition of Sportsman’s News.

Over the last eight years, I have been able to spend some time talking with many of our readers, getting their feedback, hearing their outdoor stories, seeing their hunting pictures and implementing their feedback to help make, what I consider, to be one of the finest outdoor publications anywhere.

I have been very privileged to take this journey of adventure with our readers and contributors alike. I know that I have learned a great deal about the outdoors just by reading and editing the articles our writers submit. We have top contributors such as our publisher Michael Deming, Kent Danjanovich our Senior Editor, Gary Lewis from the Pacific Northwest, The Fishful Thinker himself, Chad LaChance, outdoor television legend Andy Lightbody and many others who provide their expertise and hard-learned lessons and I am anxious to put these resources to the test to go get my first buck.

Another great benefit of working for this great publication, is that I get to test and use some of the best gear ever made. For my hunt, I will be carrying a CVA Accura V2 Northwest edition muzzleloader, topped with a Vortex Crossfire one-power scope. You can read about the CVA muzzleloader on page 30 and the Crossfire on page 44 of this issue.

In addition to being my eighth anniversary, this year marks the 10th Anniversary of Sportsman’s News. As you know, much of the gear we test and write about gets passed on to our readers in the form of giveaways. To help us celebrate our 10th year, we are stepping up those giveaways each month with special gear and gun drawings for both our forum users and also separate giveaways for our Digital Edition subscribers. This month we will be giving away another great HK pistol and an LEM industrial strength vacuum sealer, as well as knives from Outdoor Edge, ammunition from DoubleTap, and many other great prizes. So, if you haven’t entered already, head on over to our homepage and get registered for both the forum and our Digital Edition.

Thank you for the last eight years and here is looking toward another eight years of bringing you great outdoor content.