By Michael Deming

As we settle in to print the July issue, the last of the western states big game draw results are being posted. The time of anticipation has now passed and dreams of that prestigious tag of a lifetime are either a reality or once again only a dream. I put off a good number of trips this year because I had been building bonus points in many of the western states and this year was going to be the time I used them up. I was sure that a dozen points in Arizona was going to put me on the mark to draw my desired archery tag. I was also pretty sure that 22 points for elk in the great state of Nevada would get me an archery tag as well. In all cases, I was unsuccessful and will now be forced to fall back on some old reliable recourses if I plan on hunting this fall.

I know that there are many of you out there who were unsuccessful once again, just like me. The thought of waiting for another seven months to be in the drawings with a chance at a tag of a lifetime is excruciating. But there is a way to still draw that dream tag. The Sportsman’s News Pro Member Sweepstakes is that way for you to be in the game for the entire year. We are giving away over $300,000 worth of trips, guns and gear each and every year. We have already given away over $60,000 worth of stuff since our first drawing held on March 30th. In the state of Nevada alone this year, I spent just over $400 on application fees for numerous species and the required licenses to apply.

By becoming a Pro Member, you will be entered for at least 36 different drawings for $297 for the year or you can even pay by the month for only $27. We know this isn’t cheap, but neither are the trips we are offering. These are the very best trips with the very best outfitters we have been with over the past 11 years. We have also reserved the very best dates. These dates are the easiest for the outfitters to sell, so there are no discounts to be had. However, we know that winning one of these trips is going to provide each and every one of those people a trip of a lifetime. The membership grows each and every month, so the odds of winning truly will never be better than they are right now.

If you were lucky enough to draw a tag this year or even if you didn’t and you still want to hunt, one of the big benefits of being a Pro Member is the 5% discount on any trip booked with our Platinum Approved Outfitter. We have a vast selection of outfitters with lots of different hunts as well as fishing trips which qualify for this discount. If you happen to be booking a $6,000 trophy mule deer hunt, you might as well become a Pro Member and, the 5% discount you receive on the trip will provide you with a free Sportsman’s News Pro Membership. All the details of this month’s giveaways as well as a handful of our past winners can be found on page 3 of this issue. More details of all the giveaways for the next 12 months can be seen by visiting our website and looking under the membership tab.

This issue is packed with some great articles. Pro Staffer Chad LaChance covers our feature article on fishing in Louisiana. A post trip conversation about the article revealed that this was a trip I should have done myself and taken my wife instead of delegating. It was truly a five star destination and something that should be considered by all. We also have an in-depth boot review in this issue. It is so hard to pick a pair of boots off the shelf, hope that they are what you are looking for and then cross your fingers that they are worth the big dollars that you just forked out for them. I had my team put all of these boots to a hard core test over the past few months in order to share their thoughts on paper. All of these write-ups are in this issue. If you have specific questions about a specific boot, feel free to contact the person who wrote the review and ask them even more of what you like. We are here to make sure you make the right purchase to fit your needs.

Thanks for taking the time to pick up this free copy of Sportsman’s News. It’s because of you that we are the largest free outdoor publication in the nation. Have a great summer and good luck to those who become a Sportsman’s News Pro Member.