Some of the Best Outdoor Writers Anywhere


Experiences can influence youth to be involved more in the outdoors
A good outdoor magazine has a staff of writers that use their outdoor experiences to help them write about their enjoyment of the outdoors. The stories they tell are about events that make each day special. At MidWest Outdoors, there’s a mix of older, more experienced outdoorsmen like Al and Ron Linder, Babe Winkelman, Dan Gapen, Spence Petros and Jerry Pabst, and younger writers too who are guides or instructors, tournament pros, teachers, parents or their friends, or individuals with past events that taught them something new in their outdoor “classrooms.” Each trip or event adds to his or her outdoor knowledge.

All the writers for this magazine give you a wide variety of advice and likes and dislikes, so as you read through these pages you’ll discover a wide range of outdoor adventures and successful pursuits.

You might just be one of those writers too.

When I was doing the radio show, from time to time I was asked why I enjoyed fishing. I was often asked this by a teacher in a school, by someone from a Boy Scout troop or Girl Scout troop, or any interested children. Once I was at a small school in Zion for a session where the question came up. We were all in the gym that morning and I explained about the different types of fishing: fly casting, spinning, baitcasting and use of a bobber. Then after lunch we went to a small pond that had fish. I could then give them some tips and information while actually on the water. That day we had a small girl with us who had never fished before who caught her first fish while the rest of the school watched and applauded.

Deborah Greenlee, a gym teacher at West Leyden Township High School in Northlake, contacted me about doing a speaking seminar. She thought it would be a great idea to explain fishing to her gym class. She thought it would be a change of pace to an otherwise dull school day, and give them some knowledge of the sport. I had five different groups that day, ready to learn how to fish with many questions to be answered.

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I’ve had other groups too, and have showed students and scouts how I would mount a pheasant. I’m not a good speaker, but I enjoyed the challenge and I think they didn’t mind putting up with me.

It would be an enlightening experience for any of our writers if they could make themselves available to any educators or anybody else who would have a group of interested children to teach them what we enjoy about fishing. They wouldn’t have to have any scientific or technical knowledge, just the fundamentals on how to catch a fish and why it’s so much fun. Perhaps more columns can then be dedicated to these experiences with the different groups and what they learned, and help promote education about fishing and hunting through reading our magazine.

Teaching different groups like this helps keep an interest in the outdoors for our younger people. I would bet that even now there are other article writers of MWO who have been guest speakers at some school gatherings and meetings in the past.

The more people we have of varying ages in our fields and streams the more eyes and ears we have maintaining our environment, and those pursing the enjoyment of the outdoors. You can imagine the excitement of these children in the groups as they perhaps see their names mentioned in an article written about them and their school, scout pack or neighborhood group, or imagining, one day, listed in the byline of an article in MidWest Outdoors magazine.