The way we consume outdoor media has changed, whether you’re thinking about TV, books, magazines, radio, Internet or anything else. Yet the saying, “What’s old is new again,” also comes to mind.
We’re told over and over again that media consumers' attention spans have diminished, especially on the Internet. They say we need to be spoon fed tiny bites of information. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but it’s certainly arguable that in the hectic pace and schedule under which we live, few probably have the time to sit down to digest a couple thousand words at a time!
In the old days of print magazines, it was common practice to serialize long stories. No, it’s got nothing to do with advertisements from Capt’n Crunch or Grape Nuts. It simply meant breaking a story into multiple segments, and doling them out in multiple issues of the magazine.
Well, I came across a humor column I wrote for North American Hunter magazine nearly 20 years ago, and even if I have to say it myself—it’s pretty danged good. Somewhere, I’ve even got an award it won from one of the outdoor writer groups. It’s fairly long, so we’re going to try an experiment—we’ll serialize it for the HuntingClub.com blog, “Hunting with Bill Miller.” Let me know what you think.
Challenge of the Rogue:The Beginning
Below the surface lurked the ugly green monster of envy. Though I could control it most of the time, my jealousy must have been obvious at the water cooler, lunch hour and at social gatherings with co-workers. I was just out and out plain jealous of my friends.
Everything always seems to work for them. I mean, they’re eligible for the same vacation time I am. They make about the same wages I do, but somehow they always seem to be taking hunting trips to exotic places like Alaska, Africa and Argentina. Why, one guy I know even has his name on a list of hunters who could be called on 24 hour notice to fly off to South America should a jaguar turn man eater.
Besides making the trips, these friends of mine always seem to get in on the excitement every time they go hunting! I swear, if my buddy Colt were hunting gerbils in New Jersey, he would shoot the critters in full-charge with blood from a fresh kill dripping off the rodents’ incisors.
Finally, enough was enough. I was fed up. Come hell or high taxes I was going to make a hunt that none of the guys at the office would be able to one-up when we stopped for beers. Problem was, my bank account … and my spouse … and overtime … and … and … and … But the obstacles simply strengthened my resolve to put together an affordable, yet exciting, close-to-home, yet exotic hunt.
My first contact was Gunther McDougal. If anyone could line me up with an exciting hunt it was this camo-clad 10-year-old who knows everybody in our neighborhood … and the next. Any time he’s not in school, which seems like more often than not, Gunther roams our suburban subdivision astride his beat up bicycle. That bike is Gunther’s Range Rover extraordinaire.
To be continued …