Shotgun Sports

Shotgun Sports is not a hunting magazine — it is an all-around shotgunnning magazine. That means it covers all the shotgun sports, as well as shotgun reloading, gear and accessories for shotgunners, and anything shotgun-related. That, of course, means they don’t use a lot of hunting articles throughout the year, but they do try to include some hunting, especially in the fall and winter months. And they run hunting-gun reviews and reviews of related products throughout the year.
From Linda Martin, production coordinator for Shotgun Sports: “What got me thinking about this is the arrival of a hunting supplies catalog in my mail. Wow, there is a lot of equipment out there for hunters! And that made me wonder why so many writers send nice little articles about the joys of wandering around in the woods hunting for game when they could be sending in hard-hitting, action-packed, info-loaded articles that say how great it is to be in the outdoors enjoying the hunt while also sharing with our readers great tips on how they can be more successful and all the cool gear you can get to hep you do that.
“For example, here are just a few of the great things I saw in the catalog that readers might like to know more about (especially those who are new to hunting or who have not been as successful as they’d like)…

  • Camo: There are so many different patterns; which is best for what kind of hunting in what parts of the country? (there’s even camo for my dog!)
  • Binoculars, range finders, scopes: Do I need these; why do I need these?
  • Blinds: Chair blinds, pop-up blinds, deer stands, layout blinds, boat blinds, dog blinds; do I need a blind; when, where, why, which?
  • Wildlife cameras: These are so cool, but are they really helpful to hunters; can you give me a good excuse to buy on?
  • Decoys: There are so many different kinds! Are they really necessary; how many do I need; which are most successful in what scenarios; are remote-control decoys worth the pric?
  • Getting the game out: Do I drag it, sling it over my shoulder, use a strap, use a deer cart; do I need an AT?
  • Calls: Do I really need to use them; how can I learn to use them right; how do I choose the right one?
  • It’s cold out there! Does anything really work to help stay warm; gloves can be so annoying and get in the way; hats can run from inefficient to outrageous-looking; do any boots/shoes really keep your feet war?
  • Guns and ammo: Of course, these are always of interest, but is there anything really new and effective… and affordable?
  • Places to hunt: where, when, how, why… cost, no cost?

“Okay, you should now have plenty of fodder for great hunting articles!
“But also keep in mind these big factors for successful story placement:

  1. Is it worth the reader’s time to read it? Will they gain new and useful knowledge that will help them succeed?
  2. Is it different than all the other hunting stories in all the other magazines out there?
  3. Are there any “hooks” advertisers can latch onto to promote their products in the same issue?
  4. Is it “meaty” (at least 1500 words preferably 2500-3000, with lots of great photos)?
  5. And are those photos relevant to the information in the article and not just of a bunch of pretty pictures or shots of dead, bloody game that don’t really convey the thrill of the hunt, the key factors that made the hunt successful and the beauty of the great outdoors you got to enjoy while on the hunt?

“There are a ton of hunting magazines out there and many are very high-quality. Because we are not primarily a hunting magazine, Shotgun Sports wants our hunting stories to be just a little different, a little more informative, a little more exciting, and a little more full of chances for readers to learn about all the great products our advertisers offer that can help make their hunts more successful.”
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