American hunter | American hunter: 48 years of pure hunting luck

“Most hunts are over quickly. It’s hard to tell whether non-hunters understand or not. In this world of wonderful photography and television camera tricks that drag time and interlock objects and circumstances that never come close in reality, the almost explosive end of most hunting experiences, dealing with real animals and birds in real situations , difficult to understand its non-hunter. …

That may be the problem for the hunters now and then. There is no way to convey the tremendous importance of hunting to a non-hunter. There is no way to tell the casual researcher that hunters may be hunting because they are trying to find out if that person at the peak is the real person they are. It seems a shame we don’t have another language, one that works by plugging those old nerve endings right in and activating one of the two or three best feelings out there. At best, television and film cameras only deal with second best.

A writer, if he is good, can get much closer to the inside. This magazine will offer you good authors. ” —Ken Warner, Editor, 1973-78-

Those words sound as true today as they did when they were originally published in the opening issue of Magazine in October 1973. This letter “From Behind the Desk” to readers, written by the publication’s first editor, Ken Warner, promised then as now: To deliver something that television and film simply cannot; the realities of field arms and firearms, painted vividly in the written voice of some of the most knowledgeable – and entertaining – hunters, shooters and nature lovers. A publication for hunters, by hunters. That was and is our promise.

While the October 1973 issue marked the first time this magazine was fully published, the July issue of American Rifleman that same year gave NRA members their first look at , a 16-page preview of what’s to come should. Complete with feature stories about western mule deer, soaring pheasants, and “old-fashioned hunting,” this sampling ran along with a prepaid mailer offering interested members the new monthly magazine as a supplement to their delivery from American Rifleman for the small subscription fee from $ 5 per year, 42 cents per issue.

It was definitely a gamble. At a time when American Rifleman was a member perk reaching more than 1 million households across the country and serving a wide variety of gun owners including shooters, military personnel, collectors, hunters, and competitors, the idea of ​​a new magazine with a single focus on hunting was born , Fieldcraft and hunting firearms raised concerns about costs and benefits among the upper echelons of the NRA. Would the Second Amendment supporters with such a broad range of interests include such a niche magazine? The NRA needed 50,000 subscribers for the new publication to be economically viable. So the NRA assembled a team of editors, writers, graphic designers and photographers and set about creating the preview and subsequent early editions.

The feedback was more than we had hoped for. More than 100,000 NRA members subscribed in the first year, clearly signaling that we had filled a void left by the magazines available at the time. With , the NRA created the world’s first pure hunting magazine.

List of famous bylines in  since its inception in 1973.

After just a few years it was clear that the risk had been worth it. In 1978, as membership continued to grow, the NRA cemented Magazine as the NRA Official Journal, allowing members to receive American Rifleman or every month as part of their Association benefits. By 1982, the NRA was delivering more than 1 million monthly copies of to its members. And the proof-of-concept remains undeniable today; In addition to hunting at the rifle range, hunting is the most important way gun-owning Americans use their firearms.

As we celebrate 150 years of this great association and 48 years of magazine, it is imperative to remember where we come from in order to plan for the future. In 1982, the height of hunting participation in the United States, 17 million hunters were reported. Today, almost 50 years later, the number of hunters is estimated at a comparatively dismal 11 million men and women. These numbers are more than worrying. So here at AH, along with millions of hunters across the country, we know the importance of growing our ranks. That is why we care so much about the next generation of hunters; why we are constantly trying to encourage you, the committed and knowledgeable people, through our “Join the Hunt” and the industry-wide R3 (Recruit, Retain, Reactivate) initiative to awaken and find this passion in your fellow human beings The blessings of the hunt are unattainable.

It is thanks to the 5 million members of the NRA that this magazine stays strong. As the Official Gazette, it is often touted as one of the most valued and important benefits of NRA membership. We are as committed to your NRA magazine today as we were 48 years ago. We will continue to strive to provide you, the American hunter who is so focused on your hunt, with valuable instruction, intelligent insights, compelling stories, and an overwhelming sense of pride in the ancient tribe to which we all belong – the tribe of Hunter.

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