Tough love for hunters

  • Stephen Byers

    Mickey Sautendyjk
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Before coming to Outdoor Life, Stephen Byers worked for Rolling Stone and Men's Journal. Since his highly publicized resignation from Outdoor Life last summer, he's been writing a novel and shopping "ever so selectively" for another top editorial slot. Byers talks about his days at the sportsmen's magazine:

Stephen Byers: "My intention was never to turn Outdoor Life readers into tweedy guys, but merely to expose them to the political and ethical issues that are affecting outdoor sport today, and to make them come to terms with those issues. Call it tough love. My goal for every issue was to address a controversial question. Where right and wrong were clearly evident, I wanted to take a stand. None of our competitors was doing that.

"All was going well until the Tom Beck-Wildlife Legislative Fund of America controversy flashed up. We could have ridden it out with dignity, but it took (Times Mirror Executive) Jason Klein by surprise, and he buckled. (Executive Editor) Will Bourne and I saw no recourse but to resign.

"The WLFA has been skillful at selling hunters on the idea that we don't have to listen to the public regarding ethics. Outdoor magazines have played into this by telling hunters, "You have a right to keep doing what you're doing, and it doesn't matter what non-hunters think about it. You should be enraged that non-hunters are trying to tell you anything."

"That's garbage. From a practical standpoint, if you're routinely slapping the public in the mouth with behavior that's anathema to them, eventually you're going to get slapped back. The hunting lobby isn't all that powerful. Ultimately, the 'mind your own business' attitude has the potential to kill the sport."

High Country News Classifieds
  • WESTERN WATER PROJECT MANAGER
    National Wildlife Federation is hiring NM-based position focused on riparian corridors, watershed health. Learn more and apply online: https://www.nwf.org/about-us/careers
  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Associate Program Director Location: New Mexico; flexible in state Position reports to: Senior Program Director Position Closes: March 13, 2020 GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The...
  • DEAN, W. A. FRANKE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
    Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, apply http://bit.ly/2548umjobs. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer
  • GRAPHIC DESIGNER
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a creative and driven graphic design professional to design high quality print and digital collateral. The Graphic Designer will bring...
  • STEWARDSHIP SPECIALIST
    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks experienced person to manage its 133 conservation easements in south-central Colorado.
  • CAMPAIGN REPRESENTATIV
    Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign is hiring an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry on the Gulf...
  • AG LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT) seeks passionate relationship builder experienced in coordinating agricultural conservation easement transactions.
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • FINANCE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Coms/Engagmnt Mngr; Dev/Engagmnt Dir; Americorps vol
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Dev/Engagement Dir; Coms/Engagement Mngr; & Americorps volunteer
  • SEASONAL TRAIL CREW LEADERS
    Lead the nation's premier volunteer-based trail crew programs on the spectacular Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. This is a great career-building opportunity for rising professionals....
  • ORGANIZING AND TRAINING COORDINATOR
    Is this your dream job? Are you looking to join a nationally recognized organizing network, live in a spectacular part of the West, and work...
  • DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY DIRECTOR
    Provide stewardship and protection for the Great Burn wildlands along the Montana-Idaho stateline. This position is based in Missoula, MT, where a river runs through...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Central Oregon LandWatch is seeking an Executive Director to advance our mission and oversee the development of the organization. Job Description: The Executive Director oversees...
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • SAN JUAN BASIN ENERGY CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is seeking a full-time San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer located in Farmington, New Mexico. The San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer focuses...
  • WILDLIFE PROGRAM MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance (SJCA) is looking for a passionate, experienced, and motivated Wildlife Program Manager to lead campaigns to protect and enhance wildlife and...
  • GRANT WRITER
    "This thriving citizens organization exemplifies the ideal of public involvement in public processes."- Billings Gazette Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, &...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER AND MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR
    Western Colorado Alliance is hiring for 4 positions, 2 Full Time Community Organizers, 1 Part Time Community Organizer and a Part Time Membership Coordinator. For...
  • BUSINESS OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    Thorne Nature Experience is looking for a Business Operations Director who will work in partnership with the Executive Director and Thorne's Directors and Managers to...