Great To Meet GON Readers At Outdoor Blast

Craig James | August 2, 2023

If you weren’t at the GON Outdoor Blast in Emerson this year, I’ll sum it up quickly by saying you really missed out. Big bucks were scored, guns were won every hour on the hour, and vendors had enough discount goodies to fill 20 semi trailers. Oh yeah… and thanks to John Megel Chevrolet, we were once again able to give away a brand-new pick-up truck to the winner of the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out. Good times… good times.

The long drive home to Waycross had me think about all of the folks that I got to see and talk with in the GON booth this year. Some of y’all just stopped by to say hey and to see how we’ve been since last year’s show, and some of y’all were new faces stopping in and subscribing to GON for the first time.

We talked about rainbow trout in the mountains, I heard hunt stories from last season that landed folks in the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out, talked bass fishing on Lake Seminole and met several of y’all who were new hunters hoping to harvest your first deer this season. And of course… I made many of y’all listen… maybe even a little longer than you wanted… to my redbreast fishing stories from south Georgia. God knows it was good to see and talk to each and every one of y’all. After all… it’s you that GON magazine is about.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. A longtime GON subscriber comes by the booth with an excellent idea to make next year’s show better. I immediately texted it to the Publisher Daryl Kirby, and you know what his response was?

“Usually, all of our best ideas come from readers.”

Sure, that red GON sticker looks cool on the back glass of a pickup truck, and that front cover of the magazine will always catch your eye in a little country gas station, but at the end of the day, GON wouldn’t or couldn’t be here without you.

This isn’t a magazine being pumped out by a bunch of folks wearing khaki slacks in a high rise somewhere in Atlanta. Heck, if you were at the show, you probably walked right by Steve Burch, the man who started the magazine almost 37 years ago, and you didn’t even know it. Same goes for the owners Daryl Kirby and Mike Rhodes. Dressed in camo shirts and khaki shorts, they’re definitely not the typical business slicks wearing suits and ties to make sure they were seen. Nope, as a matter of fact I don’t even think they had name tags. Long-time Editor Brad Gill is no different. With his old faded blue jeans, he easily disappears into the crowd… just the way he likes it.

Now… Daryl Gay from the Back Page… well. we can’t hide a funny guy like him as easily in the GON booth, but if you’ve read more than two or three paragraphs on the Back Page in the past few decades, you already know where he stands.

Point is… GON isn’t about us. It’s about you. Always has been and always will be. The same vision that Steve Burch started GON with all those years ago still stands today.

Sure we need you to subscribe, it would be a flat-out lie to say we don’t. We’re paying bills just like all of y’all. But we’re not just going to answer the phone once a year when it’s time to renew and you give us your credit card info. We’re here to listen to what you’ve got to say. Whether it’s a concern you have about a new duck hunting law that’s been passed, or you are wanting to share a picture of your granddaughter’s first deer. GON is still here today for the same reason it was on day one. It’s all about you!

Looking forward to seeing all of y’all again next year at the Blast! God Bless.

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  1. Andrew Curtis on August 2, 2023 at 9:55 am

    Great work, Craig! Thanks for all you do for the GON community.

    • gaboy86 on August 2, 2023 at 11:22 am

      Thanks Andrew! Glad we’re all in it together! The GON family is like no other!!

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