It’s Not Easy, And We Aren’t Pretty, But… GON

Daryl Kirby | August 30, 2023

It’s not uncommon when putting these GON magazines together each month to take a pause and recognize how blessed and fortunate we are. Seeing all of these articles is a much-needed reminder that we are blessed and fortunate in many ways.

We could talk endlessly about the incredible hunting and fishing opportunities in this state,  we really do have it good. And then there are the people who work for and with DNR who help make it great. The leadership? Have you kept up with how things are and were in some other states? And most importantly, we can’t say enough about the sportsmen and women of Georgia, many of whom are part of this thing we like to call the GON Community.

Biased? You bet. But you can’t convince me that these folks are not a better shade of good than the average person these days. In a world where everyone is picking sides and teams, and when it seems to get crazier by the day, I’m feeling pretty good about our team. No transfer portal needed.

Putting together the GON magazine every month with articles about hunting and fishing in Georgia and people who share this passion—that’s my welcomed reminder. And I hope it is for you, as well. I almost hate to single out a particular article because they’re all special, but….

The Cohutta article in this September issue means a lot to me. Last spring some of you might have noticed a little Help Wanted blurb in Briefly. We put out a call for sportsmen and women who might have an interest in contributing content for the GON Community. I hoped we might encourage a few new contributions to our online blogs, maybe some people who could provide videos for our YouTube channel. What I also hoped for, but didn’t expect, was that a simple little blurb would result in a brand-new byline in the pages of GON.

Blessed and fortunate.

“Hi Daryl, I’m responding to your ‘Help Wanted’ notice in the April issue of GON. I’ve often thought about submitting articles to GON for publishing but simply never got around to it. I feel I can contribute articles and new ideas for GON. I’m not a ‘writer’ but have decent writing skills.”

That’s how the email from Mike Bickers began. Mike is a longtime GONer. He lives in Woodstock and hunts mostly in Greene County.

A few months after that first email, Mike has an article in GON, and dang if it’s not special. We already have another article from him that will be appearing in an upcoming issue. Some other new writers are in the pipeline now, as well.

I saw Mike Bickers at the recent Outdoor Blast. He was hanging out and talking with Duncan Dobie. A brand-new outdoor writer now a kindred spirit with, in my opinion, one of the best, most talented outdoor writers still spinning stories that touch us deep in our outdoor-drenched souls. Great stuff. I love lots about the GON Community, but that was special.

Speaking of what GON does… some eagle-eyed readers will notice that the cover of this September issue says there were 94 new bow-bucks added to the County-By-County Top-10 lists in the Georgia Deer Records. But the article on page 90 says there are 96 new Top-10s. That’s not a mistake. The cover pages are printed on that slick, glossy paper, which means those pages have to be completed well before the newsprint pages used inside the magazine for all the articles. That’s by design from our founder Steve Burch. Back in 1987 when he dreamed up the recipe for GON, the idea of being timely with hunting and fishing news was a key ingredient. We received two more deer scores just before going to press, so the article was updated.

It’s not easy being timely, and we know the newsprint pages are not as pretty as some of those slick magazines you might remember. But they’re all gone. GON is still standing. And standing strong, thanks to y’all. From all walks of life, we are bonded by a shared passion for the outdoors. A passion for the critters, the lands and waters. And GON. Blessed and fortunate.

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