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Editorial-Opinion September 2018

Steve Burch | September 8, 2018

When doves begin to sag the powerlines in late August and September, when poplar leaves begin to yellow and grow a dark brown edge, like a burnt potato chip, and fall brings the largest spider webs of the year, sportsmen notice the change and are energized by it.

The change creeps in slowly at first, until one evening, it’s there, and you see it. The sky is bluer, crisper, fresher, lighter. The ground begins to show both green and ripe muscadines, persimmons start to turn, dogwood berries almost over night go from green to bright red. The rush to prepare for winter is on. We call it Fall.

This change, this ripening of everything that has gone from its promise last winter, through its rebirth and summer’s long growth, quickens now. Spring is busy and showy, but Fall is the pay-off. This is my favorite time of year.

This year will be doubly fun for me, and GON, and hopefully you as well. Things that we have been working on are ripening now, and we are rolling them out for you.

The most tangible example is the initiation of the daily Absolute Auction we conduct on our website, www.gon.com. Every business day, we sell something at absolute auction. The opening bid each day is $1. Where it goes from there is up to you. Bidding begins at 9 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. This auction is a happy blend of venders who want to share information about their product or service with you and sportsmen always on the look-out for a good deal.

How good are the deals?

A hang-on deer stand sold for $36, a Hunter Safety System HSS-BP Alpha Safety Harness, something we all need, sold for $16, and a Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Vital V3 Game Camera went for $86. And the pipeline is filling up with everything from a cooler that will hang four deer and will fit in the back of your pick-up to the best accessory hanging system in the tree I have ever seen. Then, there is a fishing trip on Lake Oconee this fall.

The item at absolute auction changes each day. This is a new and positive addition for us all from last fall.

We rolled this new daily absolute auction feature out in June, because we just weren’t all that comfortable with how well it all might work. Other big companies, and the federal government, have staged many launches that have been spectacular launch failures before. But this process seems to be working quite well for us, and for our winning bidders.

We also rolled out another first for GON in late July when we live-streamed the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out on Sunday afternoon from the Blast. That was the first time we live-streamed this event in its entirety, but it won’t be the last.

There will be increasing opportunities for GONers to report in real time from the field and from the boat, or the event or the meeting. Some things work better in printed form, but some things are better with moving pictures that talk. This Fall, that addition to GON will unfold a deeper and richer palate of our coverage of all things outdoors in Georgia.

These things are set and ready to go. But I think there is another bigger and better change coming this fall. And I think you are going to make that change happen.

GON has never been a magazine about us being the experts. We have always featured everyday Georgians, doing what we do every day. You have always been the story; we have always just been the reporter. I think we are now in a position to allow you to tell your story without us.

I am not sure of this yet, for two reasons. The first reason is because we are still fiddling with the knobs in the back room of our digital shack. Our first trials with bringing in video content from GON supporters, GONers, will likely be this month. We’ll see how it goes. As it works out, we think you can bring your own story to us all.

And that brings me to the second reason I am not sure how well this will work out. As a group, sportsmen are often close-mouthed about a lot of things. And for good reason. Sharing that there are “a lot of ducks in middle Georgia creeks and sloughs today” is one thing. But sharing that they are stacked up on Lake Juliette may be more than you might want to share, or show in video. So, I am not real sure how this will work out this Fall.

But I am sure that this is a great time to be working with GONers like you.

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