GON Won’t Be At The Buckaramas

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GON Staff | August 1, 2006

The old GON booth and GON contest displays were at the center of the Atlanta Buckarama through the 1990s and early 2000s.

After 20 years of GON being able to renew old friendships with many of you each August at the Buckaramas, GON has been denied a place in the shows this year by the show owner, the Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF). We are disappointed by the actions of GWF/Camo Coalition because we valued this opportunity to get face time with each of you.

This decision to not hold the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out in Perry due to financial reasons was, in our view, separate and unrelated to purchasing booth space at the Buckaramas.
In December of last year, GON signed and delivered contracts to GWF/Camo Coalition for the Buckaramas, as we have done for the past 20 years.

This May, GON noticed that the deposit checks for the booth contracts had not cleared the bank. On May 15, via email, GON asked GWF/Camo Coalition about the deposit checks.

In a series of three emails back and forth, GWF/Camo Coalition claimed never to have received the checks or the contracts. They also never suggested that the “lost” paperwork could be replaced.

When GON pointed out this fact and suggested that paperwork could easily be replaced, if that were the issue, emails ceased. GON then received a certified letter indicating that GON would not be permitted in the shows.

Two key exchanges between the two organizations have been included below to help you understand what has happened.

The bottom line is that GON took steps twice to attend the Buckarama shows. Twice the GWF/Camo Coalition said no.

Why is GON not allowed at the Buckaramas?

Here is a timeline of communications between GON and GWF/Camo Coalition.

  • December 6, 2005: GWF/Camo Coalition mailed GON contracts for exhibit space in the Buckaramas, which were to be signed by GON and a deposit equal to half the exhibit space returned with the contract. GWF/Camo Coalition would deposit the checks, sign the contracts and return the executed contracts to GON.
  • December 14, 2006: GON traveled to GWF/Camo Coalition offices for a meeting of several sportsmen’s groups to discuss formation of Georgians For Outdoor Traditions. In that meeting, GON hand-delivered the contracts and checks for the deposits to Glenn Dowling, GWF executive vice president.
  • In May, GON noted that these two checks remained outstanding, prompting email exchanges that produced the following email from GON to GWF and subsequently their registered letter in return.


May 18, 2006
Dear Jerry,
Pursuant to my earlier email regarding missing, uncashed checks, Carol Hassell of your office has been unable to locate either the contracts or the checks; both which you will recall, I hand-delivered to you and Glenn last year.

Both checks and contracts can be replaced if necessary. However, neither Carol or Doug or you have suggested a course of action now that the question of these missing checks and contracts have been raised. No one has suggested that the checks and contracts be reissued and replaced.

I have never known you to be sloppy with checks before so I find it out of character that checks hand-delivered to you at your office should mysteriously go missing.
It makes me wonder if something else might be afoot.

I write you to ask whether or not you have decided to bar GON from participation in the Buckaramas, and are using the claimed no knowledge of missing contracts and checks as pretext. I would be disappointed if this were true.

If my concerns are unjustified, please accept my apology and have Doug reissue the contract and I will re-execute and again submit it and replacement checks for our normal and usual booth space in both the Atlanta and Perry Buckarama.

But if it is so, please state the justification for excluding GON.

I look forward to seeing you again in Atlanta and Perry as we have for the past 20 years.

Steve Burch
Georgia Outdoor News


May 24, 2006
Dear Mr. Burch,

As stated in our email response to your inquiry, the checks you claim to have delivered are not in our possession. We regret learning of your losing your checks and the associated paperwork.

Because GON chose not to attend the Georgia Wildlife Federation February outdoor and sporting shows, our staff, as a standard business practice, filled booth space with another statewide outdoor publication.

This same publication committed to the August 2006 Buckaramas. Therefore, I have directed the GWF show staff to place GON on the waiting list should a statewide outdoor publication be needed to fill a future vacancy.

Jerry L. McCollum


In effect, Jerry’s letter says GON is barred from the 2006 Buckaramas.

If their reasoning for excluding us was because we didn’t attend the February Fisharama shows, why did they mail us contracts for booth space at the Buckaramas? Why were we not informed until the May 24 letter?

Our Buckarama subscribers, the guys who always renew their subscriptions at these shows, are what makes these shows so rewarding. It’s the faces of friends that we see every year at the shows that we’re going to miss. We printed the above information so our friends would know why we’re not at the Buckaramas — we wanted to be. We’re going to miss seeing friends.

To renew, you can call (800) 438-4663. Also, the website is a fast and easy way to renew, <>.

To come see us in a different venue, GON will be at the Hunting & Fishing Expo 2006 in Tifton, August 25-27.

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