These first few sentences are coming to you from a center-console fishing boat. It’s mid-July and brutally hot, not a cloud in the sky. I’m shaded by the boat’s canvas top, trying not to drip sweat on the notebook on my knee.
For a couple hours I’ve been throwing a Zara Spook right up on shore. Walking it through the weeds, bouncing it off docks and seawalls. One decent largemouth took a lazy swipe, and that’s it.
Stowing my rod to write and reflect for a few minutes is a welcome change from not catching fish. It’s also a fitting time to acknowledge an important moment for WildIndiana, as well as me personally.
I’m pleased to announce I recently acquired WildIndiana from Brent Wheat. Wheat and I have been friends and colleagues for over 20 years. He’s a fixture in the Indiana outdoor media business, and nationally as the editor of GUNS magazine.
He started WildIndiana in 2001 and built it into Indiana’s premiere, online, outdoor magazine. It’s an honor to be taking over as editor and publisher from Brent Wheat. To my benefit, and that of the WildIndiana community, he’s staying on-staff at WildIndiana as an editor-at-large.
From here, WildIndiana begins a new chapter of the same book. It will remain a magazine dedicated to our state’s diverse outdoor activities. I’m committed to reinforcing WildIndiana’s position as Indiana’s sporting authority, and the center of our outdoor community.
As Wheat and I closed in on transferring ownership, I began to sketch out an editorial statement. This isn’t the final version, I expect it to evolve and be refined over time. But it is a glimpse into the direction of the magazine and the values WildIndiana represents.
The statement reads:
“WildIndiana is Indiana’s Sporting Authority. The magazine covers fishing, hunting, shooting, photography, travel, gear, conservation, policy and will range further on occasion. Current, local knowledge is gold to the practicing outdoorsman; the magazine features all that it can glean.
Opinion is part of the editorial build – some of it you may agree with, some you may not. Some of it we may not, and that’s good for us.
WildIndiana is focused on Indiana, but not constrained by geography. Many issues important to Hoosiers aren’t state-specific; the magazine recognizes the need to look beyond our borders.
Finally, WildIndiana has little without its integrity – journalistic and otherwise – and it is protected accordingly.”
As editor and publisher I’m going to continue the work of making WildIndiana the prime example of an outdoor publication. We have the time-tested editorial structure of a magazine combined with the flexibility and space of publishing online. I believe it’s the right balance of tradition and technology.
In the coming days you’ll immediately see news, opinion and wisdom from WildIndiana. Over the next few weeks, expect to see the magazine increase the pace of publishing as we work into a regular schedule.
But we’d rather do this right than fast, so please give us time to reach full speed. I’ll keep you posted as we add members to the editorial team and make progress behind the scenes.
One of my most important tasks is getting to know the WildIndiana community. I’ve been a contributor and reader, but I haven’t had a direct line to the thousands of readers, listeners and viewers.
If inclined, please send me an email with your suggestions or observations about WildIndiana at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me on our Facebook or Instagram. I look forward to hearing from you.