I do like to write down stories about the more adventurous hunts that I go on with a certain buddy. Of course as the writer you get to inflate the story as much as necessary to make it fun. Eventually I combine the story with a few photos and put it my 'hunting book' and send the victim a copy. One of my other hunting friends goes a bit further and makes a slide show with music and snide commentaries on a cd. Its great fun but I lack the talent and imagination to actually make money at writing.
If writing is something you enjoy pursue it by all means.
In May of 1998, Phil Kiner joined the staff of Trap & Field. I sent the editor a letter telling her that of the top shooters out there, she had chosen one of the best but I thought the "average" shooters who likely will never achieve All-American status or perhaps even win a trophy at their state shoot who, by my best guess, comprised 75% of the ATA membership, would probably derive more enjoyment from a column written by one of their peers. I received a telephone call from her a few days later in which she told me that the percentage was more like 90% and asked when I wanted to start.
I wrote 47 columns for T&F until 2002; I've been with Shotgun Sports Magazine since then and have written 79 columns and 19 other articles for that publication. But there's no guarantee that once you're "published," you always will be. In November, I was asked to write a bi-weekly column on shooting for the Harrisburg, PA, Patriot-News, a major Pennsylvania newspaper. After six articles, I just last week was one of several victims of a budget cut that was handed to a new sports editor.
You won't get rich but it does provide you with a little "mad money" to help offset your shooting costs. It's been over ten years for me - I still enjoy doing it and I get most of that enjoyment from the reader mail I receive every month. It can be tough racket to break into, however. There are a lot of people would like to be paid for what they write and magazines are always receiving manuscripts and inquiries. A potential columnist has to have a style or format that appeals to an editor before even a well-written document has a chance at being published.
But don't let that stop you. Send a magazine of your choice a manuscript or a letter describing what you would like to submit and see what happens. As you can tell from the first paragraph of this post, I got my first writing job totally by accident!
I'm presently working on a manuscript for a major journal. It has been neither accepted nor rejected. There's a lot more to good writing and what constitutes good commercial writing than one might imagine. Kind of a painful learning process but the people I've met have been very nice and helpful. Two things I found out real fast are that a straightforward story about your enjoyable hunt isn't wanted, no matter how well written it is, and references to onesself are a major no-no.
I have written journals of my hunts, but have never attempted to have any published, they aren't that good.I did forward them to one of our collegues on this site for some research he was doing & I hope he reads this and contacts me (Denny) as we had a computer crash, all was lost & hopefully Lit kept a copy.
My hunting partner has had a few articles published & I played a role in the stories portrayed.