Early on in my NRA career (1980s) our star writer was Col. Charles Askins, a Border Patrol lifer, ex-military attaché, pistol champ, worldwide big-game hunter and all-around gun expert. Askins was a mainstay in NRA's magazines for years, carrying on a legacy begun by his father, Capt. Charles Askins, who wrote for American Rifleman throughout the century's early decades. But by 1987, the colonel had worn out his welcome with our boss, George Martin, and their relationship became downright toxic.
George decreed Askins' run would end with the August '87 issues, and Askins retaliated by submitting what clearly was intended as a parting middle-finger salute. Entitled, "Bullfrogs Are Best Sport," it was a comprehensive treatise on how and where to hunt trophy bullfrogs. After years of salty tales recounting desperate gunfights, momentous encounters with game and big guns for every purpose, it amounted to a weird bumper decal as he drove off in the sunset. And no doubt readers found it a perplexing inclusion in a national hunting magazine. In an accompanying editor's note, George dubbed it, "... a croaker story for his croaker story."
But you know what? It was witty and fun, probably the best writing Askins had done in years. It made me want to hunt bullfrogs. And it impressed on me the value of stepping outside normal boundaries.
Because page space is finite, editorial detours are few and far between in print. In that medium, we simply can't afford the luxury of covering something that won't appeal to a wide cross-section of readers. But websites are an entirely different matter, and so this will be my outlet for whatever gun, shooting and hunting topics interest me, both the mainstream and the arcane.
Please become part of the "Gun Culture" (if you're reading this you probably already are, in the larger sense, so I'm really talking about this blog). It'll cover subjects hardcore shooters and hunters want to follow, and I promise plenty of surprises along the way.