The other day while testing a link on this site, I landed at a parked domain page and not the link I clicked on. Uh oh! A little searching pointed out that Varmint Hunter.org and Varmint Hunter Magazine have ceased to exist.

According to an article at the site Varminter.com “About
two weeks ago, rumors started to surface around the internet that the Varmint Hunters Association had “closed”. As word began to spread, folks reported the VHA phone number as being disconnected and that emails were going unanswered. Then, a couple of days ago, the VHA Facebook page disappeared, along with the Varmint Hunters Association website a day later. I requested more information from a friend of mine who writes for the Varmint Hunter Magazine, and he reported that the VHA is out of business and that they have ceased publication of the Varmint Hunter Magazine.”
I echo the sentiments of the Varminter article “It is a sad day when another major publication that is geared towards the varmint hunting, small caliber, precision shooting, population goes out of business.” This is very true. The internet is a wonderful thing but has made it very tough on traditional publishers. Some say, “good”, it’s the way of the future.

I for one liked both the new and the old methods. A lot of times I’ll hear, “the information is all free on the web anyway”. For some industries and pursuits that may be the case. But I find in a lot of cases the good magazines did a nice job of packaging up the content and delivering it in a coherent manner as opposed to surfing to several sites and looking in a bunch of forums to find out the information one good article could contain.

The articles in magazines have some journalistic responsibility as opposed to the content you find on forums and in many blogs. The low entry barrier to web publishing is both a boon and a curse. The photography was also a big draw with the magazine. There was excellent photography in every issue and the cover photo was usually fitting of a frame. It was a quality product all the way around and had a good following though not good enough apparently to compete with “free” content.  I think the same falling revenues in print advertising will befall web sites as well.   Competition among sites created by the low barrier of entry will have web publishers giving it all away hoping to get enough eyes to attract real advertisers.  That is not to say there are not many fine web sites out there with good content for free there are, but things are changing and I think some of the stalwart sites of today will fade even faster than the print concerns did once the revenue stops flowing. 

Thank you, owners and publishers, and writers and contributors of Varmint Hunter for the quality magazine you put out for so many years.

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