It never ceases to amaze me how fast the weeks go by.
Writing this column emphasizes that reality even more. It seems like I just finish a story and then suddenly deadline is upon me and I need to think of something else to write about.
As I was mulling about ideas for this week I started to think back to when I first started “writing Into the Outdoors” for the paper. My first column ran Jan. 21, 2006.
Yep, it has been that long. I am about to wrap-up eight complete years of writing about the outdoors. No wonder I have a hard time thinking of something new to write about some weeks.
One thing that has remained consistent from week-to-week is the vast amount of feedback I get from people. I have received phone calls, emails, texts, handwritten letters and have had numerous face-to-face conversations from people who stop me throughout the area.
Lots of times people just want to say thank you for a good column, others offer up ideas and ask me to cover a “hot” topic, while others have their own comments and opinions about what was written.
Out of all the feedback I get, there are two types that really make me proud to be able to talk with you each and every week.
The first is when someone tells me they really enjoyed a particular article because it reminded them of their own past. Readers have taken trips down memory lane and recalled fishing as a kid, hunting with grandpa or taking trips to the wilderness with their parents.
The other feedback that is much appreciated is when a reader has been inspired to try something I have written about. I have received thank you notes talking about fall drives, going on hikes and trying a new fishing or hunting technique. I love to hear about your own adventures just as much I like talking about mine.
That is why I am writing this week.
I want to keep open communication with everyone that reads the column. I have heard from so many people that say they feel like they know me and my family like their own because of reading about our adventures and our misadventures.
I would like to get to know each of you better.
I have launched a new website that has lots of resources regarding the outdoors. The site has a blog, videos, a Twitter feed and direct communication through email. The site is www.steverogersoutdoors.com
One thing that makes a column successful is covering topics that are suggested by readers. It is also important to be able to answer questions that you may have.
When I have listed my email in a column I usually get lots of questions regarding places to fish, good areas to hunt and numerous other topics that are too varied to list.
I’ll never forget when Tim Smith, sports editor at the paper, first called me in late 2005. He told me about the idea they were kicking around of featuring outdoor news on a weekly basis. We met, talked some more and eventually this column was born.
At that time I never would have thought that it would have grown and become something that has taken on its own identity like it has.
The folks that work at the paper saw a void and tried to fill it. The end-result has been an exciting journey that has a wide array of readers and given them a common bond that we can all relate to.
I thank each and every one of you for reading and allowing me to share with you each week.
Be sure to write back sometime.