Field & Stream

Worth Mathewson

Active member
I have been a little late in learning that Field & Stream has new owners and they are planning to start offering a printed copy of the magazine once again. That is very good news. It was once the premiere outdoor magazine. To a degree, my family goes far back with the magazine. In 1926 my grandmother Mathewson wrote an article for Field & Stream. 50 years later I wrote my first article, on band tailed pigeons, for the magazine. And went on to write about ten others during the late 1970s and in the 1980s. However, the current owners are stating something puzzling. They state the magazine dates back to 1871. It actually started in 1895. The magazine that started in the early 1870s (1873 not 1871) was Forest and Stream. It was a totally different magazine than Field & Stream. Up until the early 1900s Forest and Stream was a weekly published in newspaper format before it went to a monthly magazine. The only connection that Field & Stream had with Forest and Stream was in 1930 when Forest and Stream folded and Field & Stream purchased the subscribers list. Aside from making the incorrect claim of having started in 1871, somewhat odd or perhaps humorously, there is an individual with the magazine who is calling himself A.J. McClane. I am sure many members on this forum remember that McClane was the famous and long time fishing editor for Field & Stream. I wonder if others involved with the return of the magazine are calling themselves Ted Trueblood etc.? But again I am glad the magazine is now available. Just wish the new owners didn't state the totally incorrect history of Field & Stream. And have to wonder just why they did it? Best, Worth
 
Worth

I'm glad you posted this news about Field and Stream. I must admit in years past I've been one of the harshest critics of outdoor magazines, especially Wildfowl, for the change in format and heavy product endorsements. But my tune has changed in recent years because I believe there are still some committed outdoor writers and photographers that need an outlet for their craft and a source of income to continue writing that encourages and educates duck hunters, especially young ones. Plus, it's a nice diversion from social media where so many seem to be motivated by the potential of fame amongst fellow duck hunters.
 
"Fame among duck hunters" is, in many ways, a big fish in a small pond situation, especially as hunter numbers are stable or decreasing as population keeps growing. ;)
 
I was a Field & Stream subscriber from the 1960's until the magazine folded and took my $$. They did offer a on line magazine that I did not want. I paid for a paper hard copy magazine, much easier for me to read.

The new Field & Stream is 2 issues for $75 is the offer that was sent to me. If and when the price for 2 issues a year is much more affordable then I will subscribe. Gray's & Sporting Classics now has some of the writers that did write for F&S, and they are quality magazines for much less.


my 2 cents
 
Jeff

Exactly. Seems as though a lot of young bucks are after their fifteen minutes of fame. My son and I have talked about this phenomenon. He and his crew are the antithesis of this. They rarely ever share hunt pics on social media and mostly just pass them between guys that were actually there. They simply want to fly below the radar.
 
Worth

I'm glad you posted this news about Field and Stream. I must admit in years past I've been one of the harshest critics of outdoor magazines, especially Wildfowl, for the change in format and heavy product endorsements. But my tune has changed in recent years because I believe there are still some committed outdoor writers and photographers that need an outlet for their craft and a source of income to continue writing that encourages and educates duck hunters, especially young ones. Plus, it's a nice diversion from social media where so many seem to be motivated by the potential of fame amongst fellow duck hunters.
Eric, for what it’s worth I felt the same way regarding Wildfowl, The Sportsman's Marketing Group was really pushing advertisements and the prices were INSANE! We would advertise daily for our outfitter business here on LI,NY and year after year it just kept increasing. They did loose a lot of good staff as a result of many vendors fleeing. It has gotten better in the last few years but I’ve noticed them slowly coming back as catering to the big $ advertisers.
Sadly there’s a limited market on publications for photographers and writers like myself so opportunities in print are few. More are transitioning to online. American waterfowler is in desperate need of a revamp, hopefully they can get back on track too… we’ll see looking forward to the new F&S I hope they contribute more to the traditional ways unlike the modern AD’s that are saturating the market.
 
Eric, for what it’s worth I felt the same way regarding Wildfowl, The Sportsman's Marketing Group was really pushing advertisements and the prices were INSANE! We would advertise daily for our outfitter business here on LI,NY and year after year it just kept increasing. They did loose a lot of good staff as a result of many vendors fleeing. It has gotten better in the last few years but I’ve noticed them slowly coming back as catering to the big $ advertisers.
Sadly there’s a limited market on publications for photographers and writers like myself so opportunities in print are few. More are transitioning to online. American waterfowler is in desperate need of a revamp, hopefully they can get back on track too… we’ll see looking forward to the new F&S I hope they contribute more to the traditional ways unlike the modern AD’s that are saturating the market.
Anthony

In the woodworking trades many of the same criticisms have been placed on the major pubs like Fine Woodworking and Popular Woodworking. They went down the same path as the outdoor mags did, probably at the very same time. Just recently a new magazine his hit the stands. It's called Mortise & Tenon. There are no advertisers. It costs $24 per issue and the articles and photography are second to none. It seems to be gaining popularity too. Maybe this is a new viable business model.

 
You make a good point Eric. There was a time I subscribed to close to 10 periodicals-all kinds of stuff from F&S to Forbes to the Economist and all kinds of stuff. But the industry relied on advertising, and the internet took all of that. Gray's is about the only one I get anymore, and while they have advertisers it doesn't seem to be overbearing and the content is first class. Maybe there is a place for mostly readership supported print if it is the best quality even it it's expensive. I think I would pay for something like that. Reading stuff online has gotten old for me, I've been doing it too long. It loses something that print can give you. Not in every type of reading, but certainly in some things. The photography is better on print no matter the clarity digitally. Digital doesn't have the life feel in the same way. Illustration is even better. Who wants to see a digital illustration? That must be print to have the effect and to get the subtleties it gives. I hope that magazine you mentioned makes it and others can follow.
 
You have to take into account the new owners are Morgan Wallen and Eric Church. I'm not in a big hurry to hit the news stand. My personal opinion of course.
 
F&S lost me when Patrick F. McManus retired. He made the magazine for me.

For anyone that hasn't seen them and Iikes real life stories, I highly recommend a collection by Terry Hodges with my favorite being Tough Customers. It's a collection of true life stories from a CA game warden. I think they are out of print but not hard to find on the internet.
 
You make a good point Eric. There was a time I subscribed to close to 10 periodicals-all kinds of stuff from F&S to Forbes to the Economist and all kinds of stuff. But the industry relied on advertising, and the internet took all of that. Gray's is about the only one I get anymore, and while they have advertisers it doesn't seem to be overbearing and the content is first class. Maybe there is a place for mostly readership supported print if it is the best quality even it it's expensive. I think I would pay for something like that. Reading stuff online has gotten old for me, I've been doing it too long. It loses something that print can give you. Not in every type of reading, but certainly in some things. The photography is better on print no matter the clarity digitally. Digital doesn't have the life feel in the same way. Illustration is even better. Who wants to see a digital illustration? That must be print to have the effect and to get the subtleties it gives. I hope that magazine you mentioned makes it and others can follow.

Greg,

Ya hit the nail on the head concerning illustration in magazines. Art for everyone at a very good price, even the ads had very good artwork. Many great artist were illustrators, now that avenue is closed. Digital this and digital that.... Do not get me started! Sure the magazines had some very good writer's but it was the illustrations, and photo's that got ya hooked. When I want very good reading I read a book. When I crave reading and making my eyes happy with good art and photo's I read a magazine. That it what inspired many folks to try their hand at art, seeing it in magazines. The educational value of the older magazines in that area is not appreciated as much as it should be.

my 2 cents
 
Greg,

Ya hit the nail on the head concerning illustration in magazines. Art for everyone at a very good price, even the ads had very good artwork. Many great artist were illustrators, now that avenue is closed. Digital this and digital that.... Do not get me started! Sure the magazines had some very good writer's but it was the illustrations, and photo's that got ya hooked. When I want very good reading I read a book. When I crave reading and making my eyes happy with good art and photo's I read a magazine. That it what inspired many folks to try their hand at art, seeing it in magazines. The educational value of the older magazines in that area is not appreciated as much as it should be.

my 2 cents
To this day there is one illustration that's vivid in my mind from a young age. There was a story of a grizzly attack and the illustration was a guy shouldering what appeared to be a a Winchester level action towards an on coming grizzly while his setter was beginning to engage with the bear. The story was very detailed as the writer explained the feeling and sound of the bear having his head in the bears mouth and being bitten several times and detailing the taste of his blood and the sound of the teeth penetration to his skull. He did survive the attack. I can not remember the authors name but it's stayed with me for 50 some years. It has been reprinted though the years but the first place I saw it was in Field and Stream.
 
Ed,

Phillip R. Goodwin comes to mind. He was a master of such scenes and also did work for Winchester. If you check the G&D, Copley, and Coeur d'Alene auctions you will see that the paintings of such illustrations bring large sums. The Golden Age of Illustration was a wonderful time and now gets the appreciation it deserves. The list of famous artists that worked for the firearms companies is a long one. Yup magazines really got us hooked in more ways than one.

Best regards
Vince
 
Lynn Bogue Hunt was the illustrator that really opened my eyes for sporting art.
Greg, Lynn Bogue Hunt also wrote a few articles for FOREST AND STREAM in the early 1900s. These may or may not been before he started his art career? I wonder if many individuals on this page are aware of just how important FOREST AND STREAM was in early North American outdoor magazines. It was foremost from 1873 until about 1915 when other magazines surpassed it. One that did was AMERICAN SPORTSMAN and I think by the early 1920s FIELD & STREAM did also. The first important editor of FIELD & STREAM was Hy Watson, starting about 1916 (?). He was a very talented artist with his illustrations dating back into the 1890s. After joining FIELD & STREAM he did most of the covers. In about 1921 he became ill and was replaced by Ray P. Holland (who I think was among the most famous bird hunters, waterfowl and upland, we have ever had.) Hy Watson then became editor of FOREST AND STREAM before the magazine folded in 1930. During the 1970s I had the opportunity to buy a complete bound collect of FOREST AND STREAM, 1873 to 1930. The price was $5000.00 which I didn't have. Sure wish I had because I would not venture to guess what it would be priced at today. Later, I did manage to get three years bound copies. (at the end of each year FOREST AND STREAM offered the year bound) Two of those years went to DELTA WATERFOWL when I gave them all my books. And I gave one year to Brad Bortner (sp?) as I have great respect for his work with waterfowl. Since both FOREST AND STREAM and FIELD & STREAM were such an important part of our history, I am more than dismayed that the current new owners of FIELD & STREAM are stating a totally incorrect starting date for the magazine. I wonder what they would think if someone stated that Hank Williams recorded his first song in 1910? The two being country singers they would know that was incorrect. Perhaps they don't know that there was a major difference between FOREST AND STREAM and FIELD & STREAM?
Lynn Bogue Hunt was the illustrator that really opened my eyes for sporting art.
 
Hi Worth and thanks for that. It sounds like the new owners have no clue that the two publication are unrelated. Forest and Stream is often referred to in many older sporting books. I believe Frank Forrester was a popular author in that, am I right? I have two of the Ray P Holland books, Shotgunning in the Uplands, which was my maternal grandfathers, and I later bought a copy of Shotgunning in the Lowlands to go along with it. They are both enjoyable books. I have several others with Hunt illustrations and drawings, I don't even remember which ones. He was very prolific and for a good reason. That is very interesting about him writing in Forest and Stream. I have read articles from Forest and Stream that were reprinted in books, but never have seen a complete monthly edition. I am sure they would be fun to read. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat has an accessible archive of their magazine going back into the early 30's. I have downloaded them all now and read them according to the month it is. There is some great writing from that era in those and very interesting news and conservation practices, some of which have proved out and others which are long gone. It is a great window on the sport, and most of the stories are both timeless and a window into life in general in those years. I'm not sure how many good duck hunting books are written today in the same spirit as those from the 70's and back. It seems fly fishing still produces quite a bit of writing, but not so much bird and duck hunting.
 
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