President’s Message: Spring Magazine

I had to smile when my son came flying through the house with the mail last week. He was holding a magazine – the start of his Ranger Rick subscription from Grandma. His own name was right there on the address bar. Magical! Of course, he wanted to read the whole thing that night. I counseled him in the art of savoring a magazine, relishing articles, hence minimizing downtime until the next issue. Sage advice, but admittedly hypocritical since I rip through my favorite periodicals within days of receipt. Then, when the next installment finally appears on the kitchen counter, everyone at home really enjoys my response. Kind of like a 5-year old!

That’s how many of us feel about this magazine and we would never take changing it lightly. With that said, a little periodical house cleaning was in order. So, we tidied up a bit. The cleaner lines and streamlined ads will make your favorite columns easier to find and the RGS and AWS missions shine through. The magazine’s core is still here – the stories, updates, and member profiles.

But what about the name? Formerly Ruffed Grouse Society and before that, RGS, the label didn’t fully capture our cause. American Woodcock Society members made this point abundantly clear! The magazine’s name should represent RGS, AWS, and all upland devotees.

Covers. The idea came during a phone call with A.J. DeRosa of the Northwoods Collective while we charted road miles in opposite directions. We knew we were on to something when it materialized. Covers are valued above many things. We work to conserve them. We spend days and dollars managing them. Friendships can be formed in them, or lost over them. They are the setting for first points and last hunts. We can visit them with hopes of grouse in October, bringing home venison in December, a cottontail chase in the short days of winter and on our way to a favorite trout hole in April. Covers are central to our upland lifestyle.

Among a group with so many handles for their two favorite birds, maybe I overestimated the importance of a name. Nevertheless, I had fun in the process and got even more excited thinking about our core values and mission. The most important thing is that you keep getting excited when Covers appears on your kitchen counter every few months.

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