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 with Rob Miskosky

25 Years Later

Way back in 1995, I started an all-sports newspaper called the Edmonton Sports Scene. This newspaper reported strictly on Edmonton sports, all Edmonton sports, from professional to university to college, you name it, if it took place in Edmonton, we covered it. Heck, back then I was even accredited by the Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Eskimos, Edmonton Trappers and any other sports organization that was looking for coverage not being offered in the two main newspapers, the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun.

I also insisted the Edmonton Sports Scene have a hunting and fishing column, which back then was written by former Alberta Outdoorsmen columnist, Don Meredith. At that time, Don was working for the Fish and Wildlife branch of Alberta Environment, so he was the perfect fit—a guy who knew what was happening in Alberta’s outdoor world, an outdoorsman, and a writer.

Also at that time, then Premier Ralph Klein was privatizing as much as he could in order to lighten government; thus, the production of Alberta’s hunting and fishing regulations were to be awarded to the public sector, and the job of finding a publisher for the regulations fell to Don Meredith.

In the mail one day, I received what is known as an RFP (Request for Publishing) from the Fish and Wildlife Branch. The RFP was to publish the Government of Alberta’s hunting and fishing regulations. Surprisingly, Don had added little ‘ol Sportscene Publications to the list of many other publishing companies that existed at that time that might be interested in publishing Alberta’s hunting and fishing regulations. Having grown up under the tutelage of a father who was a hunting and fishing nut, I thought to myself, “Why not?”

After mailing in a proposal by the given deadline, three weeks later, I was told we had been shortlisted and would we come in to give a presentation. The year was 1997 and shortly after, Sportscene was awarded the contract to publish Alberta’s hunting and fishing regulations by then Fish and Wildlife Director, Ken Ambrock, rest his soul. Ken was one of the good guys and is still sorely missed by all who knew him.

One of the requirements of publishing the hunting and fishing regulations was to provide users of the guides with content in the back that included hunting and fishing articles related to Alberta. In order to accommodate this requirement, I searched out as many Alberta-based outdoor writers as I could find through the Outdoor Writers of Canada (OWC) organization. I was surprised to discover that Alberta was home to many members of the OWC and I soon hired several to provide the content required in the guides. In time, I became friends with many of those I hired and even spent time hunting and fishing with some of them.

By the time 1999 rolled around, I realized it was time to expand the business of Sportscene. Being an avid hunter and angler, I was tired of hunting and fishing magazines, of which most were American, that continuously had articles and stories related to fishing bass and salmon, species non-existent in Alberta, as well as reading stories I referred to as Texas whitetail stories—hunting on private elk and deer ranches, etc. I was also tired of the many how-to articles and product reviews that took up so many pages of the magazines I purchased. Why was there never anything to read about that pertained to the province I lived and recreated in? I wanted something I could relate to—with so many issues facing the outdoorsmen and women of Alberta, surely there had to be more that could be written about.

And so, with warnings from many of pending failure, I decided to create what I wanted, a hunting, fishing and trapping magazine all about Alberta, and written strictly by Alberta writers. I now had the writers I could draw from because of my work with the hunting and fishing regulations, so it made perfect sense. Alberta had no other magazine dedicated strictly to Alberta; thus, the Alberta Outdoorsmen was born.

And here we are at the beginning of our 25th year. I’m quite proud to say that this issue marks Volume 25, Issue 1 of what has been an incredible journey that has passed us by way too fast.

And to you, our readers and our advertisers, I know that many of you have been with us since the beginning, and I thank you for that because without you we wouldn’t be here today. I tip my hat to all of you who have stuck with us these many years and I wish you all good luck and prosperity moving forward.  

Thank you from all of us here at Sportscene; it’s been quite a ride.

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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