The Magazine of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
The Sportsmen’s Voice for Our Wild Public Lands, Waters and Wildlife
Backcountry Journal has a tradition of publishing stories written by BHA members, both amateur and professional writers alike. We encourage anyone interested to submit well thought-out completed manuscripts or pitches. We are always on the lookout for compelling hunting, fishing and conservation stories that speak to BHA’s mission and the backcountry we all love.
Tell us about wild places and wild animals. Tell us about adventure and getting there on foot. Tell us of adversity and triumph. Tell us about loss and learning. Tell us about scouting and shooting practice. Tell us about friends, family and good dogs. Be creative and speak to the universals of the backcountry experience and tradition. We are looking for humor, honesty and reflection. Make it simple, but significant.
Shorts that fit into one of the following categories are most likely to be published in Backcountry Journal, although we will gladly consider any submission.
Conservation News – What is going on in the world of conservation? Is a resource being threatened? Did hunters and/or anglers just win a major legal battle in your area? Is there a new trend BHA should know about? Keep us and our membership informed.
300 – 1000 words
Opinion – Part of what makes BHA great is the diversity of opinions within our ranks. Tell us how you feel about a particular issue. Tell us about a time when you had to make a tough ethical decision in the field. Express yourself and contribute to the conservation conversation. (We typically publish only one per issue.)
Your Backcountry – In every issue we feature a specific place or region of particular, timely concern. It can be a river with an impending mine under construction at its headwaters. It can be a mountain under consideration for wilderness area designation.
600 – 1200 words
Public Land Owner – This ever-evolving page generally speaks to the sense of ownership and stewardship we hold for our public lands. Sometimes that’s celebrating a certain special area, sometimes it’s detailing the differences between our system of land management and that of other countries.
600 – 1500 words
Instructional – True outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen never stop learning and improving their woodcraft. If you have a good trick, life hack or useful bit of advice that our readers would find useful, send a query our way.
200 – 400-word anecdotal introduction, followed by 3-5, 50-word bullet points, illustrated by photos.
Field to Table – Share your favorite, unique wild-game recipes. Bonus points if it is cooked in the field!
200 – 400-word intro, recipe, cooking instructions and a few photos.
Poetry – The form defies constraints, so if you’ve written something that feels like a good fit, send it over. We don't publish a poem every issue but are always looking for the perfect fit.
Narrate a really epic hunt or fishing trip. What was different about that experience? Was it someone’s first time? Someone’s last? What is unique about the area? How was it more than just harvesting an animal or catching a fish? Think about beginning, middle and end, and write us a story people will want to read all the way through. Stories that connect to BHA's work are a huge plus.
1000 – 3000 words with compelling photography
Backcountry Journal readily accepts photo submissions as well for our cover, table of contents and elsewhere.
We purchase one-time rights to publish words and photographs in print and digital editions of Backcountry Journal but also welcome contributions to the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers cause. All compensation should be agreed upon at time of acceptance. Contributors are welcome to resubmit content elsewhere after a one-year grace period.
Preference is given to submissions from members of BHA. Read Backcountry Journal and become familiar with our content for help in drafting your story.
Stories with high-resolution photos are much more likely to run, especially in the case of features. Please send photos in a Dropbox folder for easy filing. Don’t be afraid to have a friend read, edit and/or critique your writing before submitting. We receive a high volume of submissions so only the most polished and creative pieces make it to publication. We are excited to hear about your adventures in the backcountry!
Please include a two-sentence bio about yourself and where you live.
Most content is decided on many months in advance of publishing. It is best to plan well ahead of when you are hoping to see your story published, or be flexible on the timing. Final decisions are made by:
Spring Issue: January 1 (Mostly fishing, foraging and spring hunting focused)
Summer Issue: April 1 (Mostly fishing, foraging and early season hunting focused)
Fall Issue: July 1 (Mostly fall hunting focused)
Winter Issue: Oct 1 (Mostly late season hunting focused)
Please send any questions, queries, photos and submissions to Zack Williams, our editor, at [email protected].
After submitting your work, don't be afraid to follow up if you have not heard back! While we do our best to answer every submission in a timely manner, we receive a high-volume of submissions and sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Thank you for your interest in being part of Backcountry Journal!