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, amateur and professional writers alike. We encourage anyone interested to submit well thought-out writing. 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 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.
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.
300 – 700 words
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.
400 – 700 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.
400 – 700 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.
400-word anecdotal introduction, followed by 3-5, 50-word points illustrated by photos
Backcountry Bistro – Lots of magazines tell you fancy recipes for cooking your wild game in the comfort and sterility of your household kitchen. This section instead focuses on eating the animal you just killed, before you pack out of the woods or waters. Streamside trout ceviche or bonfire elk curry, for example.
500 – 700 words
Shorts – Quick, punchy anecdotes, vignettes and memories that get to the heart of the backcountry ethic and experience. The most effective stories are often brief and to the point.
200 – 800 words
Poetry – The form defies constraints so if you’ve written something that feels like a good fit, send it over.
Features – 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.
1000 – 2000 words
We purchase one-time rights to publish words and photographs in print and digital editions of Backcountry Journal. Contributors are welcome to resubmit content elsewhere, after a one-year grace period.
Deadlines for content consideration are as follows:
Spring: February 1
Summer: May 1
Fall: August 1
Winter: November 1
Please send any questions, queries, photos and submissions to Zach Williams, our editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please attach a two-sentence bio about yourself and where you live. 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!