A closing letter to Mostly Archery readers.
Three years and ten days ago, influenced by an advertisement on Mike Adam’s Up North Journal podcast, I wrote Hello from Mostly Archery with dustyvarmint on the Skinny Moose Network. I’d always liked sharing my projects, adventures and tips on bowhunting forums, but I didn’t like how this information got buried over time. While no journalist I felt I knew where a period went and could spell most words up to and including bowhunting (that doesn’t spell check by the way). I’m not sure what I was thinking when I named the blog “Mostly Archery”, but I almost immediately regretted it and wished it had been “Mostly Bowhunting”. Everything was set up, though, so Mostly Archery remained.
From the beginning my intention for Mostly Archery was a weekly bowhunting blog. One post reliably published each week that was “heavier” in content than the average blog’s more frequent entries. Now, any blogger knows that frequent new content, plus promotion, are the keys to a successful blog. So, with my “anti-model” growth was slow. Over time, though, dvMA went from about one “hit” per day to an average of around 199 per day. Not gangbusters, but at about 6000 hits per month. Only a very, very small number of weeks ever missed a post and those were more than made up for by “Mid Week Extras”. By my definition the concept was successful. One area I wasn’t successful in was followership. Rather than random drive-bys I wanted a regular readership. Repeat visitors are only about 21% of dvMA readership with subscribers being pretty low in number.
dvMA’s mission was to, “…help you avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made over time.” That included telling the truth in product and outfitter reviews, not just turning the other cheek to allow you to make the same poor purchase. When I dropped my bow, cam first, on the concrete floor I told you that too. I believe my How To – Make Your Own Turkey Friction Call is one of the best and FREELY shared resources on the subject on the internet. Additionally, I also believe my daily journals and other highly detailed posts about bowhunting Africa are some of the most informational resources for the aspiring African plains’ game bowhunter available anywhere.
There were bad times and good times along the way. Skinny Moose through three different ownership models was sometimes the source of serious frustration as was using the publisher Word Press. However, I also believe dvMA was my step onto a number of shooting and pro-staff positions. That in itself is an experience needing to be written about. dvMA was the reason I was able to attend the coveted ATA show in 2011 and 2012. I met some great people through those opportunities and blogged about them here.
I have often said that when I am with Mrs. dustyvarmint and my beloved dogs, Lexus and Maggie, that I’m thinking about bowhunting. And, when I’m bowhunting I’m thinking about Mrs. dustyvarmint and Lexus and Maggie. I’ve also said that bowhunting, to me, is a lifestyle not just a hobby. Having said those things here once again I’ve decided, among other life changes, to stop posting on dvMA. I hope the gap, if any, left in the bowhunting blog community is quickly filled by another new blogger who isn’t afraid to tell the truth on product reviews or about a company’s customer service. The Links page has several highly recommended resources to satiate your bowhunting information thirst in the mean time. I do not know what Skinny Moose may do with dvMA, but I hope interested readers will be able to access the information for some time to come.
Thanks for reading and… happy hunting, dv