By Tom McHale
USA –-(Ammoland.com)- I love this job. Although it is, at times, dangerous.
Like at the recent NRA Annual Meeting. Minding my own business at a Smith & Wesson / ATK media briefing, I was suddenly accosted by a band of half-crazed gun-outdoor-archer-hunter-shooter-fisher women. And one of the ringleaders was Barbara Baird, publisher of The WON. So I had to arrange an interview. Here it is…
My Gun Culture: Tell us a little about The WON? I thought Neo was the one. Did you also take The Red Pill?
Barbara Baird: I started to answer this while sitting under a tree in full camo, on my iPhone, waiting for a gobbler somewhere in the universe to take notice of my two decoys, a hen and a jake — that were set up in a rather obscene style. As far as Neo … he's the other one. And, yes, I do take the red pill almost every morning … but I have to present my ID at the pharmacy to get it. Called Sudafed. Otherwise, I'd be a hacking, streaming mess in the grass during turkey season.
MGC: Even YOU have to show ID to buy allergy medicine? What is this world coming to when a woman who runs her own NEWS NETWORK isn’t trusted to buy Sudafed? So what are you hoping to accomplish with Womens Outdoor News?
Barbara: We (because The WON is a team) want to educate, inspire and entertain. We want to be the “go-to” source for news about women in the outdoors, and also, the place that you can trust, the network, that will help you find the right gear and a good, safe event to attend, or a wonderful instructor to search out and learn from. And we also love men and we like it when men come to the site to learn what to buy for the women in their lives! I've had men tell me that they actually learn what women want at our site!
MGC: Ummm, Mothers Day is right around the corner you know. Got any ideas for the shooting lady? After all, you ARE one, so I expect some really good advice here…
Barbara: Just remember, “shooting ladies” who also are mothers (and I mean that in a nice way) don't want to cook on Mother's Day. And for gifts … I'd visit The WON and check out our many advertisers — from boutique items such as bullet or cartridge jewelry, to swanky range bags to way cool hoodies and apparel to camo for the serious hunter to bringing out the big guns, from Smith & Wesson or Colt.
MGC: If I understand correctly, you used to be part of the mainstream media. Doesn't that mean you can't be trusted? How do we know that The WON is not some Homeland Security front organization created solely to infiltrate the outdoors industry? After meeting you at the NRA Annual Meeting, I'm suspicious already.
Barbara: Aw, I'm still part of that media. I write a column for Turkey Country and two columns in THE travel magazine of Missouri — Show Me Missouri! I still think print and layout whenever I post at The WON. Can't help it, from my wax and paste days as a weekly newspaper editor in a small town called St. James. As far as Homeland Security infiltrating the outdoors, that's an interesting thought. I believe that Homeland Security could call on our contributors at The WON to kick some major behind, if needed, in the war on terror.
MGC: Tell me about it. We interviewed Mia Anstine recently and quickly figured out you don’t want to mess with her. Although she didn’t confess to setting up turkey decoys in, umm, compromising positions. But enough about that. I know you’re an avid huntress, so what’s your favorite wild game meal?
Barbara: Whatever is in season. I even like moose. We practically live off venison, because I'm not very good at fishing. Otherwise, we'd have a lot of trout and bluegill, too.
MGC: Quick! Revolver or Semi-auto?
Barbara: Semi-auto … but I just ordered my first revolver, a Smith & Wesson Model 642. Guns are like shoes and especially for concealed carry. There are so many options and not every gun fits every occasion.
MGC: We can’t help but be impressed by the fact that The WON is already a celebrity hangout. Just look at the Team WON link on your site and you see brushes with fame all over! Just between us, and the rest of the internet, who’s joining Team WON next?
Barbara: You're the seventh to know, Tom. We refer to them as “the twins.” Because they are. Tracy and Lanny Barnes, Olympic biathletes and if blogging had an Olympics, they'd whoop up on everyone … anyway, they are coming onboard, sponsored by ATI — who makes their gunstocks — and they are going to talk to us about nutrition, shooting, training and how to wear camo in Europe. They also will take us with them on their many and varied trips around the world. We can be armchair biathletes!
MGC: I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but how do people take advantage of The WON? Hang on, let me change that! How can people work with The WON to help advance the cause?
Barbara: Thank you, Tom. Please link to us. We like links. And let us know what you want to read. We can send our WON Guns and Team WON out to help with a shooting event, fishing, adventure (think rock climbing), the biathlon, or hunting trip. In fact, last year, a bunch of WON Guns showed up at a carp bowfishing tournament in Southern Illinois. I think the carp heard about us, and vamoosed. There were hardly any carp to be found. We had a great time regardless.
MGC: So Barbara, this has been fun goofing around a bit, but all kidding aside, what else should our readers know about you?
Barbara: I’d like you to know that I've been married for 33+ years to a wonderful man that is known as Dr. Bomb in the industry. We have four grown children, two daughters-in-law, a son-in-law (they ALL shoot and hunt) and three granddaughters under the age of 2. We are starting our own Little Women in the Outdoors program. My family is extremely supportive of The WON, and contributes suggestions and participate in antics that often wind up as blogposts, bless their hearts. I am quite serious about my work in the industry, though. I am the Realtree News blogger and feature writer — launching a series of profiles next month at the site, a contributing editor at SHOT Biz and a feature writer and columnist at Turkey Country. I wrote the controversial cover story a few years ago that shocked a lot of people, regarding Katrina and the city of New Orleans' coverup of gun confiscation there afterwards, and a follow-up story a year later for America's 1st Freedom. I'm also a new columnist with Shooting Sports USA.
About: Tom McHale describes himself as a conservative gun-totin’ bible-clingin’ literary assault dude who enjoys finding humor in just about anything. His web blog My Gun Culture is an irreverent, twisted look at gun news bordering on the ridiculous. It covers shootin’ stuff, loud noises, defending your own, the occasional mall ninja, and about 200 years of the American way. “These are the (partially) true stories of… My Gun Culture” says Tom. Visit: www.mygunculture.com