Courtney Olsen hunts and collects firearms, which helps him do his job.
As the new publisher of Petersen Publishing Co.’s Bowhunting, Hunting, Shotguns and Rifleshooter magazines, “it helps to know about the activities your magazines cover,” he says.
Olsen left his job in Oklahoma as national accounts manager for Lowrance Electronics, which manufactures satellite navigational and sonar units, to do something more akin to his personal lifestyle.
That’s not to say all they do at Rifleshooter magazine is shoot rifles.
Olsen says people usually assume he’s always hunting and shooting when they hear where he works. But it’s also his job to increase ad revenues and penetrate new markets.
Those business endeavors dovetail nicely with the focus of the magazines. “I hunt a lot and fish and love the outdoors, so this is where my first love is,” he says.
Olsen grew up in Colorado, where he developed an interest in collecting firearms.
As for bowhunting, “I’m just getting into it,” he says.
Olsen’s hunting trophies include wild boar, pheasants, ducks and the antlered head of a Nilgai (“Blue Bull”), which is his biggest trophy and “tasted better than any beef,” he says.
“I think most hunters are bound by ethical, if not legal, laws to use and consume what they shoot,” he adds.
Olsen joined Petersen Publishing just as plans for retooling the magazines began. “We are changing Hunting magazine, doing an editorial upgrade and graphic enhancement to attract additional readers more upscale enthusiasts as well as beginners,” he says.
Circulation for Hunting magazine is 350,000, Bowhunting is 160,000.
Distribution the number of issues shipped to retailers, some of which are returned is 150,000 for Rifleshooter and 125,000 for Shotguns.
New magazine titles are also in the works at Petersen Publishing, said Olsen. If an interest in a subject is any indicator, Olsen would probably love to see one called “Safari” on newsstands.
“I haven’t been on safari yet,” he says, “but I’m looking forward to doing that.”