Hunting News

Q&A with Petersen’s HUNTING New Managing Editor – Colton Heward

Recently, Petersen’s HUNTING, the leading media outlet devoted exclusively to hunters, tapped Colton Heward as its new Managing Editor. Heward is a noted big-game guide and successful outdoor journalist who’s helping to lead HUNTING’s efforts to educate, entertain and inform hunters through its print, digital and social channels. 

After being on the job for a month, Heward responded to a few questions about his new role. 

Q: Colton – congrats on your new role! We realize you are new to this role, but can you share with us your day-to-day activities? Many of our readers might not know what a Managing Editor really does.

A: I am still learning my role as the Managing Editor with each passing day. With that said, my day-to-day routine fluctuates but primarily consists of working closely with David Draper (Editor-in-Chief) and Chris Gorrell (Art Director) on copy and layout for the current issue we are working on, assigning, reading and editing our contributors’ work, and planning future issues. Fortunately, I do still get to do a fair amount of writing as well. 

Q: What is your vision for the magazine and this role?

A:  My vision in this role for Petersen’s HUNTING includes continuing to educate and inspire our readers in their hunting endeavors as well as to help grow the brand recognition and reader base through a variety of media avenues.

Q: Let’s discuss current trends in outdoor magazines, or really, magazines in general, can you touch on where you see the genre of magazines a year from now?  Five years from now? 

A: I still very much believe in the value of print magazines as I believe many others do as well. There is something about a tangible magazine to read that just feels right. With that said, in order to reach a greater demographic, I know we will have to focus on producing quality content across all mediums.

Q: How did you get here? Can you share about your journey to Managing Editor of a major outdoor publication? 

A: I had been a freelance outdoor writer for several years, contributing to most major hunting publications, including Petersen’s HUNTING. During that time, I was approached on multiple occasions about taking editorial roles with various publications but nothing that ever felt right or completely aligned with my passion. When the opportunity arose to apply for this position, I jumped at the opportunity for several reasons. I believe in and have the utmost respect for the brand, I am absolutely passionate about big game hunting, and the opportunity to learn and grow under the current leadership is a unique and extremely valuable opportunity for my career.

Q: What did you learn along the way about writing – has your writing style changed, or how you approach stories changed? Do you have any writing mentors? Or someone who’s been your guide over the years? 

A: I have learned a lot along the way about my writing. Most importantly, we all have a unique voice to share, and you can’t put a price on your integrity. As for mentors, Joseph von Benedikt played a major role in kickstarting my career. In fact, he over saw my college internship for my undergrad degree.

Q: What advice do you have for writers who also have a goal to work for a well-known publication, such as Petersen’s HUNTING? Either as a freelance writer or a staff writer? 

A: The number one piece of advice I can give prospective writers is to be genuine in your writings, maintain your integrity at all costs, and seek to find what you can do to benefit publications and manufacturers as opposed to what they can do for you.

Q: What is Petersen’s HUNTING looking for when receiving queries from writers? Do you have a stable of writers you work with? Do you accept queries from unknown writers? 

A: As mentioned above, we are looking for writers with a passion for hunting, have the ability to tell a captivating story, and it helps tremendously if you have the ability to take quality photos to support your written work. We do have a staple of regular contributors, but I would say we are always on the lookout for fresh voices in our publications.

Q: What are you working on now? 

A: Currently, we are wrapping up the June/July issue of Petersen’s Hunting and starting to assemble the August issue. We are also smack in the middle of pulling together both the Precision Hunter and Backcountry Hunter SIP’s. 

Colton Heward comes from a multi-generational line of hunters and conservationists entrenched in the rich hunting heritage of the West. For more than a decade, Heward spent his falls guiding mule deer, elk, pronghorn and moose hunters before taking on his current role as Managing Editor of Petersen’s HUNTING. Outside of guiding, his passion for hunting and the outdoors has taken him to the remote corners of the world from Alaska to Africa in search of adventure and provided some of his most cherished memories. Preserving our revered hunting tradition through education and conservation is of the utmost importance to him in his role at Petersen’s HUNTING.

Since 1973, Petersen’s HUNTING has brought together the most passionate and discerning hunters of this generation and the next with real-world outdoor adventures from the most experienced writers and photographers in the hunting space. The magazine informs and entertains through engaging stories, hands-on product reviews and authentic insight to create experiential content on the places, products and people that define the world of hunting. Petersen’s HUNTING magazine has the largest audience of any other adventure hunting-oriented brand, with over 4-million readers Learn more at

About Outdoor Sportsman Group Publishing: As a premier destination for the most avid outdoors enthusiasts, Outdoor Sportsman Group’s publishing division is widely recognized for its strong special-interest multichannel brands, including Guns & Ammo, Game & Fish, Petersen’s HUNTING, In-Fisherman and 11 other leading magazines that reach more than 22 million readers. Outdoor Sportsman Group’s network of websites, including,, and, attracts more than 62 million annual unique visitors, and OSG TV produces hundreds of TV episodes of original branded hunting, sport shooting and fishing programming that airs on Outdoor Sportsman Group’s broadcast entities. Visit for more information. 

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