In this issue, we offer up our annual Hunting & Visitors' Guide. For me, this is the 14th hunting guide that I've helped put together for the Mason County News. It is the largest publication we produce each year; but, it is so much more than just a guide to the hunting opportunities our region has to offer.
The size of our publications, including the newspaper and our special supplements, are dictated by the amount of advertising in that publication. The press charges us for the number of pages in a publication, for each page that has color, and for the processing of the paper so that it will be ready for distribution. Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service charges us for the weight of the papers each week, so a large publication means greater weight, which means higher postage costs.
This year's Guide is 64 pages. Technically, we have enough advertising in this year's Guide to support 48-52 pages. So why would we go with 64?
Because we truly believe that helping to promote the hunting of Mason County, as well as the lodging, the dining and the shopping, is important enough that we give our readers the additional pages to provide for more photos, more articles and more bits of information about the area.
We do it because we know that the people and the businesses of Mason County face struggles every day to continue providing the products and services that our residents need. They deserve all the help and all the boost that we can provide, no matter how small.
We do it because this is our home. Mason County is where we live, where we play, where we celebrate and where we mourn. It is the place we have chosen to make our homes. It is where we run our businesses. And, it is where we tell other people that they should be if they want to have the joy and contentment that we have in our own lives.
We also do a Visitors' Guide in the spring, and it usually runs about 48 pages. That publication touts the beauty of our flower-covered hills and our sparkling streams. The reason that the Fall Guide requires more pages is that hunting is such a vital part of the Mason County economy that we strive to do all we can to support it and promote it. Though we have lots of visitors in the spring coming to enjoy our natural beauty, there are even more arriving during the fall and winter to enjoy our abundant wildlife.
During hunting season, groups of hunters come in to spend a few days, a weekend, a season. They bring family members with them. They bring spouses and children. They don't spend all of their time in camp; but, instead opt to eat a few meals in town, to shop at the local stores; and, to fill up with gas at the local stations. Many of the spring visitors are pausing in Mason while they follow wildflower routes through the Hill Country... hunters spend more time, and money, and make a bigger impact upon our lives.
We would ask that you notice the advertisers in this year's Hunting Guide, and to make an effort to give them your thanks, and your business, as a means of acknowledging the support they are giving back to our community. If we did not have them, we would be unable to do what we do. Though I'm certain they will appreciate you telling them how much you appreciate their participation, I feel even more certain that they will appreciate any business you can throw their way.
That same relationship with our advertisers also is part of the dynamic of our weekly newspaper. If we didn't have the advertising in the paper every week, we would be unable to have the obituaries, the wedding announcements, the sports scores, the columnists and the event coverage. Small town newspapers provide a service that large dailies can never do. And, without the support of our businesses and their advertising, none of that would be possible.
So, I offer my personal thanks to those advertisers, and to the folks who support us with their subscriptions. I look forward to even more years of working with the people and businesses to keep our community moving forward.
It’s all just my opinion.