Montana Outdoors Writer Guidelines

The following information aims to help freelance writers who wish to submit queries to Montana Outdoors.

Magazine overview

Montana Outdoors is a bimonthly magazine published by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. It advocates the conservation and sustainable use of Montana’s fish, wildlife, and parks.

Though published by a state agency, Montana Outdoors is not a house organ. For one thing, most of the magazine’s budget comes from subscribers, so we have an obligation to provide them with objective information. For another, many “official” government magazines are generally viewed by readers—the few who bother to read them—as biased and boring. And third, our readers are interested in various points of view—even those that challenge the orthodoxy of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Our editorial bent is one of skepticism and curiosity, and we rely on a wide range of sources in our reporting.

Montana Outdoors has a diverse readership, including residents and nonresidents, people who hunt and fish and those who don’t, hard-core outdoorspeople, and weekend hikers. What all our readers have in common is a general interest in the outdoors and fish and wildlife
management and conservation. Keep this in mind as you are crafting your query. Montana Outdoors is most similar in content and tone to National Wildlife.

Roughly 48,000 people subscribe to Montana Outdoors, about half of them from out of state. The magazine began publication in 1971.

Freelance assignments



Before sending a query, please do a search on the Montana Outdoors website to see if we have already published something like what you propose. If so, the odds of us accepting your proposal are slim and you should consider a different topic, one we haven’t covered in the past seven or fewer years.

Please send us a brief written query before you write the article or essay you have in mind. We rarely buy finished written material without seeing a query beforehand.

A good query summarizes the proposed article in a sentence or two. We’d also like to know:

E-mail the query to the editor, Tom Dickson, at


Montana Outdoors usually buys first North American serial rights and (for a small additional amount) the right to post to the magazine website and archives. Payment varies according to article length, research difficulty, and author experience. We pay on acceptance.

Montana Outdoors also buys high-quality photographs.
For guidelines, click here.



My Brown Boy: Excerpt from Colter,
by Rick Bass.


Mountain Lake Fishing

Trout Above the Clouds: Tips on finding and catching trout in Montana’s scenic mountain lakes.


Montana Challenge

Saving the Golden Goose: Will Montana conserve the natural resources fueling its economic growth?