On Zumbo, Dick Metcalf and redemption


Veteran outdoor writer Jim Zumbo received a national award from the Professional Outdoor Media Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation Tuesday.

Zumbo, I’m sure you’ll recall, lost everything after questioning whether ARs were suitable for

Jim Zumbo

Jim Zumbo

hunting. Heresy, that and woefully inaccurate.

An AR chambered in .308 or 6.8 is about the most perfectly designed deer harvester since the invention of the Timber Wolf.

Zumbo’s fall from grace was swift. He was stripped of his column, television appearances, blog and social media. His name became synonymous with ‘stepping in it’ – being Zumbo-ed.

Rather than lashing out at the firearms industry, like Dick Metcalf has been doing regularly daily,  Zumbo educated himself about ARs. He realized he made a serious error, and with honesty, transparency and humility sought to make things right, the right way.

Kudos for that. His POMA/NSSF award is very deserved.

There’s no doubt Metcalf is aware of Zumbo’s redemption. The POMA award is a big deal in the industry.

Hopefully, Metcalf will realize that there is a way back. His window of opportunity will slam shut, however, if he continues to whine, play the martyr and provide ammunition to those whose goal is to further erode the very same Second Amendment rights he clams to support.

Here’s’ the release on Zumbo’s award:

Zumbo Recipient of Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award

Jan. 14, 2014, LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) honored shooting industry communications veteran Jim Zumbo with the prestigious POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award. The award recognizes extraordinary achievements in communications and in support of our hunting heritage and firearm freedoms.

Zumbo is a 40-year veteran outdoor writer with more than 2,000 articles and 3,000 photos published. He has dedicated his life to supporting and defending hunting, and describing ways for people to become better hunters in his books, lectures, magazine articles, and television show Jim Zumbo Outdoors on Outdoor Channel.

He travels 250 days a year with rifle, shotgun, and fishing rod, collecting content, photos and great stories. Zumbo also is deeply involved in working with wounded veterans, getting them outdoors and recharging their lives. Their experiences are highlighted on Outdoor Channel with the Jim Zumbo Outdoors: Wounded Warriors series. Much of his career was spent as a contributor and editor for Outdoor Life magazine.

Grits Gresham’s son, Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk Radio and a previous recipient, presented Zumbo with the award during the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM (SHOT Show®) State of the Industry dinner.

Gresham praised Zumbo’s superlative 40-year communications career and his intellectual honesty in handling a personal and industry firestorm.

“I know the selection of Jim Zumbo might surprise some because of a controversy he set off while working for Outdoor Life,” Gresham said. “But I’m pleased, the award committee, made up of the past recipients and POMA and NSSF representatives, looked at Jim’s entire body of work, as well as his part in awakening hunters to the need to support gun rights and all gun owners, when they voted for Jim in early autumn of 2013.

“After a lifetime of writing magazine articles and books, hosting Jim Zumbo Outdoors, and lecturing about hunting and hunting guns, Jim almost had his great body of work erased by a single mistake, which, in fact, may have done more to educate hunters than everything else he has done.

“After questioning the use of AR-style guns in the realm of hunting in an Outdoor Life blog entry, Jim heard the cries of gun owners. He immediately educated himself about modern sporting rifles and became a proponent of them. That speaks well of his intellectual honesty.”

Gresham summed up by acknowledging that Zumbo, in effect, brought millions to what is now America’s most popular firearm. Gresham added he was glad to be able recognize Zumbo’s lifetime of work for gun owners and gun rights.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that I’d be the recipient of the Grits Gresham Award,” Zumbo said. “I was shocked and totally overwhelmed when I learned the news. Part of my exhilaration comes not only from the fact that this is my beloved industry supporting me, but because Grits Gresham was my hero. I loved being around him, listening to his tales and enjoying his modesty and down-home southern personality. My profound thanks to everyone who made this possible. Now I need to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming.”

POMA and the NSSF developed the Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award in 2005, when NSSF honored Gresham with a lifetime achievement award.

The award recognizes communicators within the firearms/shooting sports/Second Amendment arena who grasp the ideals, foster the commitment, and display the talent Grits Gresham showed during his storied career.

Nominations for the Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award come from all corners of the shooting sports industry. Affiliation with a communications or industry organization is not required. Shooting sports industry professionals are encouraged to make nominations through the POMA website: www.professionaloutdoormedia.org.

About POMA: POMA is the premier communications and industry professional’s organization, and the only media association wholly focused on the traditional outdoor sports of hunting, shooting, fishing and trapping. POMA is also the only media group to support the industry through membership in the most important trade organizations including the NSSF.
POMA Mission: To foster excellence in communications at all levels, help members build their businesses, connect media and industry, promote fair and honest communication of the traditional outdoor sports and conservation stories, and mentor the next generation of traditional outdoor sports communicators. www.professionaloutdoormedia.org

About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. www.nssf.org


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Pingback: On Zumbo, Dick Metcalf and redemption | The Gun Feed

  2. all this halibalu abound with nothing, Mr. Metcalf being the latest, His audience was/ is shrinking, It’s all about money, its OK when I’m making the Bucks but not OK after, Let me see I’m Retiring any way so if I Bad mouth the Ideas that I have professed all these years I can get in with the Other Guys and maybe land a couple of lucrative anti gun and anti American spots on the liars Media!

  3. Pingback: The 'Second Amendment Preservation Act' raises questions, concerns

  4. Just a point of clarification, Zumbo did not merely question the AR as a hunting tool, he referred to them as “Terrorist Rifles” and asserted that State Game authorities should take steps to ban the use of such guns in the field.

  5. Pingback: The ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act’ raises questions, concerns | The Gun Writer

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