Jim Matthews started Outdoor News Service in 1980 to serve Southern California newspapers with a weekly package of outdoor material, including a comprehensive water-by-water fishing report. It was expanded to include Western Birds, a where-to-go, public land bird hunting newsletter in 1996. In 2009, the seminar program was added to educate new and veteran hunters on where to hunt upland birds on public lands in the region.
Founder and Owner
Jim Matthews has been a full-time news writer and outdoor columnist in Southern California since 1974. He has compiled and written perhaps the most-read weekly fishing report in America since 1980, when he began the Outdoor News Service. ONS has provided a weekly outdoor news package to 20 daily newspapers in Southern California over that time, and it is still providing reports to seven daily newspaper and two web sites in this region. Even with declining newspaper readership, the ONS outdoor package is still read by over 1/4 million people each week.
Since 1972, Matthews has also sold over 1,000 freelance magazine stories to virtually every major outdoor magazine in the nation, and he’s been a regional editor for both Field & Stream and Outdoor Life.
He has broad-based hunting and fishing experience all across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He has interviewed and fished or hunted with experts in all faucets of these two sports. He regularly teaches a wide range of outdoor classes on everything from stream fishing and fly-tying to outdoor navigation, maps and GPS use, and hunting skills. He regularly gives public presentations on a wide variety of outdoor topics, including non-lead fishing tackle and hunting ammunition. He also has published a detailed where-to-go bird hunting newsletter, Western Birds, since 1996.
In 2012, he worked as a consultant on the short-lived Top Hooker television show produced by Pilgrim Studios and aired on Animal Planet.
Matthews, 65, lives in San Bernardino with his first and only wife of 35 years, Becky (who is company CEO and CFO). They have two boys, Bo is 33 and Kyle is 29. They also have a 10-year-old Labrador retriever, Duke. In his spare time, Matthews makes custom wood quail calls, fly-rod popping bugs and crankbaits, most from native woods he cuts in the field.
The Matthews' Motto
“The most-read, least-known outdoor writer in the country."