It's a pretty good site, but I think the mods are a little too quick with the lock/delete button.
HPA has been going downhill for awhile. One of the best places to watch hunters bash hunters.
Interesting. Two diametrically opposed views. That shows how difficult it is to please everyone.
I have been on the site from 99 and it has changed big time. You are right about some of the mods. But under this current ownership it seems that some mod and owner has gone one sided. After what they did to Grouchy Coyote I will never go back.
I don't know Grouchy Coyote or what happened to him, but I do know some of the history of HuntingPA.com.
Several years ago I almost bought it with the guys who now own it. I knew the owner and set up a meeting between him and the new guys. I was going to become one of three new owners, but backed out at the last minute. Since they took over, it has improved way beyond my expectations. Previously, it was a place dominated by a few people with axes to grind. Since the new guys took over, it has grown from about 10,000 members to more than 26,000 -- something I didn't think was possible. Traffic is much heavier, and discussions are also more civil. Grinding personal axes is much less of an issue. When someone comes along who tries to take advantage of the site to promote their own thing, it can be tolerated only to a point.
We have to realize a few things about message boards. First is that you can't please everyone, which the two quotes included above amply illustrate.
Then, many people think message board moderators violate free speech by deleting comments and banning members. That's not true. Since message boards are privately owned they are not a free speech venue. As private property, anyone expressing a viewpoint has no right to expect the owner to pay for them to express views the owner does not wish to support. It seems to me that message boards are always better when members view themselves as guests.
Further, an owner has standards he wants to uphold, and anytime someone has standards others disagree with those standards or see differently how they should be applied.
Also, a message board is very difficult to moderate because the owner cannot read every post without it becoming a full time job. So, he has to enlist volunteer moderators to do the job. Some are pretty quick on the trigger, and others are more tolerant, but all have to be given some leeway (until they cause more problems than they solve) because they're volunteers. But the bottom line is that a message board has an owner who has made an investment and thus has "property" he must protect.
Finally, at HuntingPA.com the owners take any revenue they generate and put it back into the site. I admire them for that. They view themselves as performing a service, when they could focus on making a profit.
There is no doubt that sometimes volunteer moderators make mistakes, and even moderators don't always agree. But overall, message boards are great places to learn, share information, and get connected with good people who have common viewpoints. We're not all going to like the same message boards, and HuntingPA.com is not without faults, but it's as good as they come for a state-specific hunting message board.
(Sheesh! That ended up way longer than I intended! Sorry!)