John's Journal...

Turkey Talk at Texas’s Live Oak Hunting Lodge with Remington and J. Wayne Fears

Hunting with the Master

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Recently, Eddie Stevenson of Remington invited me to hunt in Eldorado, Texas, at Live Oak Hunting Lodge with Steve Elmore. After finding an abundance of game in Texas 15-years ago, Elmore, originally from Grove Hill, Alabama, my home state, moved to the area and created Live Oak Hunting Lodge where hunters could have the chance to take turkey and deer.Click to enlarge I enthusiastically accepted the invitation when I learned I’d have the opportunity to hunt with my mentor and long-time friend, J. Wayne Fears, well-known professional outdoor writer and photographer. This week, I’ll tell you about this memorable hunt.

On the next day, I asked my host if I could hunt with J. Wayne Fears, one of themost-well-known outdoor writers in the nation. Fears had been my mentor in the craft of outdoor writing and photography, and because of time and circumstances, we hadn’t hunted together in the last 10 years. I always will be greatly indebted to Fears for not only teaching me the craft of outdoor journalism, but for giving me a profession and a life that few men even dare to dream is possible. I remember the day I first met J. Wayne Fears, and what he told me about how to become an outdoor writer.

“I want to be one of those famous, full-time, money-making outdoor writers like you,” I told Fears many years ago when I first decided I wanted to earn a living in the out-of-doors, taking photographs and telling stories. Fears Click to enlargelooked at me, smiled and said, “Becoming an outdoor writer is easy.” I looked at him and frowned, “No, it’s not. I’ve written 49 of the greatest outdoor stories ever written, and nobody bought them. So, no, I don’t believe becoming an outdoor writer is an easy task.” Fears smiled an even-bigger smile and said, “I promise you that becoming an outdoor writer is one of the easiest professions you can learn.” I frowned, knowing Fears wasn’t being truthful, but I was too intimidated to tell him that. Finally, I said, “Okay, if it’s so easy to become an outdoor writer, tell me how to do it.” Once again, Fears smiled wide and with a twinkle in his eye and said, “Do what I say, and you’ll become what I am.” At first, that simple statement didn’t compute, but as I pondered these words of wisdom, I finally understood.Click to enlarge “Okay, I’ll do whatever you say and go wherever you go, and if you back up, you’ll step on me.”

For about 5 years, Fears was my mentor, and I was his constant shadow. If he had told me to stand on my head in a mud hole, I would have stood on my head in a mud hole and never asked why. As I listened to his wisdom and followed his advice, I began to sell outdoor articles and photography. The more I listened, the more I learned, and the faster I became the writer I’d hoped to be. After several years, I was selling as many articles as Fears, and over my entire career, Fears always has provided much-needed advice and guidance. When I asked him about our hunting together, he was as excited as I was about having the chance to challenge toms together.


To learn more about the New England Firearms Pardner Pump Turkey Gun, contact Eddie Stevenson at 800-243-9700, or check out To hunt at Live Oak Hunting Lodge with Steven Elmore, call (325) 853-2093, or visit

Tomorrow: Calling a Gobbler for J. Wayne Fears

Check back each day this week for more about "Turkey Talk at Texas’s Live Oak Hunting Lodge with Remington and J. Wayne Fears"

Day 1: Oops!
Day 2: Talking to Toms and Taking Toms
Day 3: Hunting with the Master
Day 4: Calling a Gobbler for J. Wayne Fears
Day 5: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place


Entry 508, Day 3