ABOUT J. WAYNE

J. Wayne Fears grew up in the Cumberland Mountains roaming around on a mountain named Tater Knob. His dad was a trapper and an expert woodsman, his mom, a country school teacher. From his dad, he learned to live in the wilds; and from his mom, he obtained a love of the written word. When other kids were playing team sports, J. Wayne was spending days, often alone, trapping, hunting and fishing. At the age of 15, he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. While in high school he joined the Army National Guard. He could not believe the government would furnish him ammo to shoot. Following high school graduation, he served in the U.S. Army.

After graduating from Auburn University, J. Wayne went to work as a wildlife specialist with the University of Georgia to develop the wildlife resources in a rural test county in South Georgia. The resulting program was published as a feature article in the March 1966 issue of Outdoor Life magazine. This article gave J. Wayne and his work national attention and introduced him to the world of outdoor writing.
The following year, he took a similar job with the Coastal Plain Planning and Development Commission working with nine counties. At the same time, he began writing for outdoor magazines, had a weekly radio program and a syndicated newspaper column.

By 1970, he was in graduate school at the University of Georgia working on his Master’s degree and working with Safari Systems, Inc. which gave him North and South American experience. While in school, he was writing for 11 outdoor magazines.

Since completing his graduate work, he has held a number of wildlife related positions and worked as an explorer. He spent a decade as the chief wildlife manager for Gulf States Paper Corporation. Here he was responsible for the wildlife management and law enforcement on 500,000 acres of forestland, the development of Westervelt Hunting Lodge, big game hunting operations in Colorado, Alaska and British Columbia.

In 1982, he left Gulf States to establish a company called Alabama Backcountry Lodges, Inc, which developed and operated three hunting lodges in Alabama. When the company sold, he became a full time freelance magazine writer and book author. He established a consulting company, Fears & Associates, to do wildlife habitat management and exploration work.

In 1994, Progressive Farmer magazine, the nations oldest and largest farm/ranch magazine asked J. Wayne to work for them as the Editor-in-chief of Rural Sportsman, a wildlife management magazine within Progressive Farmer. He retired from this position in 2005. Soon, he came out of retirement and became the editor-in-chief of Hunting Camp Journal magazine and later Hunt Club Digest.

Currently, he serves as shooting columnist for Turkey Call magazine and writes the back page for GunHunter magazine and Great Days Outdoors magazine. For the past eight years he has written a column for Whitetails Unlimited magazine entitled The Food Plot Doctor. He also freelances to a number of other publications and web sites.

J. Wayne has had over 6,200 magazine articles published and 33 books. He is often a guest on popular outdoor TV programs and is a frequent speaker at outdoor events. Currently he is working on three books.

EDUCATION

  • B.S. Degree from Auburn University
  • 
Master’s Degree from the University of Georgia

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS

Journalism

  • 2016 – Best Magazine Short Story – First Place – SEOPA
  • 2015 – Best Outdoor Book – Third Place – SEOPA
  • 2014 – Pinnacle Award – Book – POMA
  • 2013 – Best Outdoor Book Award – First Place – SEOPA
  • 2013 – Outstanding Achievement Award – Book – POMA
  • 2007 – Grits Gresham Communicator of the Year Award – NSSF & POMA

  • 2006 – Best Outdoor Entrepreneur Project – Magazine – SEOPA

  • 2005 – Best Outdoor Book – Third Place – SEOPA

  • 2004 – Best Outdoor Book – First Place – SEOPA

  • 2004 – NWTF Communicator of the Year Award

  • 2002 – Best Outdoor Book – Third Place – SEOPA

  • 1993 – Best Outdoor Entrepreneur Project – Public Relations – SEOPA

  • 1993 – Technical Magazine Article – Second Place – OWAA

  • 1989 – Best Outdoor Book – Second Place – SEOPA
  • 
1986 – Best Outdoor Book – Runner-Up – SEOPA

  • 1986 – Anschutz-PSI Outstanding Writer Award

  • 1985 – Best Outdoor Book – Runner-Up – SEOPA

  • 1978 – Best Magazine Article – First Place – SEOPA
  • 
1976 – Deep Woodsman of the Year Award – Overall Writing – OWAA

  • 1976 – Deep Woodsman of the Year Award – Newspaper – OWAA

  • 1976 – Buck Knives Writing Award – Newspaper – OWAA

Other Professional Awards

  • 2017 -Inducted into the Legends of the Fly Hall of Fame
  • 2017 – Inducted into the Huntsville/Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame
  • 2012 – Inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame
  • 2004 – Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award – Communicator of the Year 
  • 2001 – Outstanding Conservationist– USDA Soil & Water Conservation Districts Association

  • 1982 – Distinguished Alumni Award – University of Georgia

  • 1981 – Tom Rollins Award – SEOPA

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION ACTIVITY

Professional Outdoor Media Association

  • Past President 2006-07
  • Founding Board Member
  • Chairman: Intern/Mentoring Committee

Southeastern Outdoor Press Association

  • Chairman of Board – 1975-76

  • President 1973-74
  • Board member 1971- 73

  • Chairman of numerous committees

Outdoor Writers Association of America

  • Board Member 1979 – 1982, 2003 – 2005.

  • Chairman of numerous committees.

Georgia Outdoor Writers Association

  •  Founding member – President 1970 – 71
  • Chairman of Board 1971-72

The Wildlife Society

  • Certified Wildlife Biologist

The Explorers Club

  • 
Led five scientific expeditions – voted into club in 1982

Georgia Parks & Recreation Society

  • Board of Directors

Georgia Recreation Commission

  • Licensed Recreation  – Administrator – #14

Georgia Recreation Commission

  • Advisory Board – 1968 – 1970 

Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

  •  Board of Advisory Governors

American Mountainmen

  • Inducted 1975

Longhunter Society

  • Founding Committee

National Rifle Association

  • Life Member, Instructor – rifle, pistol, shotgun

BOOKS PUBLISHED

  • The Lodge Book of Dutch Oven Cooking — Skyhorse Publishing
  • Isaac – Trek to Kings Mountain – Bannock Books/Kindle/Nook 
  • Chipmunk, Punky, Sometimes Jenny and Me – Bannock Books/Kindle
  • Buck & Wart – Backcountry Letters – co-author- Bannock Books/Kindle
  • Fish Canning Made Easy, Kindle Book
  • The Complete Book to Making Jerky – Kindle Book
  • Deer Hunter’s & Land Manager’s Pocket Reference – Skyhorse Publishing/Kindle/Nook
  • How-to Lost Proof Your Child – Kindle Book
  • The Complete Book of Making  Jerky at Home – Kindle Book
  • How-to Manage Native Plants for Deer – Pro Tool Publishing
  • How-to Hunt Clear Cuts Successfully – Pro Tool Publishing
  • The Complete Book of Dutch Oven Cooking – Skyhorse Publishing/Kindle/Nook

  • The Pocket Survival Guide – Skyhorse Publishing/Kindle/Nook
  • 
Hunt Club Management Guide – Skyhorse Publishing/Kindle/Nook.
  • 
Hunting Whitetails East & West – Co-Author- Skyhorse Publishing/Kindle/Nook

  • Build Your Dream Cabin in the Woods – Skyhorde Publishing?Kindle/Nook
  • 
The Complete Book of Outdoor Survival – Krause Publications

  • The Field & Stream Wilderness Cooking Handbook – Globe Pequot Press

  • The Canoer’s Bible – Co-Author – Doubleday
  • 
Hunting Big Bears – North American Hunting Club
  • 
Hunting Whitetails Successfully – North American Hunting Club

  • Muzzleloading Hunters Handbook – CVA Publications

  • Cooking the Wild Harvest – ICS/Stackpole Books

  • The Wild Turkey Book – Amwell Press

  • Successful Turkey Hunting – Target Communications

  • The Complete Book to Canoe Camping – Winchester Press

  • Sportsman’s Guide to Swamp Camping – David McKay Publishers

  • Trout Fishing the Southern Appalachians – East Woods Press

  • Turkey Guide – Scotch Publications

  • Scrape Hunting from A to Z – Derrydale Press

  • Backcountry Cooking – East Woods Press
  • Recreation Resources Management Manual – CPAPC Publications
  • Planting for Wildlife – Southern Progress Publications

MEDIA EXPERIENCE

Some Magazines in Which Work Has Been Published:

  • GunHunter
  • Whitetail News
  • The New Pioneer
  • American Frontiersman
  • Whitetails Unlimited
  • North American Hunter
  • Great Days Outdoors

  • Turkey Country

  • Backpacker

  • Outdoor Life

  • Shooting Times

  • Bowhunting World

  • Petersen’s Hunting
  • 
Field & Stream

  • The Trapper
  • 
North American Hunter
  • 
Guns & Ammo
  • 
Canoe

  • Sports Afield
  • Farm Journal

  • SHOT Business
  • Progressive Farmer

  • Southern Outdoors

  • Turkey Hunter

  • American Hunter

  • Seventeen

  • Turkey Call

  • American Rifleman

  • Buckmasters
  • 
Woodall’s Camping

  • Game & Fish
  • 
Fur-Fish-Game
  • Muzzle Blasts
  • 
Predator & Prey
  • 
Hunting Camp Journal

  • Aqua/Field

  • Cabela’s Outfitter Journal


Newspaper

  • Quitman Free Press (GA) – Outdoor Editor

  • Valdosta Times (GA) – Outdoor Editor
  • 
Syndicated weekly outdoor column to 20 Georgia newspapers

  • Greenville News (SC) – Outdoor contributor

  • Tuscaloosa Graphic (AL) – Outdoor Editor

  • Anniston Star (AL) – Outdoor Editor

Radio

  • WSFB, Quitman, GA, “Georgia Outdoors” 30-min. twice weekly

Television

  • WMAZ_TV, Macon, GA- guest host – Southern Outdoors, twice weekly, 30-min.

  • 15 weekly segments on Benelli American Safaris for two years, aired nationally regarding survival and wildlife management.

  • Guest host on numerous national TV outdoor shows – T/C Game Trails, NWTF Get in the Game, NWTF Turkey Call, Benelli’s American Safari, Southern Sportsman.

COMMERCIAL/VIDEO/DVD

  • “How to Hunt Wild Turkey” – Warburton Productions & Chevy Trucks

  • “The Secrets of Successful Food Plots” – Mossy Oak Productions
  • 
“The Complete Hunter” – Smith/Taylor Productions
  • 
“Backcountry Lodges” – Denny Productions