With all this farm to table hoo-ha all over our menus and social feeds, men took it to the next level and got back to hunting their own food. We say, bravo, gents!
If you are going to eat sustainably sourced meat, what better way than to hunt the beast yourself? Brad Neathery saw this trend coming and founded Modern Huntsman, a biannual publication out of Dallas, Texas. Neathery is looking to shift the public’s perception of hunting by publishing the experiences, emotions, and traditions that are associated with the activity. Basically, he is moving hunting away from Duck Dynasty and back to Earnest Hemingway, and we thank him for that.
The publication will span the globe, from the Texas Hill Country (where we found some amazing barbecue) to the plains of East Africa. There will be interviews with wildlife conservationists, as well as exclusive photo journals and updates on hunting news. Contributors include some of the best photographers and writers from the outdoor world (they even have their Instagram handles next to their names — this is modern!), including John Dunaway, Eamon Waddington, and Jillian Lukiwski.
Neathery has a refreshing life story. He didn’t grow up hunting; as he told The Manual, “We foraged our food from the thrilling terrain of the Tom Thumb grocery aisles in East Texas!” In fact, he used to pass a bit of judgment on the hunting community, thinking, “Why do you need to kill something when there is an abundance of meat in the grocery store, and it is already dead?”
Much of his understanding (or lack thereof) stemmed from his view of hunters as gruff, middle-aged, overweight rednecks wearing camo; grinning over the body of a bloody, dead animal; and holding a six-pack under his arm. On top of that, the media makes hunters out to be the bullies of wildlife and, frankly, the hunting industry wasn’t doing much to improve the perception (enter Duck Dynasty).
Neathery owns a creative agency in Texas, and it wasn’t until he was introduced to one of his clients (and now partner in Modern Huntsman), Elliott Hillock — who was building a hunting lifestyle goods store in Corsicana, Texas called Freedom Shooting Sports — that he had to really ask himself where he stood on the topic of hunting.
“Through social media and brand partnerships, I began meeting creatives in the hunting industry who would spend the whole conversation talking about conservation, public land management, the responsibility we have to steward the progression of all species of animals. The amount of love and respect that these folks have for the land, wildlife, and their intention to protect the ethics and traditions are what make this lifestyle so special. I was immediately convinced and my whole perspective changed,” Neathery tells us.
A light bulb went off when Neathery realized that these people didn’t have a platform that was a fitting showcase for their work. Their voices either ended on their own internal channels or were published through outlets that didn’t fully do their creative brilliance any justice. Thus, Modern Huntsman was born — a collective that will pull together and distribute content from the creatives in this industry who are actively working to change perceptions.
Editor’s Note: When we first profiled this magazine it was just in its Kickstarter phase. Modern Huntsman is now available on their website and Neathery is hoping to roll out in several nationwide retailers soon.