Article: Front Porch Musings: Field Ethos Journal
Front Porch Musings: Field Ethos Journal
What's happening everybody? We took a little hiatus from our last rendition of FPM, but it's been worth the wait. So welcome back. This week we are chatting with Jason Vincent, a real son-of-a-gun and one of the founders of our newest social media addiction: Field Ethos Journal.
Jason, besides (not) being the tallest guy in the room and your addiction to hawaiian-print shirts, what can you tell us about yourself and how you ended up at FEJ?
First of all, I have 3 kids under the age of 11 and when I visit them at school I’m always the tallest person in the room.
Now that I’ve defeated that comment, I’ll address these other questions from the high ground. I actually ended up in the media business through an unconventional path: law enforcement. I made a stupid move when I left my career as a Game Warden to become a railroad special agent, and after 3 years I was just done. As a hunter and a real gear fanatic, I’d identified several companies who really needed help communicating their message to consumers, so I went after them and built successful communication strategies that really seemed to help them. Sporting Classics Magazine was one of these companies. The guys there are some of my favorite people ever, and they taught me a ton, but we had a really hard time reaching the under 55 age groups. So we started Field Ethos Journal as a mechanism for that. It’s an unfiltered voice for the next generation of adventure minded sportsmen.
Whoa, looks like height jokes are the real killer here.
Of all the questions you may field today, here's a humdinger: What's the ethos of Field Ethos?
Field Ethos’ ethos? Well played, Marc (I don’t trust the spelling of your name). To us, our outdoor pursuits are really about going on adventures. The best hunting or fishing trips I’ve been on usually hold hunting or fishing as the subtext at the end of the story. The overall experience of these things is always the real meat of the adventure. It’s about the travel, the people we meet, the culture of these places, and lastly, it’s about our pursuits in the field. It’s about the bigger experience of it all. We want to show this by telling our stories as well as the stories of old. Hopefully, we inspire others to look at their time outdoors the way we do and to have people tell us their stories. So our ethos is: Adventure, Culture, History & Future.
You cover old, new, cool, nerd, and just about anything if it has to do with the outdoors on your Instagram page. It's like a smorgasbord of damn-i-wish-i-was-doing-that-right-now. Pick a favorite story so far that's landed on the page.
I really like the piece we ran on the Matagi hunters in Japan. These guys have an incredible history as a culture of mountain hunters who refuse to be overrun by the modern world. And I like anything written by our Editor-at-Large, Gayne Young. His writing reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson. I love the story of his LSD-like trip he experienced after taking anti-malarial drugs in Papua New Guinea.
Why would you associate yourself with people like Luke Kuechly and Colin Jones? You're obviously not concerned about your reputation.
I actually know less than nothing about football. I met Colin through a friend. We became buddies because we both like hunting and fishing and Luke has been tagging along ever since. They’re both outdoorsmen and they’re not assholes. These are my only requirements for friendship. Colin and Luke are the type of friends that can go on a trip, not catch or kill anything, and we still end up having an awesome time. They’re in it for the overall outdoor adventure, so they’re always on a short list of people I call when I plan a trip.
Good thing we clarified that.
Back to the meat of this chat, you guys cover a lot of food from the field. Can you dive into some of your best nuggets of advice for anyone who's a fan of firing up the grill? What companies y'all have worked with?
Davis Boice is one of the founders of Field Ethos. He’s a former SEAL sniper who took up cooking between deployments. The dude has become an amazing cook and he really drives the food side of Field Ethos. I guess my best advice for someone who is about to fire up the grill to cook wild game is to find your own Davis and ask a lot of questions. Wild game can be tricky...especially if you approach it like store bought meat. I’ll basically eat shoe leather and wash it down with cold beer but learning from Davis has meant that I no longer need to do that.
One day we read interest in the outdoors is growing, next day it's shrinking....what's your read on the long-term outlook?
The long-term outlook doesn’t look good if recruitment continues to decline. At FE we think we need to bring back the older style of messaging the outdoors around adventure but in a way that’s digestible by the next generation. The articles in our emails are short...on purpose. They fall in-between the length of a social media post and a traditional print article, and we do this because we know people read less. It’s time we stop competing with smartphones and social media and use them as weapons for us. It’s working very well for us.
We think conservation is a three-pronged approach: tradition, ecosystem, and animal. Looking at it from that standpoint, what can others do to help bolster it?
Brendan Burns of KUIU and I talk quite a bit. He’s their Chief Conservation Officer. He told me once that there are more films about conservation projects than there are actual conservation projects. I agree with that. People have been focused on awareness instead of action for quite some time now, and I really encourage people to look at what Brendan is doing with his program, Conservation Direct. I won’t do it the injustice of explaining it myself, but his mindset of “Find a project, fund the project, execute and walk away” is really awesome in it’s simplicity. Brendan really forced me to get back to approaching conservation not as a daunting overall problem, but more as a collection of smaller bite-sized projects that can be tackled. If enough people take action on the smaller projects then the landscape changes.
We typically like to wrap these up with a rapid fire set of Q's to really dig into your deepest and darkest thoughts....so buckle up and ready, set.
Favorite hunting locale?
Africa. Hands down.
Southeast or Rocky Mountains?
Favorite TSG Product?
You. Havenfield Shell 2nd.
Toyota or Land Rover?
Toyota. There’s a reason Toyota is trusted by more terrorists than any other brand. They’re reliable.
Meat or Fish?
Best I'm a Little Teapot impression: Colin or Luke?
That’s the toughest question so far because their standing styles are both so graceful and delicate, but somehow different...which is why I take pictures of them standing when they’re not paying attention.
Handled that well, sir.
Give us a quick preview of what's to come for FEJ? We'll post your IG handles and link to the website below.
I’m really excited about Colin taking over our podcast. He may not be the anchor of the podcast but he’s going to take it to the next level. It’s a work in progress, but he’s the guy to be in the driver’s seat for sure.
Thanks for the time, Jason, and thanks for making our work day sneak by a little faster.
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