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Glynn Harris: Brown’s trek through the outdoors includes new book

by Russell Hedges

There are plenty of folks who include the outdoors as a part of their lives. They hunt; they fish; they hike but their nine-to-five jobs occupy the majority of their time.

​For a handful of others, the outdoors is basically their life; they’re consumed with the woods and waters. That’s why this select group can’t wait to wake up every morning and go to their job in some form of make their living in outdoor industries. John Brown is just such a fellow.

​For the 57 year old Brown, it started some 30-odd years ago when he teamed up with fellow Ruston High School graduate, Rex Moncrief to plan, film produce and star in an outdoor television show, “The Outdoor News”, which ran for a few years on area TV stations.

​Wanting more exposure to the outdoors, Brown had become adept at handling video equipment and he began doing free-lance video works for such outdoors-related companies as Knight and Hale, Primos, Mossy Oak. His work caught the attention of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and for near 30 years, Brown worked with that organization eventually becoming executive producer of their television and video work.

​Aside from his involvement with the outdoors, Brown developed an interest in coaching youth baseball. While living in Edgefield, SC, headquarters of the NWTF, he coached youngsters and in 2019, his team of 12 year olds won the national championship. Interestingly, the tourney was held in Ruston.​

“I came to Ruston for the tournament and it was like a homecoming to me. I wanted to plant myself back here in north Louisiana where I was raised. I told my boss at the NWTF I wanted to take an early retirement so I could move back home,” said Brown.  

After retiring, Brown and his wife, a retired school teacher, live in the country outside W. Monroe. Has he retired from his outdoors ventures? That’s not in Brown’s DNA. He writes features for LA Sportsman magazine and has taken a consuming interest in 51 acres of land in Caldwell Parish his dad had purchased before he passed away last year. Brown is converting the property his dad left him to a mecca for wildlife.

“When I first walked over the property, it was so thick and overgrown you could hardly pick your way through it. There was no way you could think about finding a turkey track. For the past year and a half I have worked on the land, clearing brush and establishing food plots. Last week,” said Brown, “I called up two longbeard gobblers, a hen and six jakes at one time. 

“I have rededicated myself to telling the conservation story that no matter if a piece of property is large or small, if you work on the habitat, wildlife will react and find it.”

Brown’s next project, which will reach fruition on April 30, is his book, “Gathering Light’, which will be released on that date.

“Before he passed away, my dad had encouraged me to write down what I had done in stories I could pass down as a legacy to my kids and grandchildren. I finally did it. The book tells about my growing up in Franklin Parish on the Tensas River as well as my outdoors-related work down through the years,” he said. 

The hard cover book as well as in E-book form will be available starting April 30. Search for it on and Barnes and Noble. 

This book will appeal to not only outdoorsmen and women but with John Brown’s God given ability to tell a story, it’s a book anyone will enjoy reading.

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