Brendan Leonard

Here Are 10 People of the Outdoors We'll Be Following in 2017

Whether it's brushing up on your survival skills or preparing for your next big adventure, these are the people of the outdoors to follow in 2017.

Social Media has given a platform to People of the Outdoors to explore Wide Open Spaces and share their experiences with us. Be it inspiration or education, following the adventures of these outdoor enthusiasts will enrich your own experiences.

Brendan Leonard

A photo posted by Brendan Leonard (@semi_rad) on

Prepare to be stoked about 2017. Prolific outdoor writer Brendan Leonard plans to make it the year of maximum enthusiasm. Leonard produces a steady influx of online content as contributing editor at Adventure Journal, as well as his website,, and several self-published books that have earned their way to Barnes and Noble's shelves through an interesting guerilla marketing campaign that is a story within itself.

Leonard's content is a modern blend of Hemmingway and Thought Catalog, with short articles on subjects like "How to Poop in the Woods." As an author, Leonard has as much potential for a career in motivational speaking as he does stand-up comedy with a stout cocktail of enthusiasm and sarcasm. The hilarious scribblings and flow charts shared on his instagram and twitter accounts have become a testament to not taking things in life so seriously.

Jeremiah Doughty

If you need a wild game meal plan, look no further than the website, From Field to Plate. Jeremiah Doughty is a wild game chef that has a deep connection with his meals. If you want to improve your culinary skills, be more creative in the kitchen, or just simply follow the journey of a meal from field to plate, Doughty is the Anthony Bourdain of the outdoors. His instagram account will leave you drooling.

The long anticipated arrival of his cookbook is planned to be finished in time for the 2017 holidays.

Callie Miles

When it comes to waterfalls and vistas, Callie Miles is one adventurer that isn't afraid to get her feet wet and live on the edge. Her Instagram account is more like a devotional, offering a visual escape from the mundane daily grind while quoting everything from John Muir to the Holy Bible.

In the essence of a well-traveled adventurer, Miles is often engaging with questions from her followers about the locations she visits. The dedicated and independent hiker takes most of her own images using a timer. Standing solo at sunny and snowy summits, the imagery is a vivid reminder that between every two pines is a doorway to a new world, and we are often more in control of our own destiny than we may think.

James "Big Daddy" Lawler

David Harrell, Eddie Salter, Troy Ruiz, Alex Rutledge, & Bruce McNider this morning on GORN...

A photo posted by Big Daddy Lawler (@bigdad51) on

James Lawler, aka "Bid Daddy" is keeping southern tradition alive with his radio talk show, "Gettin' Outdoors with Big Daddy Lawler." While he conducts special guest interviews in the studio, the real magic happens outdoors and on location. As a master of ceremonies for hunting and fishing events, Lawler has contributed his time, energy, and efforts into countless tournaments and charity hunts as an active community member.

He's passionate about involving youth in hunting, fishing, and of course, getting outdoors. Lawler himself is an avid crappie fisherman above all else, but is also intrigued by birdwatching, closely monitoring the successful rebound of bald eagle populations in South Alabama among other predatory birds, waterfowl, and wild turkey.

Being involved with the timber industry, Lawler respects the necessity of land management to preserve delicate habitat for wild animals and devoted to maintaining outdoor recreational opportunities for the public. You can listen to an archive of past radio shows on his website,

Scott Haugen

As one of the most well traveled and diverse among the realm of hunters and anglers in the outdoor industry is TV host, author, editor, and publisher Scott Haugen. From African Safari hunts for cape buffalo and oryx, to ice fishing for sheefish and burbot, the Oregonian outdoorsman covers all the bases around the globe when it comes to hunting and fishing. If you're an outdoorsman and travel junkie with a little space left for some additions to your bucket list, his booking agency is a great place to ask for help planning some of the same adventures.

Haugen is not only a prolific contributor to outdoor magazines, but has his own books and DVDs that are available on his website. Seasons 1 & 2 of his show "Trijicon's The Hunt," can be watched on Amazon Prime and is found in over 40 countries around the world.  To keep up with his latest updates, you can check his blog or follow him on twitter.

Becca Skinner

It's starting to feel like fall over here. @outdoorresearch @juniper_media

A photo posted by Becca Skinner (@beccaskinner) on

You can almost smell the campfire and hear the whippoorwills calling from across the lake when National Geographic Explorer, writer, photographer, and conservationist Becca Skinner shares her experiences of the simplicity of Rocky Mountain life in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Her photos are as crisp as a fresh cup of coffee after waking bundled up in a Volkswagen.

From horse-riding, kayaking, backpacking, road trips, camping and world travel, Skinner is a modern day Jack Kerouac. Beyond the Rockies, she won a National Geographic Young Explorer Grant to photograph post-tsunami Indonesia.

Renee Johnson

TBT I can't wait for this weekend!

A photo posted by Renee Johnson (@reneejohnsonfishing) on

With a surge in the presence of female anglers stepping into the spotlight, Renee Johnson has slowly emerged among her peers as one of the more active outdoor writers with her blog, Renee Johnson Fishing. With a focus mainly on the Pacific Northwest fisheries, Johnson targets everything from steelhead to albacore, but still produces content with mass appeal. Topics like "How to Dress for Foul Weather" are great reads for preparation between seasonal transitions, while life lessons on overcoming adversity on the water by implementing "Rule Number 5" are food for thought.

The passion for sharing her adventures and knowledge through writing has expanded into a new project, "North Passage," which is an extension of sharing her experiences through video. You can subscribe to the North Passage channel on YouTube or like North Passage on Facebook.

Julie Anderson Jackson

Julie Anderson Jackson is a family photographer by trade, but her passion lies with the outdoors and her own family of two girls, one boy, a dog, some chickens, probably some rabbits, turkeys, maybe a turtle, and whatever else she has at any given time living in the zoo that she calls home. From Alaska to upstate New York, the Washingtonian's parenting style is an admirable effort to raise her children in an environment that fosters hands-on learning experiences through outdoor adventure.

The playful, childlike nature of the photography she shares of her family is a reflection of how her work and leisure lifestyles mesh from behind (as well as in front of) the lens. Between hunting, fishing, raising her own food and family, her instagram account may be one of the most interesting family albums you'll ever thumb through.

Eric Badeau

"A Passion and A Pastime" ·|| Amanita muscaria ||· South Beach Disc Golf Course, Newport, OR ~Sea Level [10.29.16] It was quite the surprise to stumble across a Disc Golf course while Mushroom Hunting. *Laughs out loud* Seriously though.. I was walking down a path with my eyes focused on the myriad fungi diversity that The Oregon Coast was offering on this absolutely temperate and sunny Fall day (very unseasonally warm), when I look up and to my surprise see a Disc Golf basket..! I had suddenly found my self on Hole 5 of a Disc Golf course that I had previously never even known existed. I even had a spare disc in my backpack for such an occasion! And if that alone wasn't a pleasant DISCovery (pun intended), I was delighted to find this stunning beauty of an Amanita fruiting not but 10 yards from the basket. #insporeations #mycology #mycolove #pnwonderland #mushroomsdemystified #myceliumrunning #allthattherainpromisesandmore #exploregon #passion #passions #capture_the_pnw #discgolf #picoftheday #nature #mushroomtalk #champignons #setas  #mushrooms #ciuperc? #kinoko #???????? #???? #hongos #fantasticfungi #fungiforthepeople #tinyworlds #fungiperfecti #shroomatnoon #wildcrafting #allthemushroomhashtags

A photo posted by Eric Badeau (@insporeations) on

There are few people as passionate about mycology and as down-to-earth as Eric Badeau. He is equal parts mushroom maniac and brainiac. His thirst for knowledge about the diversity of species is shared in a way that is as candid as it is scholarly on his instgram account, appropriately titled "insporeations."

Even as a wild-crafting guru, Badeau maintains a fascination of mushroom identification that is alluring to the mysteries of mycology. Photography and surreal graphic design give his images a crisp texture that makes the viewer feel as if the forest floor is beneath their feet. Albeit short and sweet, the insights shared from his instagram posts often drift into abstract meanings of life while offering subliminal knowledge about mycology.

Hannah Barron

While she is most well known for noodling, Hannah Barron is the poster child for country living. From deer hunting, hog hunting, and bowfishing, Barron has her hand in a little bit of everything (pun intended). While she's not yet old enough to order a beer in a bar, there is great potential for Barron to share the spotlight with figures like Eva Shockey and Kendall Jones.

If you enjoyed this story, and would like to see more, check out Randall Bonner's Outdoor Writer Page on Facebook or check his Rain or Shine Blog for updates on more online and print articles. You can also follow him on Twitter @RandallJBonner or Instagram @RandallJBonner