Editor's note: This is part of an ongoing series by members of TU's Sportsmen's Conservation Project. For more, visit www.oursportingheritage.org, a site dedicated to protecting our backcountry resources.
There was a summer I spent as a wild child in the mountains of Iowa.
There are no mountains in Iowa, you say? Tell that to my younger self.
That summer my father made the crude outline of a teepee with leftover 2x4’s situated just perfectly to scan the neighboring hillsides for imaginary buffalo. After reading too much “Little House on the Prairie,” I spent the better part of a week thatching the sides with long grasses I uprooted from the pasture. When the horse tried to eat my very flammable settlement, I chased him like a warring tribe - whooping and waving.
I was nomadic that summer, part of the land instead of a visitor to it - a hunter gatherer - strong, tanned, wild.
Then I grew up. I forgot that feeling.