“There are some that can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” – Aldo Leopold
I cannot live without. Since I was a wee little Jess, fascination with Mother Nature has consumed me. As I grew older, I was baffled to learn there were people who lived life without constant thoughts of the wild world outside.
During my life, I have had many conservation heroes to which I credit for my earthly passion. However, my dad leads them all. He was the first to encourage my interests by taking my younger brother and I camping, hiking, fishing and hunting. Every weekend was spent outdoors, as a family—my mom included. We were taught to turn over rocks “just so”, so that they could be replaced in the precise position from which they were lifted. Always done in a manner as to observe but not disturb the residents underneath. I can remember fishing with my dad and encountering my first large snake. I remember countless early mornings in the brisk fall air, the air dense with the smell of crisp fallen leaves when most deer hunts succumbed to epic naps in the woods. I will never forget using my dad’s lever action Winchester 30/30 to harvest my first deer, him in the tree stand beside me.
As I grew older, I found that fewer and fewer people shared my enthusiasm and interest in the outdoors. In college, I stumbled upon an advertisement for a Women In The Outdoors (WITO) event sponsored by a local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. I registered and went to the event alone. Everything about the event attracted me: ladies loving the outdoors, learning new skills and honing old ones, and bonding over our shared interests. It was RIGHT up my alley. I had an incredible experience and was instantly hooked. I realized there are women out there like me, and I had found a supportive place to let my love for the outdoors grow. Soon, I was planning and hosting my own WITO events. I quickly realized my passion was not just being in the outdoors, but for sharing that love with other women…inspiring others to care about the world and all the outdoor pursuits it offers.
And that’s how wildHERness was born. We are a group of women who love nature, being outdoors and taking advantage of every adventure it offers! Our founders share a passion for supporting any female that has a desire to adventure outside. We pride ourselves in supporting our local communities that support our mission, and providing mentorship opportunities. Let’s get together and explore your wild!