“My feeling for tallgrass prairie is like that of a modern man who has fallen in love with the face in a faded tintype. Only the frame is still real; the rest is illusion and dream. So it is with the original prairie. The beautiful face of it had faded before I was born, before I had a chance to touch and feel it, and all that I have known of the prairie is the setting and the mood—a broad sky of pure and intense light, with a sort of loftiness to the days, and the young prairie-born winds running past me from open horizons.”—John Madson
“Reading John Madson is to be in the presence of a trusted friend and guide to the natural world. In this eloquent, impassioned collection, he leads us from the tallgrass prairie to the barrier islands to the high cliffs of the upper Missouri and, as always, back home again. I'd follow him anywhere.”—John T. Price, author, Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships
Praise for John Madson
"Reading Madson is like reading some of his more illustrious and heady predecessors in the American experience . . . namely Emerson and Thoreau."—Kansas City Star
Long out of print, Out Home is the first published collection of naturalist and conservationist John Madson’s essays. Written between 1961 and 1977 for such venues as Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, Audubon, and Guns and Ammo, the twenty-one essays and one poem in this classic volume focus on game and nongame animals and the people who love them and their outdoor world. Madson writes of hunting and wildlife management, the tricks of whitetail and cottontail, the bewildering interactions of pheasants with their harsh winter world, the cliff-nesting geese of the Missouri River, biscuits and gravy and stories shared around campfires with friends and family, and the great seasonal migrations of geese and cranes.
Writing always with the knowledge that he was witnessing the end of the wilderness, of the outdoor home that nourished him, Madson brings a brilliant energy to these tough, unsentimental tales. “A strong place puts a mark on all that lives there, and the mark may outlast the place itself. Prairie people are like their western meadowlarks, seeming to be the same as their eastern relatives, but with a different song.” In his song about the “play of wind on tallgrasses, with the land running beneath a towering sky,” we hear the voice that went on to give us the magic of Where the Sky Began.
Editor Michael McIntosh, one of the nation’s foremost experts on shotguns, has written a short introduction to this first paperback edition of these ageless wilderness tales.