Opinion by Brandon Butler
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Over the course of two trips to North Dakota for different conferences, I covered most of the state.
What I found was an answer to the question of why Theodore Roosevelt chose this somewhat unheralded land to serve as his wilderness reprieve from life in New York City. Vast expanses of prairie, rugged badlands, thousands of pothole lakes, and lush riverways combine to give North Dakota a rich landscape filled with a wealth of fish and game.
Often thought of as the west, North Dakota is actually one of 12 Midwestern states. With a population of just over 750,000 residents, only Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming are home to fewer people. But at 70,700 square miles, North Dakota is the 19th largest state in the country. So there is a lot of space for spreading out.
Being a Roosevelt buff, I had to explore Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
The park’s visitor center is in town and is now home to the Maltese Cross Cabin, which is where Roosevelt stayed in 1883 while on his Chimney Butte Ranch. The property was located seven miles south of town. Stepping into the cabin, and viewing some of his personal effects, like bullet casings Roosevelt nailed into one of the logs, is an invigorating experience. One wants to stand in the doorway with fists held high and shout, “bully,” to honor one of our nation’s greatest ever conservationists.
My friend, Nick Green with Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and I honored our hero in another manner. We drove south of Medora towards Chimney Butte and headed out on foot into