What Makes me Texan by Nature – Aaron Bowen

I grew up in the rolling hills of Tontitown, Arkansas, amidst the gentle hum of a 4-house pullet farm. This is where my connection with nature began. Those long, sun-soaked summers spent working the farm, growing chickens, and wading knee-deep in Clear Creek fostered a profound love for the outdoors—a love that would shape my life’s journey in ways I couldn’t yet comprehend.

The farmhouse, perched on the banks of Clear Creek, became a sanctuary—a portal to a world overflowing with adventure. From the crack of dawn till the sun dipped below the tree line, I wandered the rocky landscape, hunting ducks, trapping crawdads, and chasing after elusive smallmouth bass. Every moment spent there was a lesson in resilience, resourcefulness, and reverence for the wild.

But it wasn’t just the farm that captured my imagination; nestled amidst the majestic Ozark National Forest was our family cabin and 40 acres of untamed wilderness—an explorer’s paradise. In those dense woods, my brother and I embarked on daring escapades, our youthful curiosity leading us down unmarked logging roads and into uncharted territories. Lost in nature, we found ourselves—instinctively navigating the forest, forging bonds that would endure a lifetime.

As life beckoned, I traded my fishing pole for a baseball bat, leaving behind the untamed landscapes of my youth to pursue higher education and chart a course in the business world. Yet, the call of the wild never truly faded; it was simply dormant, patiently waiting for its moment to resurface.

And resurface it did, with the allure of Texas’ vast wilderness calling me once more. In a state dominated by private land, my journey to rediscover the outdoors was met with initial uncertainty. But in true Texan fashion, strangers soon became friends, opening their lands and sharing their passion for the wild with me.

Reflecting on my roots and the invaluable lessons learned amidst the Arkansas wilderness, my path converged with Texan by Nature—a beacon of conservation and stewardship in the Lone Star State. My journey from the pullet farm to the boardroom, from the tranquil waters of Clear Creek to the sprawling forests of the Ozarks, has equipped me with a unique perspective—a blend of business acumen and a deep-seated admiration for nature.

As I step into this role as Chief Administrative Officer, my mission is clear—to leverage this expertise and unwavering passion for wildlife conservation to propel Texan by Nature’s noble cause forward. To me, the wilderness isn’t just a place to escape; it’s a canvas upon which life’s most profound lessons are painted.

In the words of the legendary Jim Harrison, “The wilderness does not make you forget your normal life so much as it removes the distractions for proper remembering.” And for me, Texan by Nature isn’t just a job; it’s a calling—a testament to this unwavering commitment to preserving the wild places that have shaped me into the Texan I am today.