- Photographer Adrain Chesser has spent nearly a decade following various group of modern hunter-gatherers.
- The groups live primarily in the Great Basin, located at the intersection of Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and California.
- They say they migrate and change their eating habits according to the seasons, but still maintain Facebook pages, blogs, and other connections with modern society.
J.P. Hartsong, Finisia Madrano, and their group live nomadically and travel according to the seasons.
The group, which calls itself Coyote Camp, travels along a centuries-old Native American route known as “The Hoop” (for its circular nature) that passes through Idaho, Nevada, California, and Oregon.
Coyote Camp travels in accordance with the harvest times for edible plants indigenous to the areas. They harvest roots such as breadroot, camas root, and bitterroot in the spring and summer; berries in the late summer; and acorns in autumn.
Coyote Camp is led by Finisia Medrano (pictured), a transgender woman, who was taught by elders of the Shoshone Tribe in the Great Basin how to live in harmony with the land.
While most members of the Coyote Camp come and go as they please, J.P. Hartsong (pictured) is one of the more permanent fixtures of the group.
The members of Coyote Camp travel either by horseback or covered wagon.
The group lives by a collection of tenets to ensure they live in harmony with the Earth. “It’s a symbiotic relationship with the earth,” Chesser explains.
One of the main tenets is to “give more than you take” from the land. For example, the group only harvests when the ground is ready for new seeds to be planted. When they dig up the plants, they plant seeds at the same time.
The land where the group lives includes National Park land, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, and private property that ranchers let them stay on. This shot is in the Virgin Mountains, a mountain range managed by BLM.
Occasionally, they have run-ins with police or park rangers who ask them to leave. When that happens, the group avoids conflicts and simply moves on.
During his travels, Chesser met another group of hunter-gatherers by the name of Moira and Ray.
Moira and Ray own pack goats, which provide milk, meat, and company. They often meet up with Coyote Camp during harvest season to share the work and the bounty.
While Coyote Camp lives off the land, they are not isolationists, according to Chesser. Many have Facebook pages or maintain blogs.
Even though each person attempts to hold to the tenets, they often purchase goods from the mainstream world, due to addictions to alcohol or tobacco. “It causes them distress. It’s in such conflict to how they are trying to live,” Chesser says.
Life in the Great Basin can be hard, but the members of Coyote Camp are not there out of necessity, according to Chesser. "They chose this lifestyle because they wanted to live more in balance with the Earth than modern living," he says.