I’m Kenzie Nield. I was born and raised about 100 miles from Jackson Hole, in what most people consider the only pretty part of Wyoming – right in the middle of a world-class hunting area. As a kid, we were always outdoors, fishing, squirrel hunting, and shooting bows for fun. But my family didn’t take any of it too seriously so I guess you could say my hunting experience as a kid was pretty mediocre. It wasn’t until I met my (now) husband at 16 that I harvested my first big game animal. From then on, I shared his passion for hunting and look forward to it every year. When it’s not hunting season I like to spend my free time carving skulls. I still have a lot to learn technique-wise, but it’s something I can put my creativity into and I love it.
This female hunter feature is for Kenzie Nield. Here we go!
Why do you hunt?
So many reasons, but here are two. One of the most grounding things you can do is get outside and ignore the hustle of your everyday life. Two, wild game is the only source of meat we can obtain where we know exactly what we are getting. With store-bought beef there is a significant difference in fat levels as well as amounts of iron and zinc. You also don’t know how it’s been handled or processed before it got to you, with hunting and harvesting your own meat as well as processing it yourself there’s no question.
When was your first hunting trip, and how old were you?
I tagged along on other hunting trips as a kid since before I can remember, but my first successful big game hunt was when I was 16 and we got my first mule deer and antelope buck all in one weekend.
What do you like most about hunting?
Something about being deep in the backcountry where it hasn’t been touched or changed by man and it’s just you, your horses, and people you love. That post-shot adrenaline kick is pretty cool too.
What’s your most memorable hunting experience?
A few years ago we went on a hunt up somewhere we hadn’t been. It was dark and the trail was really overgrown so we couldn’t find it and were pretty much making our own. Between trees to the face and getting squished by my horse as we led them through a slippery mess in complete darkness, it was a very humbling experience (as is pretty much every hunt) that I won’t forget.
Do you have a favorite wild game recipe?
I have a Chili recipe I use all the time, and we love good old fashion butter and fish on the grill!
Do you have a “dream” hunting excursion?
I would love a Caribou Hunt, they have always been the most beautiful animals to me and to have one in my home would be a dream come true.
What would you say to other women who haven’t tried hunting or fishing yet?
Growing up I would hear women around me constantly complain about their husbands’ hunting, how dumb it was. How annoyed they were at them for never being home to spend time with their families. I just assumed that’s how it was, you stay home and do your girl things while they go out and do man stuff and then they come home and you’d be mad at them. Right? Wrong, hunting and fishing is something you can both like, something you can raise your kids to love. Go with him. Or go by yourself and get outdoors! Give yourself a hobby more exciting than painting your nails and fall crafts.