Margie Nelson was born and raised in Livingston, Montana. She spent her early years in love with the outdoors, particularly all things in the water, which lead her to an education in Marine Biology and Oceanography. But her heart always brought her back to the Mountains.
Growing up outdoors in Montana, hunting and fishing afforded her many different skill sets. She has taken her skills as a provider and now spends most of her time creating “trophy meals” from her harvests that take her literally through all the steps from Skills to Skillet.
This Female Hunter Feature is for Margie Nelson. Here we go!
Why do you hunt, fish, cook, and spend time outdoors?
I hunt, fish, and cook from the harvests I have taken because I love knowing where my food came from and providing for myself and my family. There is a certain sense of pride and ownership one feels from hunting, gathering, and cooking a meal that they provided themselves. It is in my bloodline, my heritage, and my honor to be able to go into the outdoors and collect and bring back a bounty to process and share.
When was your first hunt or fishing trip, and how old were you?
Having grown up in a hunting and fishing family, I don’t actually remember the first time I hunted or fished. It was in our lifestyle to be outdoors doing these things. I remember vividly my first actual hunt where I was the hunter, and not just along helping out with the harvest. My first ever harvest was a bull elk in Paradise Valley with my Grandpa and his buddies. Back then, before the wolves, there were giant elk and everybody seemed to get one. I too, was fortunate to harvest a nice bull. I was 12.
What do you like most about hunting, fishing, cooking, and spending time outdoors?
The thing I love most about being outdoors hunting, fishing, and cooking is the camaraderie between friends and family. Watching the sunrise or sunset and the smell of the fresh air is what I love. Getting together with people to achieve a common goal while enjoying our natural resources can’t get much better.
What’s your most memorable fishing experience?
My most memorable experience was when we were fishing in Costa Rica. One of my friends got a nice sailfish and as a diver, I felt the need to be in the water with this amazing fish. I held onto its bill reviving it a bit after a long battle to the boat and then held onto its tail for about 20 feet as it swam down into the deep blue. I have since rethought this action after seeing sharks attack injured or fresh-caught game fish though.
Do you have a favorite wild game or fish recipe?
I have many favorite wild game and fish recipes. I personally love processing my animals and leaving the ribs on the backstrap for a rack of venison or making elk tomahawks. There is just something about cooking a primitive, yet beautiful display or your own harvest and butchery cooked on an open fire.
Do you have a “dream” hunting or outdoor excursion?
My dream is to travel to the UK and visit the Game Fair they have every year and also eat at some of the well-known wild game restaurants. Then, I’d love to travel to Norway to hunt a stag, or possibly a seal. Seals are becoming overpopulated in the seas of Norway and conservation is key in my life. This does rub the wrong way considering my Marine Biology background, but I also understand the need for population control and management.
What would you say to other women who haven’t tried hunting or fishing yet?
I would hope that I could help other women understand the need for conservation and population control of all species. Once they understand where the money from licenses and purchases of necessary equipment and tools to hunt and fish, they then can appreciate hunting and fishing better. Taking the mystery and fear out of shooting a gun and empowering a woman to provide naturally for herself and her family is an awesome experience to watch unfold.
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