Mike Nottingham


My name is Mike T. Nottingham.  I was born January year of our Lord 1950 at Fort Benton Mt.  My great grandfather H. A. Nottingham hailed from W. Virginia and came up the Missouri River on a steamboat at 15 years of age in 1870.  My grandparents were born in Montana Territory.

From an early age I have had a love and respect for the outdoors and nature.  Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the banks of Shonkin Creek in the Highwood Mountains with a willow pole in my hands fishing.  It wasnít long after that I was trapping and plinking gophers for my grandpa.  He would pay me a nickel for each tail.  It kept me in 22 shells.  I harvested a nice four-point mule deer buck when I was 12 years old.  Since then Iíve hunted just about every mountain range in Montana.  Iíve packed in hunting camps with horses in the Bob, Bitterroots, Sapphires, and E. Pintler Mountains.  Have spent many adventuress days boating, canoeing, rafting, on such rivers as Big Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Clarksfork, Clearwater, Flathead, Missouri, Marias, Yellowstone, and Snake. 

Iíve been a wrangler, cowhand, logger (learned that trade in Alaska right out of high school), trapper, welder, heavy equipment operator, mill worker, and did a little tour with Uncle Sam in the late 60ís and early 70ís with the 82nd airborne.

Presently I am an outfitter on the Upper Missouri River doing guided river trips aboard my keelboat the Gen. Wm. Ashley, a 38-foot replica of the type of keelboats that plied the fur and robe trade.  I run the Upper Missouri River Keelboat Co. During the winter I run a trap line, harvesting coyotes, bobcat, fox, and beaver.  I am also an EMT, wild lands fire fighter, and licensed hunting and fishing guide.   

I have shot competitively with both large and small bore rifles and have been shooting muzzle-loading rifles for over twenty years.  Over the years I have taken both mule and whitetail deer with my front stuffers.  Been going to various rendezvous for over a quarter century and have belonged to several muzzle loading groups.

I am presently a member of the Lewis and Clark Honor Guard and have given numerous historical presentations and primitive skills demonstrations.  Both my wife Linda (she does brain tan and quill work) and myself endeavor to research the correctness of the clothing and accouterments of the period.  I have always had a passion for early western Americana history and enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals.

Life is a quest for knowledge and if we quit learning and endeavoring to improve then we might as well hang up our spurs.  We must remember and respect the past, not just to pass on from generation to generation but also to give a clear perspective to the future, lest we forget.

Mike photos




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