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
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.
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