Rachelle Schrute is a public land advocate, designer, writer, and photographer who calls Montana home. When not designing custom homes, she can be found outside with her two children hunting, hiking, fishing, or aimlessly wandering. She loves to cook for her family, particularly meals they’ve harvested themselves.
When did you first get into hunting and fishing?
Birth. I was born into an outdoor family and it was ingrained in me from day one. I took a bit of a break for a while as I figured out my direction in life, but the wild and I have certainly gotten back together for good.
How does your hometown influence your love of the outdoors?
I’ve lived across the state, but I currently call Miles City, Montana home. It is wild, and untamed, and certainly not what most people think of when they imagine Montana. It gives me this challenge of navigating a landscape I’m not familiar with. The badlands offer a whole new level of hunting opportunities that most can only dream of. I’m still trying to figure out how to catch the prehistoric fish that call these muddy waters home, but I’m up for the challenge. It’s also provided me a platform to advocate for conservation and land access that I may have never had otherwise. It’s a solid place to call home.
How does hunting and fishing enrich your life?
It really is one of the most important factors for my little family. It’s how I fill my freezer and feed my kids. It has given us this very real connection to our food and our surrounding and it provides us uninterrupted family time in the outdoors. Passing down those lessons I learned to my children, while learning new ones with them is invaluable.
What is your favorite fish to catch?
Only because it represents the majority of what I know: brown trout. Fishing a western Montana stream and catching a brown in between catching branches and my own shirt with my fly is peak happiness for me.
Do you have any advice for folks who are interested in hunting or fishing?
Just go do it. You don’t need fancy gear or special know-how. Getting out there, making mistakes and learning as you go is the best advice I can offer. If you’re lucky enough, tag along with someone who knows what they’re doing and just soak up any bit of knowledge you can. You will make memories and have experiences that are worth any level of discomfort it takes to get started.
What drives your passion for the outdoors?
Being raised surrounded by the incredible public lands and waters of Montana has really impacted everything in my life. It is one of the utmost important things to my family and I, which is why we not only enjoy it as often as possible, but do what we can to protect it for future generations.
How can people get involved in conservation?
The easiest way to join in the conservation effort is to get involved with groups like Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, or other local groups and be active in their events and causes. Really, being a good outdoorsman is the biggest things you can do. Pack out any trash you find along a trail on your hike. Ensure you're following rules and regulations and are being an ethical hunter and fisherman. If everyone makes small steps towards improvement, a huge impact can be made.