Remembering Paul Nelson, a Giant in the Wingshooting World

Written by: Reid Bryant, Orvis Wingshooting Services manager

Paul Nelson (center) and his son, Erik (left) talk to a guest at Paul Nelson Farm.
Photo via paulnelsonfarm.com

We are deeply saddened to share the news that our friend Paul Nelson, owner of Paul Nelson Farm in Gettysburg, South Dakota, passed away suddenly on August 30th when his motor coach was struck by a tornado as he traveled on Highway 45 near the town of Miller.

Processing this loss leaves me with little to say other than that my heart is heavy. Paul was a man whose reputation preceded him. In the course of his life, he built a wingshooting business that was both iconic and aspirational in the hunting industry–a lodge and hunting property that was, by many accounts, the gold standard. Alongside his family, he saw to every detail, striving at each turn to pursue excellence with characteristic grace and joy. His investment was heartfelt, and his pride in what he built was both genuine and hard-earned.

The lodge that Paul built over the past 25 years is the gold standard for wingshooting operations in the U.S.
Photo via paulnelsonfarm.com

More impressive to my mind, however, was the way in which Paul saw success as something to be shared and encouraged. He was beloved among his peers in his willingness to celebrate great wingshooting operators and great wingshooting operations, even those whom others might have seen as competitors. He never shied from lending a helping hand, and he never lost sight of the simple pleasure of giving, whether that meant carving and serving prime rib to his guests, or making the long and lonely drives to sit in the bleachers at a grandchild’s basketball game. For these things and so much more he will be missed.

Paul Nelson was a true family man, who loved spending time with his grandchildren.
Photo via Facebook.

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