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Michelle W. Brodenheimer

Interview By Darren Abersold

For this issue’s Deep Countree People feature, I had the distinct pleasure of talking with Michelle Whitney Brodenheimer, or “Bodie” as some call her, at her home in Portland, Oregon. What a pleasure it was. As you will see, Michelle is a very busy lady in the outdoor industry. My only regret was that because of our four hundred mile geographic separation I couldn’t be there in person, and had to settle for a talk over the phone. I would have loved to have been there when Storm, her beloved German shorthair, started showing a distinct and intense interest in a chicken that jumped up on a fence post nearby. After denying Storm an early supper, we settled in and had a wonderful conversation. I learned what an important and caring role Michelle has taken upon herself to improve, develop, and introduce new people to, the outdoor lifestyle so many of us enjoy. Come along as we get to know this extraordinary lady.

On the day of our conversation Michelle, along with her husband and their ten year old son, had just returned from celebrating their first Disconnect Day. Not knowing what Disconnect Day was, I had to ask and Michelle was more than happy to educate me. This education I would like to extend to you.

The Disconnect Day Initiative is an idea Cabela’s started this year to get people, kids in particular, to turn off all electronic devices and get out and enjoy the outdoors. Studies have shown that kids are spending an average of seven hours a day on some type of electronic devise, be it a cell phone, I-pad, computer, TV, etc. Disconnect Day encourages you to turn it all off, leave it at home, and enjoy nature, fresh air, friends and family.

Cabela’s also came up with a couple creative examples of how to go about Disconnect Day. A couple examples are, instead of taking hundreds of selfies, go to the edge of a lake and see your own reflection in the water. Another would be, instead of posting on Instagram, turn it off and bust open a box of GRAHAM Crackers, and roast marshmallows over an open fire and enjoy s’mores with your family. So, do as the folks at Cabela’s say and get your head out of your App., turn off your devices and go enjoy the wonderful world of the outdoors.

Michelle openly admitted it was harder than she thought it would be. She took along her I-phone, on airplane mode, so she could record the day’s events through photos. Every time she took a photo, she had an almost unbearable desire to check e-mails, Facebook, or other social media. It’s a trap we all fall into and a habit that is hard to break.

I encourage everyone to take the Disconnect Day challenge. Let’s take back the incredible gift of the outdoors that many of us have sacrificed for the convenience of “instant everything” electronic gratification.

Being a Pro Staffer for several outdoor companies, Michelle is in a position to influence people in a positive way. This is a challenge she has taken head on. Here is a rundown of the companies she is involved with and what she is doing to open doors, and better the lives of many people, by encouraging and introducing them to an outdoor lifestyle.

Pro Staff for Cabela’s- In October of last year Cabela’s took Michelle on as one of their newest Pro Staff members. She teaches and speaks about her all-time favorite outdoor activity, upland game hunting, and does an occasional seminar about big game hunting. Along with that, she is a youth mentor and loves introducing women to the enjoyment and fulfillment of hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors.      

Pro Staff for Prois- Prois produces quality outdoor apparel for women. The CEO, and many of the managers, are women hunters who have taken and tested their line on extreme hunts all over the world. Not only do they offer top of the line hunting garments, but also quality women’s competitive shooting shirts, boots, packs, and more.

Michelle has been a Prois Pro Staff member since 2011. She has also been a finalist multiple times for the Prois award, and award given to the top women involved in hunting, conservation, and community.        

Pro Staff for Tanglefree- Tanglefree is an American made quality line of waterfowl decoys, blinds, bags, and accessories based in California.

Michelle is a Pro Staff member, represents the line at public events and does a bit of creative writing for the company as well.        

Columnist for The Women's Outdoor News- Michelle has been writing for WON since 2012. In 2013, she was given her own column, Her Gear, where she reviews outdoor gear and teaches women the essentials of furthering their outdoor adventures.       

MWB Wildlife Imagery- From a young age, Michelle has had a passion for photography, outdoor photography in particular. On her web page she has captured the essence of the wild and adventure through her captivating photos. Spend some time looking through her site; you will be glad you did.       

Along with the above accolades, you can find her freelance work in several national outdoor magazines, see her on TV, or hear her promoting the outdoor life style on the radio and other outdoor media. She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. She is an accomplished hunter and will say without hesitation that her favorite outdoor passion is upland bird hunting with her family and Storm but, that’s not all. She has successfully hunted big game all over the estern states and has been on five African safaris. In fact, she has been a finalist for the Extreme Huntress award multiple times. This is an award presented by Tahoe Films LTD showcasing their hunting show “Eye of the Hunter” on NBC Sports.        

Like I said in the opening paragraph, Michelle is an extraordinary lady. She’s doing wonderful things to help further develop and protect the outdoor lifestyle we all love, introduce new people to the outdoor family, as well as being a member of several wildlife conservation groups.

Take some time to visit the sites mentioned above, take the Cabela’s Disconnect Day Challenge, and introduce someone new to the outdoor life. Be a “Bodie”, the future of our outdoor lifestyle will be better for it.