Albert Nelson

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2023

Albert Nelson of Jackson served as the State of Wyoming’s first State Game Warden in 1899. Nelson was appointed by former Gov. Deforest Richards — the first appointment made under provisions of the act passed by the Wyoming Legislature that year to create the position of state game warden. Born and raised in Sweden, Nelson served in the army and studied at an agricultural college where he worked extensively with horses. As a boy, he was fascinated with James Fenimore Cooper’s, “The Leatherstocking Tales,” and longed to see the American wilderness. In 1883 he landed in New York and rode an empty freight car to Nebraska where he was discovered and kicked off. He worked in the hay fields briefly before heading to Rock Springs. His knowledge of horses served him well and he soon became a cowboy roaming from Brown’s Hole to South Pass. In the late 1880s, Nelson partnered with Billy Bierer and the two of them hunted, trapped and prospected along the Wind River Mountains. Nelson became an accomplished outdoorsman, taught himself taxidermy and began guiding. His reputation for quality hunting trips and trophy mounts brought him acclaimed clients such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Harrimans. Nelson patrolled the state and was an early pioneer in wildlife protection making many arrests for newly enacted wildlife crimes. Nelson worked until his mid-80s and during that time was the oldest practicing taxidermist in America.

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