Melanie Bolke

I grew up in the small town of Poway in San Diego County, California, and lived on a little horse ranch.  My father was an Oceanographer at the Scripps Institute and I spent my youth either riding horses, or snorkeling and surfing the waters off the beaches of LaJolla, Torrey Pines or Del Mar.  Hunting was yet to be part of my life, but sport fishing for Tuna, Rock fish and Shark was a favorite pastime.

Several years later life took me to Utah and then Colorado, where I purchased a small ranch south of Colorado Springs in another small community in Fountain, CO.  It was here that I learned to hunt and fell in love with the snow and the mountains. Along with many horses, and a few cows, I raised and trained German Short Haired Pointers and began guiding Upland Bird hunts.  I loved watching the dogs work a field and introducing new hunters to wing shooting as well as guiding those who could not resist the call to come back to hunt year after year.  Guiding bird hunts lead me to a career in Taxidermy.  I attended the Colorado Institute of Taxidermy in Canon City, Colorado and graduated in 2007.  After successfully opening my own studio for many years I returned to the Institute to teach bird taxidermy.  At the school I never tired of the opportunity to share what I had learned from the old Russian Museum Curator that I originally trained under.  One of the greatest memories of my life in Colorado was personally training my three Sabino Paint Horses to pack and then successfully packing into the High Country in Colorado for Elk hunts.  I loved many different facets of hunting and volunteered on the boards of several conservation oriented hunting organizations including Pheasants/Quails Forever, and Safari Club International, where I found my passion for introducing both kids and women to the hunting and conservation world.

In 2016 my life took me from Colorado to Dallas, Texas for a new chapter. I married my best friend from high school and gained a beautiful daughter in the process.  Texas life opened the door for me to defensive shooting that my husband teaches.  I now shoot defensive handgun, sporting clays and trap, and practice archery regularly without the daily commitment that ranch life requires.  We travel extensively across the country to shooting classes and events, and to hunt.  Since moving to Texas I have become a NRA Certified Handgun Instructor, Range Safety Officer and Chief Range Safety Officer.  I also have my level II Archery Instructor certification from Joella Bates.  We are also life members of Dallas Safari Club where we volunteer for the DSC S.A.F.E.T.Y. program to introduce city kids to archery and safe firearms use. Currently I am living my best life, making every day count, and working for Shoot Like a Girl! Life has taught me that you can do anything, and be anything that you set your mind to and put in the work for.   Working with Shoot Like a Girl, encouraging and empowering women gives me more fulfillment than I thought was possible.  I love seeing other women try something new, overcome their obstacles, and become the very best version of themselves.  Life is too short to waste a single day, so go live your best life ladies and Shoot Like A Girl!

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