Nevada Grassie is an artist and his work is some of the most exceptional hunting art that I have had the opportunity to witness. Nevada Grassie is a carver and he likes to carve intricate details into the skulls of animals as his specialty and he is exceptional at it. Nevada and I got the chance to connect about 2 years ago online and I have been a fan of his work ever since.
Nevada is a husband, father, veteran and an amazing artist. He was born in Gallup, New Mexico and grew up on ranches throughout the West. Nevada’s father is a cowboy and his mother is a Saddle Maker and Leathersmith. Nevada grew up with a sketch pad in his hands at all times and having art in the household set the tone for his future. Nevada attended Eastern Arizona College with dreams of playing football but ended up focused on art. It was college where Nevada took his first mule deer, as a college student he had the choice between groceries or a deer tag and he chose the later and his life changed forever. Nevada left college to serve a 2 year church mission and upon his return he met and married his wife Edith.
Edith and Nevada moved to Utah where Nevada worked construction along the Wasatch Front. Nevada and Edith moved to Idaho where Nevada began talking with a recruiter from the Air Force. Nevada signed up to serve his country and moved his family back to New Mexico and took a job cutting firewood while he waited out his date to be shipped out. Cutting Firewood one day, Nevada knelt down in prayer asking God for some direction in his life and a path to provide for his family. Four hours later he cut a log that would change his life and give him that direction. That log was perfect for a twisted end table and Nevada started building rustic furniture, tables, antler lamps and chandeliers provided the money he needed for his family before being shipped out and at his first duty station. During his time in the Air Force, Nevada got the opportunity to meet another artist Doyle Smith who took Nevada under his wing and taught him a few basics about carving gunstocks. Doyle Smith was a huge influence in Nevada’s carving and recently passed away. Nevada spent several years perfecting his skills as a carver while serving and began carving skulls over the last couple of years. After 9 years in the United States Air Force, Nevada is now a civilian and a full time carver.
Nevada Grassie takes on gunstock and woodcarving and his specialty is carving bone, antler and skulls from all species. Through out the last couple of years in communication with Nevada as an admirer of his work, I have watched his skill set grow exponentially each year. Throughout our communication I knew I wanted to have a skull done by Nevada and so this January I finally had the chance to send out my best skull to Nevada.
The skull I sent him was from a chocolate Manitoba bear that I took with my good friend Harry Walker from Sandy River Outfitters. It is still one of my all time favorite hunts and this skull meant a lot to me and I am honored that he agreed to do this skull for me. I gave Nevada free reign to create a design that would signify a little bit about our passion for living the Hunting Life. Well Nevada hit it out of the park with a bald eagle carved on the skull symbolizing the freedom we all so passionately crave while hunting. The work that Nevada is able to do as a carver is some of the best that I have ever seen. I am incredibly proud to have this skull as a part of my collection.
If you have a skull that means a lot to you and you would like it to be transformed from a skull to a piece of art, contact Nevada and talk with him about commissioning your own skull creation. We asked Nevada about some of his own hunts and as you can see from his responses Nevada shares a real passion for hunting and his art.
What’s one rookie mistake you’ve made hunting?
Not practicing shooting my bow prior to an elk hunt in New Mexico. At 35 yards I flung an arrow over a monster bulls back. I have had bad dreams about that mistake ever since. Never have had an opportunity at a bull that caliber since.
What’s the hardest lesson you have learned while hunting?
Go on the mountain in shape because you don’t LIVE there. Nature and the mountain are stone cold and steep and cold and nasty. You have to be at your peak so you can be ready for what the mountain can throw at you. Oh, and practice shooting every weapon.
What one hunting skill that you most want to improve?
I would like to push myself I want to improve physically so I can attack the mountains. I would also like to be a lot more proficient with each of my weapons.
How were you introduced to hunting?
Growing up on a ranch in New Mexico my Dad took us out hunting predators every chance we got.
Who were the influencers in your life that helped you get into hunting?
My Dad of coarse and my Grand Father I remember sitting and just looking at his mounts and listening to the stories that went along with them as a kid. My good friend and brother from another mother Tim Miller took me on my first hunt for mule deer and I had the opportunity to fill the freezer and ignite my passion.
What advice would you give someone just getting into hunting?
Find a good role model, respect the outdoors and cherish every part of the hunt. Not always is it about killing something it’s about putting in the time. The Trophies no matter the size will come.
What species would you most like to hunt?
My favorite animals to hunt are Aoudad. They are tough they live in the most remote nasty places. They are survivors for sure. They are the trophy not just the horns but amazing chaps that make him an all around cool looking animal. They are agile they have tremendous eyesight. Just Awesome!!
I am an absolute Kryptek fan. I love the gear from base layers to outer layers and I believe in the product. I like the Kryptek story, where they came from and the people behind the brand. I also absolutely love the Vortex spotting scopes and range finders and they have helped to make my hunts a success.
I follow the lines of the skull and then draw out each skull with a pencil and then I start carving. None of the skulls I create are the same and even if I tried all the skulls have their own lines and look to them. The exact same species can look way different when looking at two individual skulls and I treat them each as unique. What inspired me on this particular bear skull was the hunter who shot it. The eagle to me represents strength and honor. The eagle flies above in defense of what is right. The eagle represents the freedoms of this country and the privilege of hunting that we all enjoy. The eagle represents HuntingLife.com and the work that they do to preserve and protect our rights to hunt.
Nevada, we’re honored with the eagle you have carved for us in this bear skull, it is priceless to us.
Reprinted Courtesy of HuntingLife.com