A magazine reporter interviewing 95-year-old Caddy Miller expects to hear the story of a woman who tended house and stood by her man while they homesteaded. Instead, the reporter finds a real pioneer who carved a place for herself in the Wyoming Territory in the 1880s. In flashbacks we see how young Caddy arrives out West with her dour husband. All they have to do is make three improvements to the land and it is theirs, but Caddy finds her new life increasingly difficult. A local rancher resents the "nesters" moving in and resorts to killing their stock while her husband drinks and gambles away their winter supplies. She divorces him and survives a bitter winter only to face an even bigger challenge. Based on diaries and accounts of women on the frontier, "Nesters" is as gripping as the land is expansive.