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Volume II Issue I

Todd Fritsch Real Cowboy, Real Country Music

Sheep Shearing in Full Swing Captain Jeremy Sparks

! e r o m &

The National Guard’s Bull fighter

Come Experience the Real West! 1


A Cowboy Prayer Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the wisdom of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. May the New Year make us happy to be Thy children and bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Sunset Roper Š Amanda Smith -


Page 8: Todd Fritsch - Real Cowboy, Real Country Music Page 10: CNFR Bound! - Ready or not, The Cowboy State’s Cowboy Team is going to take the CNFR this year. Read all about these “National Champion” Cowboys and Cowgirls. Page 14: Ken Cook - New York Times “most successful living poet.” Page 20: Ranch Management - Fishing for Cowboys Page 25: Cowboy Careerin’ It - Captain Cowboy Jeremy Sparks, For Rodeo - For America





Page 6: Recreation in the West - Wild Mustang Makeover - Texas shows ‘em how its done! Page 7: Open Rang Magazine’s Love of the West Art Page

Page 14: Cowboy Poetry - Ken Cook - Ranching and Rhymes - a poet to remember. Page 18: Cowboy Sayin’s and Tales - “Old Blue” Acclaimed Author and noted publisher Susan R. Stoltz writes a Christmas story for cowboys. Page 22: Capturing the West - From Wildlife to Western themes Collectible Art in the Cowboy States. Featured Artist Nelson Bolen paints the west with color and water. Page 38: Cowboy Cuisine - A bunkhouse roundup of classic and contemporary cowboy cooking! Sponsored by Editor/Publisher - Amanda Smith Photographer - Amanda Smith Staff Writer - Judi Colling Staff Writer/Senior Publication Representative - Mike Velasquez Senior Marketing Representative - Chirs Aspinall Staff Writer and Photographer - Jessica Smith Graphics and Layout - Dignified Designs and Roger Moore Published by - Dignified Designs - Glenrock, Wyoming Subscribe online : or at Or mail the enclosed subscription card to:

A very heartfelt thank you, as always to our main Contributor Jeff Short

Open Range Magazine P.O. Box 1207 Glenrock, Wyo. 82637

Cover Photo “Dahli Cowboy ” © Amanda Smith Inside Cover Photo © 2004 Amanda Smith -



Recreation in the West

Mustangs Get Out the Vote At Road to the Horse

What began as a friendly bet between two of the nation’s most dynamic equine entrepreneurs turned out to be a sound affirmation of the interest in and support of America’s wild horse.

just a slightly lower score from the panel of judges.

It was the timed obstacle course, however, that brought the biggest reaction from the crowd. Never one to back down from a challenge, Wylene Wilson entered the arena riding Filthy Rich bareback to take on Saunders, who brought a wealth of cowboy experience to the contest. At the sound of the buzzer, both were off to throw water balloons in buckets, complete spins in a box, race around poles and then return to the finish carrying a live chicken. Even though Sanders edged Wilson out

While a panel of five judges scored the tests and ensured fairness, spectators were also able to get in on the action, text messaging their choice to determine the winner. By a 60 to 40 percent margin, the more than 4,000 fans gave a resounding vote of confidence to the “Extreme Team,” crowning them the winners of the “Battle for the Bling.” Taking on 2008 and 2008 Road to the Horse contender Tommy Garland of Powhatan, Va., was 2008 Extreme Mustang Makeover champion Mark Lyon of Atherton, Neb. riding his mustang, Christian. Top 10 Makeover and Extreme Cowboy Race finalist Wylene Wilson of Queen Creek, Ariz., riding the mustang Filthy Rich, faced Road to the Horse boss wrangler Thomas B. Saunders V of Weatherford, Tex. Garland and Lyons went head to head performing maneuvers that would test even veteran reining horses. Lyons took to the arena first riding Christian, who had only been in training for eight months, With his freeze mark glowing like a neon sign, Christian responded to Lyons with a willing attitude, performing flying lead changes and precise circles with a marked variation in speed. His stops, however, were what brought applause from the crowd as he dropped his hindquarters and churned up the dirt.

at the finish line, the crowd still crowned the blonde bombshell the winner with their vote. “I’m not shocked very often, but I was this time,” said Colbert following the announcement of the winner. “Tootie Bland has done more to help bring awareness to the American mustang to the American public and we can’t thank her enough for that.”

Garland and Spirit were clearly the crowd favorites, though, as they entered the arena to cheers and applause. Despite soft circles and crisp lead changes, the duo was not able to

To top the surprise win, Colbert not only received a Rickrageous jacket emblazoned with the Extreme Mustang Makeover logo, but Bland also received a jacket with the Road to the Horse logo, contributed by Filthy Rich’s adopter, Sharon Miller of Corpus Christi.

overcome the dynamic edge of Christian and Lyon, receiving

“There are no losers in something like this,” said Miller. “Both

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After The Ride - Photo Š Amanda Smith - of hte love of her life

Open Range Magazine

For the love of the West Art Page


Todd Fritsch He’ s What’ s Missing in Country Music Real Cowboy - Real Country Music

Ask someone on streets other than Texas and Europe if they know who Todd Fritsch is and you may very well get the answer ‘no’. But it’s not important if everyone doesn’t know who he is, yet….. Todd Fritsch knows exactly who he is. A bona fide cowboy with a country music voice you simply cannot forget. Todd works the family cattle ranch in Willow Springs, Texas (he lives in Ledbetter) and last year helped run over 60,000 head of cattle through the operation. But its not ranching in which Mr. Fritsch is making a name for himself….he is also a Country Western Music artist who is getting quite a lot of press as of late, and rightfully so... Todd Fritsch is 27 years old and has already released four albums to date: Simple Things, American Cowboy, Todd Fritsch, and his latest album Sawdust. Todd grew up on his family’s cattle ranch and by all accounts, The Fritsch Cattle Company is one of the most organized and well run operations in the country. It was there that he learned to rope and ride, and it is there today that he continues to herd cattle, doctor yearlings, and train horses as well as dogs. “when I’m out on the ranch separating cattle, working the cow dogs, feeding and fencing... that’s when ideas for my music come to me.” stated Fritsch. Although Fritsch has released several previous albums, none are as fulfilling as Sawdust. Released in 2007, the album was a highly anticipated career move for this all around cowboy, and was everything any Todd Fritsch fan could hope it would be, and more. A seventeen track album for some, can tend to drag on, but not Sawdust. Every song on the album is “hit material” and varies beautifully from straight honky tonk, two steppin’ music, to soul searching straight from the heart country love songs. The common ground on this album is that each song follows the other with a flair that only well planned albums can do, complete with a well overdue sound that’s been missing in most of today’s country music. There are several sure chart toppers on Sawdust and one of them is track one titled “What’s Wrong With Me”... a light and upbeat song complete with a boost of mainstream energy, the song is

Photo credit: Mark Morrison (Retna LTD)

country music at its best. In the song Tequila Tells - Fritsch is joined by acclaimed Country Western Music Artist Eddy Raven, whose distinct voice has captured the hearts of Country Music Artists since the 80’s. The two voices combine together so beautifully that it is easy to see why Fritsch is just a step away from making it big. Todd isn’t just about Honky Tonkin or romance, he’s a good cowboy story teller to boot. “The Rock” is a down-to-earth, soulful song about a Southern church built before the civil war. Written by Aaron Scherz, Jeff Batson, and Thom Shepherd, the song gently proclaims, “I greet every saint and sinner that I meet with open arms, I am the rock, I am stained glass and stone, the foundation this town was built upon and I am standing, strong and steady all these years, held together by the Faithful gathered here.” If this song doesn’t make you pull over, then nothing will. Todd Fritsch believes in hard work in order to get things accomplished, and he has accomplished some pretty amazing things. His awards thus far include 2007’s ‘Independent Artist of the Year’ from the French Association of Country Music; 2006’s


~ It is when we stop striving to become who we want to be, that we forget who we have become ~ the CMA Music Festival. “Some folks look at my life and ask me how I could want anything more,” the up-and-comer stated. “I figure, if I’m willin’ to work for it, then I deserve to be the best that I can be at everything I do, not just for myself, but for my family, too.” Blessed with a strong powerful sound, it is easy to get addicted to this up and coming voice of country. His latest release off Sawdust “Texas Talkin’ “ is, well... you’ll just have to find out for yourself. But I guarantee, as sure as this real cowboy can ranch, ride and sing real country music, you’ll love Texas Talkin’. When you hear it on the radio, (and you will) turn it up and roll the windows down.... you’ll hear Texas Talkin’ southern praise. Todd Fritsch is nothing if not real--real genuine, real cowboy, real country. For more information on Todd Fritsch or to listen to his amazing music, log on to and sign up for his free newsletter ‘ALL FRITSCHed UP’.

‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ and ‘Album of the Year’ from the European Country Music Association; and 2005’s ‘Viewer’s Choice’ award from Houston KPRC-TV ‘Gimme the Mike’ and 4th place ‘Favorite New Artist Poll’ from Music Row, Nashville, TN Hitting the ‘European circuit’ may seem like the long way around for Todd Fritsch, but the determined young man refuses to let grass grow under his boots. He states, “I’m not somebody who’ll keep doing something the same way over and over without result. If it’s not workin’, I’m gonna try a new way.” This ‘doer’ attitude, picked up no doubt from his early days on the ranch, has helped launch what many people think will be a long and prosperous career. Todd has already appeared onstage with Lee Ann Womack, Joe Nichols, Marty Stuart, Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow, among others; and has performed at


National-Leading UW Rodeo Team Back in Action

Nikke Steffes during a recent rodeo. UW Photo.


George Howard thinks positive all the time, so much so that he compares his team against the nation's best. Sure, the veteran University of Wyoming rodeo coach wants to win the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) title each season, because it means topping UW's rivals in the arena.

Jason Hubbard - Photo UW

Bucky Dickson - Photo UW

What he likes even more is knowing that his teams, especially his women's club, the last few years, are good enough to compete for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) championship. That is Howard's ultimate goal even before his teams come back to campus each fall semester. Two years ago, Howard's Cowgirls won it all, bringing back to UW the school's fourth women's title. And last year, his women were the heavy favorites to repeat, but a tough short go moved them from first place heading into the championship round to an overall fourth place finish. With their top three Cowgirls back again for the 2008-09 season, the UW women are again challenging for collegiate rodeo's biggest prize -- the CNFR title.

TaNaye Carroll - Photo UW

The spring season beganat the Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) rodeo in Torrington. Not only were the Cowgirls dominating the CRMR, but the UW women sat atop the national standings after the fall season concluded. Warmer climate schools

began the spring season earlier this month. With eight rodeos already completed, New Mexico State University (Las Cruces) has retaken the overall national lead. The UW Cowgirls have just started the spring season, and Howard expects his women to reclaim the national lead. They are now 800 points behind. "I've never had a national leader during the regular season, and hopefully we can make up the difference in a couple of weeks," Howard says.

Nikke Steffes- Photo UW

After five fall rodeos, UW has 3,045 points -- averaging an eye-opening 609 team points per competition. The Cowgirls have a big lead in the CRMR over Gillette College, which has 1,390. Central Wyoming College (CWC) is a distant third with 890. The Cowgirls' dominance is directly correlated to returning CNFR senior veterans TaNaye Carroll, Sarah Mulholland and Nikki Steffes. Combined, they have nine years of CNFR experience.

Seth Bolerjack- Photo UW

This is one balanced lineup and it shows in the national and regional rankings after the fall season. Steffes, who has won the women's regional allaround title in each of her three previous seasons at UW, was the national leader, meaning she also heads the CRMR stand-

Continued page 12


John Franzen- Photo UW

Continued from page 11 ings. The Vale, S.D., molecular biology straight "A" major, won the CNFR all-around title during the Cowgirls' national championship run. She's placed second twice in the CNFR goat tying competition last year. Coming into the spring season, she stands 13th overall in the national goat tying standings (third in the region) and is sitting first overall in the CRMR's and third nationally in barrel racing. The consistent competitor also is third regionally in breakaway roping. TaNaye Carroll, a kinesiology student from La Junta, Colo., was the fall season's national goat tying leader and currently heads a 1-2-3 Cowgirl domination in the regional standings.

team for this weekend's EWC rodeo. With an almost entirely new men's lineup this season, the UW Cowboys late last fall surged into second place in the CRMR behind perennial front-running CWC. The Rustlers have 2,325 points, while the Cowboys are 240 points back. Gillette College is third with 1,736. Only the top two men's and women's teams advance to the CNFR this June at the Casper Events Center. Going into the spring season, CWC and UW were 13th and 15th, respectively in the overall national points standings. Gillette animal science sophomore Merritt Smith leads all CRMR saddle bronc riders and was fifth overall in the national rankings. UW also has a second regional leader in his event -team roping header Chad Nelson, agricultural business senior from Buffalo, S.D. His point totals were good enough to put

Mulholland, a nursing major from Richland Center, Wis., is second in the CRMR goat tying competition and seventh in breakaway roping. She also made a move on the national goat tying standings, sitting third heading into the spring season. "With the notoriety the three have received regionally, and especially nationally, they are taking all of this with a grain of salt. They're not letting it go to their heads; they're just going about their business," Howard says. "I expect big things for our women this spring. They practically have their tickets punched for the college finals. Going by what they did in the fall, I believe that no one in the region can get close to them." Howard's "big three" will be joined by Lander kinesiology freshman Heather Bregar in the four-women

National Leader -- University of Wyoming Cowgirl TaNaye Carroll, a kinesiology senior from LaJunta, Colo., successfully ties a goat during a recent rodeo. UW Photo


him 12th overall nationally. Teammate Justin Viles, a finance senior from Cody, is second in the current regional team roping points standings as a header and was 16th nationally after the fall season.

Chad Nelson - Photo UW

The Cowboys also have the second through fourthplace CRMR steer wrestlers. Senior John Franzen, communications, Riverton, is the region's number two bulldogger followed by teammates Troy Brandemuehl, wildlife biology senior, Gordon, Neb., and Seth Bolerjack, geophysics junior, Gillette. In tie down roping, Bran-

demuehl enters the spring schedule at number three in the CRMR and Viles is one place back. Bucky Dickson, kinesiology sophomore from Sequim, Wash., heads into the spring season as the region's third best bareback rider. Brandemuehl, Dickson, Nelson, Smith, Viles and Jason Hubbard. an agriculture senior from Wheatland, will compete for the six-man UW team this weekend. Merritt Smith - Photo UW

UW's annual Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo closes the regular spring season May 1-3 at the indoor Cliff and Martha Hansen Teaching Arena. Tune in to the next issue of Open Range Magazine to see how this team faired in the Spring Season as well as the CNFR.

Tyler Viles - Photo UW

Nikke Steffes during a recent rodeo. UW Photo.

Sarah Mulholland- Photo UW


Cowboy Poetry

Ken Cook

Ken Cook is a poet. Unlike some poets, however, Ken’s poetry doesn’t center on flowery turn-of-phrase or epic battles. Ken, you see, is a cowboy poet--one of that unique group of men and women around the country who engage us with poetry about cowboy life. So what does Ken’s poetry center around? “[My poetry is about] cowboys I’ve known or men that I respect and admire. I have a great deal of respect for men and women both who are over the age of 60 or 70 and still get up, saddle up, and go out and do this for a living.” When he was younger, Ken spent many wonderful days on his Grandpa and Grandma Buckles’ cattle ranch in South Dakota. After graduating from Southern Utah State College (with a Theater Arts degree), Ken hired on at the Buckles Ranch and began his career as a cowhand. The respect and admiration he has for his Grandparents is obvious. Ken explained, “My Grandpa rode ’til he was over 90 years old. Fifteen years of my life I spent ridin’ with him--we didn’t saddle up every day, but we didn’t miss very many. That has a lot to do with the poetry and that has a lot to do with who I am today.” Who Ken is today would be a husband, father, and talented cowboy poet. After working for the Buckles Ranch for 15 years, Ken and his wife, Nancy, decided to relocate their family to the Hodson Ranch in Southern South Dakota. Hodson Ranch runs around 600 head of Red Angus, and Ken’s daily routine can consist of anything from roping and doctoring sick cattle to sorting pairs for grass to riding to a neighbor’s place in order to help out. A true family man, Ken enjoys time with his kids, “That’s worth everything to me,” he said. He has endeavored to raise his family around horses and cattle in order to give them the kind of life he was fortunate enough to have had. “I grew up when I found ranching,” Ken explained, “Saddling up every day, working to be a cowhand--it made me a better person.” His Grandpa’s self reliant attitude and amazing work ethic had a great impact on Ken and he wanted to instill this in his children. Ken stated, “What he gave me I passed on to the kids.” Of his poetry, you have only to read the reviews of his first two CDs to understand the impact Ken Cook is having on the cowboy poetry ‘world’: “Ken is first, foremost--and always--a cowboy. And a funny


Cowboy Poet Ken Cook - Photo © Jeri Dobrowski one at that. His delivery, expression and content make him one of the most entertaining cowboy poets to come down the pike in a while.” Mike Baxter, National Day of the American Cowboy, Ainsworth, Nebraska “There is just something in Ken’s performance that any rancher or cowboy can relate to. Ken is family and friend oriented, and he obviously takes pride in that. His poetry is a reflection of that pride. A listener can relate to the emotional impact of it.” Diane Tribitt, Minnesota Cowgirl Poet, Hillman, Minnesota “Thank you for your wonderful performance at the Tri-State Cowboy Association Breakfast. You reached the hearts of those in attendance with real down-to-earth cowboy philosophy. When I looked into the crowd, I witnessed people from


age 8 to 95 listening and enjoying what you had to say, hanging on every word.” Billy and Terrie Jo Gibbons, Tri-State Cowboy Association, Gordon, Nebraska Ken has performed at many events and most of his early poetry performances were in Nebraska: Chadron State College Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Chadron; National Day of the American Cowboy Celebration, Ainsworth; Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Valentine; the Tri-State Cowboy Association Breakfast, Gordon. He has also performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Ken has two CDs out currently and will be releasing a third soon. His first CD titled, “Dad We’ll Rope Today” is a funny, heart warming look at ranch life with kids and the ups and downs of a working cowboy. Ken also pays tribute to those who have gone before and taught him what he knows about ranching and life. His second CD, “I’m Gonna Be a Cowboy” is about his oldest son, and every parent--whether a rancher or not--can relate to some part of the poetry contained on this CD. Ken Cook’s third CD will be titled “Cowboys are Like That” and is a step outside what he normally does. Of this new CD Ken stated, “It’s quite a change for me. I took most of my serious work, added some [work] from poets I respect and admire, and…it’s quite a leap, but I’m getting some good comments about it. It’s different than the first two, but I’m a little different than when I did the first two.” This CD includes the work of Buck Ramsey, Badger Clark, And Ralph Coole as well as his own. Ken is still ranching, as are his two boys, and he still enjoys it as much now as he always did. Of his ranching and poetry, Ken summed it up very plainly when he said, “Ridin’ good horses and chasin’ red cows--that’s what we do. We ranch and write poetry and I’m blessed to have the talent to do it. I love doin’ the poetry!” His life, his work, and his family--all of which are happily intertwined one with the other-- have combined in his poetry and made it a favorite among not only the cowboy set, but also anyone who enjoys family and tradition. Much of Ken’s work can be found on www.cowboypoetry. com what he calls “the greatest site for cowboy poetry on the face of the planet”, and there is also a wealth of information about the man and his poetry on Ken’s own website at www.

Grandpa This tale’s about my Grandpa sittin’ tall up in the saddle. He’s a tough old bird, a cattleman, dang he’s hard to rattle. I’ve seen him stand his ground with men who had the upper hand, He’ll prove his point, make them think, and then they’ll feel their stand Was off a bit, perhaps he’s right. The words he says are true. The gate will close, the trucks will leave, Grandpa’s gained a dime or two. Don’t get me wrong, he’s family, the first to visit for a spell. But he’s constantly a thinkin’ ‘bout the cattle and the sale. Money in the bank to Gramps is money layin’ dead. Buy some stock, a cow, some calves, then work to get’ em fed. Be it winter, spring, or summer, don’t fret the grass will grow. If it’s short, we’ll sell’ em early, gotta buy back ‘fore the snow. The snows come each year to Dakota Territory. Calves are weaned, the trucks are here, the boughten calves are all the story. Grandpa says treat’ em right, get’ em on that feed real fast, Perhaps a bale, or maybe not, gotta make that baled hay last. The cows will need the hay ‘fore the grass begins to grow. Cows and calves, steers and feed, round and round we go. During the 1980’s at Buckles Ranch we sold yearlings right off the place. Grandpa Buckles and I moved thousands of steers from holding pens to the scales to be weighed over the years. Cattle buyers would nervously pace from the scale house to the door watching the cattle, the weights, and the number of head. Grandpa would always have the final word on the sale of the cattle and the price. More than once I watched him ‘gain a dime or two.’ No matter what time of year it was and regardless of our feed supply or grass conditions...cattle needed bought or sold according to my Grandpa. (from

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Cowboy Poetry Continued Gonna Be a Cowboy

Met Kiel there at the barn and we had ourselves an eye to eye "This here won't be easy son." And this was his reply

We were calvin' on the LT— snow began to fall Hard wind from the east's no good, no protection there at all

"I know just what needs doin' Dad and you can bet on that I'm gonna be a cowboy," then he pulled his hat down flat.

No doubt we're needin' moisture but the calves weren't lookin' good Figured if we saddled up we could hold'em like we should

Didn't want my son at risk but was sure that's what I'd done We couldn't see the barn no more I feared the storm had won

Calves were chillin' down and cows began to stray I bed them down with one more stack so's maybe they would stay

"There's two in the southwest corner can ya bring'em through the snow? I'll keep these from headin' south then meet you when you show."

Kiel had our horses caught and rushed'em all he could For a boy of only 13 years my top hand's pretty good I had two calves in the pickup, not just to save their ears Dyin' calves don't suit me and the chance of that was clear.

My cows settled by the trees thank God, so I got off for just a spell Still couldn't see him comin' cause this storm was now white hell

Continued next page

Cowboy Poet Ken Cook on his ranch during branding season. Photo Š Carl and Pat Johnson


Country Of Origin Labeling (C.O.O.L.)

I knelt down to try and clear my head and get my bearings straight Said myself a prayer I guess. Good lord I've sealed his fate.


Now wait, that's him, with a new born on his saddle Movin' slow and easy so the mama not to rattle Yep that calf was on his saddle, back legs tied just like I'd do "The cow's a comin' Dad, brought her like ya showed me too Wish Great Grandpa coulda been with me, we'd a got'em both I know That other cow's a calvin' Dad, we're wastin' time let's go If she's had him, you just hand him up, ol' CJ'll buck the snow I can bring her calf with me. you bring the cow real slow Then we'll ride the rest of them, make sure their on the hay Cause Dad that's what I was born to do and grandpa did it that way." I no longer had to wonder, as we rode south I knew My top hand was a cowboy, doin' what he loved to do. “My son Kiel (rhymes with Kyle) and I were headed out in a snow storm during calving to bring a few heavy cows in where there was some protection to calve. We calve early in the spring up here...too early some years according to Mother Nature. The snow and wind was blowing in our faces as we rode out. I looked at my boy and hollered above the wind, “So you wanna be a cowboy huh?” I’ll never forget the look of determination on that boy’s face as he said “Yes I do, Dad.” (From

Country of Origin laws and regulations became effective September 30, 2008. During the first six months, USDA, AMS will be conducting an industry education and outreach program. No citations for violations will be issued during this time. However, livestock producers should provide proof of origin. The rules provide that an affidavit can serve as proof of origin. USDA has approved several affidavits that were developed by a wide consortium of industry groups. In an effort to assist Wyoming producers, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association is making these affidavit forms available for downloading on our website, Forms may also be requested in hard copy or by fax by contacting the WSGA office at 307-638-3942. The three affidavits/declarations made available are as follows: Affidavit #1 CONTINUOUS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN This form should be used to advise a buyer or auction market that all livestock that you will be marketing, until they are otherwise notified, will be of the same origin, for example born and raised in the USA. Affidavit #2 ORIGIN DECLARATION This form should be used for a single shipment or as a supplement to the Continuous Country of Origin Affidavit. It can also be printed or stamped on sale documents. Affidavit #3 CONTINUOUS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN This form is for use specifically for sales directly to a packer. It includes a commitment to maintain records of livestock origin for a period of one year and to make those records available for inspection, if requested, for purposes of an audit. With questions, please contact us at 307-638-3942. K o s h a

O l s e n

Wyoming Stock Growers Association Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust Communications and Publications Director



Cowboy Sayin’s & Tales real life stories the way the cowboys tell them

True Confessions of a Dude Wrangler - Gary Johnson Guest Wranglers and Outfitters have to be tough, skilled, diplomatically adept, rugged individuals and Don Donnelly was no exception; He was a John Wayne facsimile kind of cowboy, sporting a take-charge attitude and a Silver-belly Stetson. At 6 foot 4 inches tall, he was an imposing figure with a big smile and a good story for everyone he met and those friendly attributes made him the best Guest Wrangler I ever met. A former champion, a Saddle Bronc Rider, and Rodeo Performer, Don spent many years traveling the country with a Wild West show. After several serious injuries he decided to find a more profitable way to make a living in the saddle. He figured that becoming a first class outfitter couldn’t be any more difficult than riding wild horses. So Don and his wife Shelly put together the outfit which eventually would include a hundred good horses in a world class Dude String.

tonight instead of a piano.” “Because of a tragic accident this year, he had to give up tickling the ivories and was forced to learn the guitar. On a tragic evening not long ago, he was playing at the campfire and the neck strap broke on his piano… and it nearly crippled him for life. On his Doctor’s advice he changed to the guitar. It’s easier on his feet and those nasty headaches and backaches he used to get have practically disappeared!” Many guests would use the nightly gathering to confidentially confess their various aches or pains and discomforts to the wranglers in hope that we would have some magic, secret, soothing balm for

Don started every ride by introducing himself to the guests, and then the guests, to their horses. “I know some of you have never been horseback riding and some of you have ridden a mite, but only at a stable. I can see a little trepidation in some of your faces. “Trust me.” He would say. “You have nothing to worry about.” I know many of you don’t have lots of experience riding, so we have taken the time to match your horse with your abilities. Those of you who have never ridden before… have been assigned horses that have never been ridden before.” In Monument Valley at Thunderbird Mesa there’s a natural wind carved red sandstone canyon at least three hundred yards wide and surrounded by cliffs four hundred feet high. This beautiful place was our base camp in Monument Valley. After their arrival from a full day of riding, the guests would get comfortable and ready for dinner at the chuck wagon. After a dinner of beer battered biscuits and steak, potato fries and baked beans with dutch oven apple cobbler, we would gather around the fire, entertaining the guests with tall tales and singing cowboy songs. After dark, the stars of the Milky Way were like a cloud of sparklets strewn across the deep blue, velvet sky. Our voices softly echoed off the steep walls of the canyons. The night air was cool and dry and soft as buckskin. The crackling campfire with its warm smell of cedar wood was the center of social activities on the trail. As Ramrod, Don was the campfire leader and I was the singer and story teller. Don did the introductions with a wild flair. “Now… our entertainer has been with our outfit a lot of years and as you notice he is playing a guitar

“Dude Wrangler” - Photo © Amanda Smith


their relief. What they didn’t know (nor would they believe) the pain from riding goes away after the second or third day. The wranglers could just listen and offer a cup of coffee and sympathy for their guests physical complaints. It was the end of June and the Sun was beating down on a our group of guests from the east, like the drummer at an all night round dance. Those who hail from cooler climes such as Vermont or Rhode Island, can easily experience dehydration which is a very common affliction in the Southwes,t and a good wrangler is always looking for signs of dehydration on the faces of their guests. After a full day of dusty riding in the bright Arizona sun, we headed back to camp in the late afternoon. One of the guests, a man from New Hampshire was bobbing and weaving in the saddle as he rode along in the warm air. He was wearing an all black outfit, black hat, black jeans, black western, shirt, black boots, and a red scarf It was a104 degrees in early June. His face was as bright red as his scarf. One of the wranglers rode along side him and asked if he was feeling all right. He said he wasn’t. Shelly Donnelly asked “How much water do you have in your canteen?” He replied proudly. “My canteen is completely full!” She asked if he’d consumed any water today? He looked at her like she was crazy and explained, he was saving

his water incase we got lost or stranded. “I haven’t touched a drop!” He said. Then stopping abruptly, he solemnly announced he could go no further and he started to dismount. She practically begged him not too get off his horse because he was only four miles from camp. She knew if he got off his mount, She wouldn’t be able to get him back in the saddle again. Shelly, always the plucky Wrangler suggested he drink all the water he could and she’d lead him back to camp. He protested vigorously and then proclaimed. “No. I’m staying here!” The first sign of Dehydration is judgment errors. She asked him if he would like a nice cold beer? His eyes lit up like two headlights on a stormy night and he said. Sure! Shelly said. “I’d love a nice, cold, icy, brew wouldn’t you?” Then She suggested. “If you stay in the saddle ‘til we get back to camp, I’ll see if we can find us some nice cold beer.” He agreed. The second sign is the inability to deal with reality. Off they rode back to camp. Arriving about thirty minutes later, the dizzy dehydrated guest immediately slid off his horse. Down he went right to the ground where he disappeared into a cloud of dust. As his hindquarters hit the dirt he shouted. “Where’s my beer!” “There is no beer allowed on the reservation.” Shelly said calmly. “You lied to me!” He exclaimed as he sat there in the dirt. “No I didn’t.” Shelly explained, as she tried to get him to his feet. “I just asked you if you wanted

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welcomebooks 19

Ranch Management Ranching for Fish-(erman) might initially suspect. After all, it becomes difficult to list the number of major rivers that are hallowed names in the chronicles of trout fishing: the Yellowstone, Missouri, Madison, Big Hole, Bighorn, Gunnison, North Platte, Colorado, Rio Grande, and on and on. The Rocky Mountain West is full of them. For each of these reputation freestone streams, there are countless others, less well known, that provide outstanding trout fishing. Add to this compilation the various spring creeks, both renowned and those never mentioned, and it seems as though quality fishing properties should be available in abundance. Why then is it that successfully locating and buying a quality fishing property might be more difficult than anticipated? First of all, there are many other potential buyers who have placed this same criterion at the top of their wish lists. Interest in fly-fishing has exploded over the past two decades. Many people who regularly vacation in our region ultimately decide that they would like to own a property on a good stretch of water. Secondly, when it comes to considering a purchase, most prospects gravitate to the concept of private fishing water. It may be that it was the wide variety of water available to the public that attracted them to the region in the first place, but exclusivity and the privacy which it brings are important to most when it comes down to making a purchase.

Photo © Amanda Smith

“...and a river runs through it.” Norman Maclean

Fishing Opportunities Since the Rocky Mountain region is home to the best trout fishing in the country, it should come as no surprise that those seeking a prime recreational ranch property would consider availability of trout water as a major determining factor. Time and again our prospects focus their search on a ranch that offers on-site fishing. In fact, fishing has consistently come second only to privacy in a potential buyer’s list of criteria. Though the theater in which we work covers a large geographic expanse, the availability of the fishing resource associated with ranch properties is more finite than one

This emphasis on privacy eliminates a lot of possibilities. Many rivers and streams course their way through stretches of public land, guaranteeing access to any and all. Furthermore, all of the Rocky Mountain States, by law, allow float fishing. This means that a piece of water that is bound on both sides by private land can be floated and fished as long as the entry and exit points are public or permission is granted. Accessing fishing waters by means of boat or raft has become the way to fish many western rivers. States in the region differ on the issue of setting foot on the river bottom without permission, but all allow floating and fishing from watercraft. Burgeoning interest in fly-fishing has also made crowding a fact of life on many of the major rivers and streams. So, the first decision to be faced by a potential purchaser is whether he or she will be satisfied with a property that borders a stream or river easily accessed by the public, or whether he or she will insist on a stream that is private, either by law or by means of natural circumstances. For those who are content to share their fishing water with others, ranches of varying size are more commonly available. Maybe one pros-


pect desires fishing water, but other selection criteria hold equal or greater weight in the ultimate decision. It might be that one desires to live on a trout stream, but enjoys fishing a variety of water, so exclusivity is not that significant.

Your broker will need to know just how serious a fisherman you are, and just what your expectations are with respect to a fishery. He or she will need to know whether you prefer wade fishing or float fishing. Some streams are user friendly while others demand a fair amount of athletic prowess.

A prospective buyer might choose a property on a public stream knowing that the stream will not be busy all season long. The Smith River in Montana is heavily floated early in the season, but its limited watershed generally brings an end to float traffic by mid-July. From then on, landowners enjoy near exclusive use of the river. Natural character may serve to limit the amount of float traffic. Montana’s Boulder River is a challenging boulder strewn river that can only be floated in inflatables. Even then it requires an experienced helmsman. Irrigation draw down makes this float all the more challenging. For practical purposes it is a wade stream from mid-summer on. If, on the other hand, one places a strong emphasis on absolute privacy, then the number of potential choices decreases significantly. Streams can be private by law. An example of this would be a Wyoming or Colorado stream that is too small to float. The law in these states prohibits an individual from placing a foot on the stream bottom without asking permission. This means that even floaters are not allowed to park and wade fish during the course of a float. Streams can also be private due to their natural circumstances. An example of this would be a stretch of water on a Montana stream too small to float, where the ranch is so far removed from a public access point that no one would attempt to access it by hiking several miles up the streambed. Montana law says that a person has a right to fish all waters in the state as long as that person stays below the high water mark. An insistence on complete privacy means a smaller stream that eliminates floating possibilities. Having made the initial decision concerning the importance of privacy and class of water desired, the search process can begin in earnest. At this point it makes sense to associate oneself with a real estate broker who is both experienced and who is an active outdoorsman with an extensive angling background. He or she can listen to your thoughts about the generic ideal and translate those thoughts into a list of appropriate choices. Experience here is key. The right broker can speak to the quality of respective fisheries throughout the region and can also identify potential streams that may slip under the radar. The broker should be able to answer questions considering the amount of public activity on various streams. He or she should also be able to locate credible local experts that can provide greater detail about a particular fishery. Together, you can complete a search that extends through some or all of the Mountain West states depending upon the importance attached to your specific criteria.

Photo © Amanda Smith

It is important to inform the broker of your willingness to spend money on enhancement projects. Stream enhancement and pond development are commonplace these days, and both certainly expand the number of potential properties that might be options for a buyer. Armed with this information, the broker should be able to develop a list of possibilities. This list of possibilities may well include both small and large “freestone” streams. A freestone stream is one that is directly fed by natural runoff. It may also include properties located on “tailwater” streams, that is streams that are dam controlled and consequently relatively consistent in flows. The list could also include one or more “spring creeks”, streams that are springfed and therefore consistent in flow and temperature. Finally, it might also include properties that possess solid water sources that presently do not offer much as a fishery. These are referred to as “enhancement” candidates. Today there are a number of individuals and companies who are well versed in the science of habitat development. These consultants can change the entire character of a stream in order to increase the amount of biomass that the stream can maintain. They can even build an artificial stream if there is a sufficient water source. In situations where there is available water, but it is insufficient to maintain a trout stream, a pond or series of ponds may be in order. This provides yet another alternative for the prospect seeking fishing on the property.


Capturing The West Open Range Magazine’s Featured Western Artist

Born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, Nelson studied to be an architect earning a degree from Arizona State University. After practicing for 15 years, during which time he owned a successful firm and won numerous awards, Nelson made the pivotal decision to leave the field in 1990 to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time artist.

Nelson credits his life-long love of both art and math with his dual-career path of architecture and fine art. His mother, a painter herself, was his earliest influence. Years later he resumed watercolor classes, this time with a higher degree of dedication and

Continued page 27


Old Wyoming Boots - Š Nelson Boren




Cowboy “Careering It” Bull Fighting for America

Cowboy Captain Jeremy Sparks

Captain Jeremy Sparks in his Bull Fighting environment. Photo courtesy Jeremy Sparks When Jeremy Sparks was growing up in Fountain Hill, Arkansas (a town of approximately 150 people), he admits there wasn’t much to do. His Uncle would put on an amateur rodeo in the county each year and Jeremy and his cousins would help take up the slack for the small operation. And just how did 14 year old Jeremy ‘take up the slack’? He fought bulls. He said, “I guess the thrill and the excitement just made me want to do it more.” Bull fighters are mostly know for what is called ‘Cowboy Protection’. These are the gentlemen you see at any given rodeo, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the cowboy athletes when something goes wrong. Bull fighters distract the

animal and run interference so the bull rider can get out safely. Also, when the bull rider gets hung up in the rope, it is up to guys like Captain Sparks to go in and pull him out of that situation. He states, “When you do good, you get beat up.” So why was he just referred to as ‘Captain Sparks’? Because Jeremy Sparks, besides being a champion bull fighter, is also a Captain in the United States Air Force. He is the Commandant of Cadets at the University of Wyoming’s ROTC program, and is responsible for the recruitment and training of future officers. Right now, Captain Sparks has 60 cadets going through this

Continued page 26 25

Cowboy “Careering It” continued from page 25

process. He won’t be a Captain in the Air Force for long, however, for on May 1st he will be transferring from the Air Force to the Army National Guard. While in the National Guard, Capt. Sparks (he will retain his rank) will work at the Headquarters office in Cheyenne implementing a program titled “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon”. This program is intended as an initiative to support deployed soldiers and their families by educating them about help that is at their disposal, as well as helping to re-integrate the troop back from war into daily civilian life. As if all of this wasn’t enough for Captain Sparks to take on, he is also slated to be the host of a new reality TV program called “Riding Frontier”. This program will focus on what goes on behind the rodeo life of athletes, such as his own story and others like it, and is mostly filmed in the great State of Wyoming. What really makes a person enjoy the rodeo? Why would they do something so dangerous that pays so little? What do these people do on a daily basis when they aren’t doing rodeo? The show is hoping to answer questions like these for the general public. Filming is scheduled to be wrapped up around the end of July with the program (hopefully) being picked up by a network for the season beginning in August. When asked if he had any final thoughts, Captain Sparks replied, “I love Wyoming.” “Yellowstone is my favorite place in the world (he was recently married in Yellowstone).” “We’re in an economic downturn where people struggle to live the same standard of life that they’ve been living, but [I want] to encourage the readers to travel Wyoming. A lot of the great stuff that people come from around the world to see is in our back yard, and so it’s still economical for us to visit Wyoming. That’s my outlet in life.... is to travel and visit Wyoming.”

For more information about Captain Sparks’ take on Wyoming, visit the Wyoming Tourism website at and look for the link to the ‘blogging bullfighter’ under the ‘popular links’ tab. Captain Jeremy Sparks. Photo courtesty Captain Sparks.


Capturing The West continued from page 22

more realistic goals. It was during this phase of training when Nelson developed his signature style, which he credits most to the principle of “gestalt.�He wanted to be a full-time artist but to

justify a career change he knew he needed to sell some art. He got his art represented by several Scottsdale galleries by showing his work door-to-door. Within two weeks, two of his paintings sold. Since then, some of the leading galleries in the


Recreation in the West continued from page 6

of these women have done so much to bring the horse industry to a new level of experience and expectation and I wanted to honor them for their dedication.� The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover is to increase the adoption of mustangs across the country. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event to showcase the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for managing 258 million acres of public lands, located mostly in the West. Wild horses and burros roaming public rangelands are managed in a manner consistent with BLM’s overall multiple-use mission, as set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 220,000 horses and burros into private care through adoption. For more information, visit or call 866-

4MUSTANGS. Mustang Heritage Foundation Patti Colbert P.O. Box 703 Bertram, Texas 78605 (512) 355-3225 (512) 355-2737 fax Bureau of Land Management Tom Gorey (202) 452-5137


Open Range Book Review Smoke From The Branding Fire Hank Pallister’s Tales” Copyright 2008 Joyce Pallister

The late cowman Hank Pallister spent his entire working life in the cattle industry. This book is a compilation of some of his stories, poems and researched articles. Colourful Tales of Subtstance and Fact

Much has been written of late about the history of cattle ranching in Alberta, but little has been written by the people who were actually closest to this brief yet exciting time of the province’s formation. Smoke from the Branding Fire” by the late Hank Pallister is the exception. Hank grew up on the Lineham Ranch near Turner Valley which his father cowman Guy Pallister managed for Pat Burns. Range men that Guy Pallister worked with over the years would drop by the ranch for a meal and a visit. Young Hank enjoyed listening to these cowmen tell the tales of early ranching life and the characters who lived it. He loved ranch work and even after he decided to take a ‘steady’ job with the Alberta Government Cattle Brand Office Hank still rode horses, roped cows and attended brandings as often as he could. As a Brand Inspector Hank was able to travel the country side he felt such a part of and on occasion would meet up with the ranchers and characters whose stories he often heard as a child. Hank began to write down these stories and substantiate them with dates and places he would research in the Alberta Brand Office files. After 42 years working for the Provincial Brand Office Hank moved on to what he enjoyed almost as much as ranching – writing cowboy poetry and stories about early ranching life. “Smoke from the Branding Fire” is a compilation of these articles, stories and poems. History of Cattle Brands

The book opens with a history of cattle brand registration in what was then the Northwest Territories -- the “71” brand on the left hip which was registered in January, 1880. Pallister recounts numerous other brands registered since then and their respective changes in ownership as they pertain to the changing face of cattle ranching in Alberta today. The glory days of cowboys and trail drives were relatively short lived in Canada. After the terrible winter of 1906/07, combined with the influx of settlers the freedom experienced by many cattle ranchers was over by the beginning of World War I. The devastating effects of the depression years combined with the arrival of motor vehicles resulted in a completely different way of managing cattle herds.

Early Days of Cattle Ranches

In the early days a cattle racnch was a business venture with the investors often remaining in the comfort of their central Canadian, American and British homes. It was often the names of the investors on the brand titles not the names of the cowboys providing the sweat equity. Both the investors and the cowmen had their fare share of characters, and it is the anecdotal stories about these characters that provided Pallister some of his more colourful writing material. What History Books Don’t Tell

Ranchers are known for telling it like it is, and in ‘Smoke from the Branding Fire’ Pallister stays true to form by telling it like it was told to him: polite, precise and without pretension. With subtle cowboy humour he writes about how Slippery Bill got his name, how Fort Whoop Up was really captured, and shares the recipe for what he refers to as the best super model Christmas pudding ever! The history of the Guy Weadick inspired Range Men’s dinner of 1929 is enlightening, as is the accompanying archival information provided in the latter part of the book. The formality and good manners exhibited in the old cowboy’s written responses to their dinner invitation is quaint and somewhat antiquated yet it serves as a reminder that one is never too old nor too young to learn good manners. Hank Pallister is both respectful and sincere in his recounting of the facts as he was told and verified with archival research. Pallister was also a fair man. He readily acknowledges the contribution and sacrifices that women have made to the agriculture industry, which were often assumed and never properly recognized. It was if he knew that his life’s work of articles, cowboy poetry, and some other tales that never did make to print would be compiled and published posthumously by his wife Joyce. Joyce Pallister’s love for her late husband and his vocation is summed up in the poem A Cowboy’s Heart which she was inspired to write shortly after her husband’s passing. This is more than a history book. Smoke from the Branding Fire: Hank Pallister’s Tales is an historic anthology that attempts to capture a way of life that existed for such a short period of time and yet left us with such a huge legacy that few can truly appreciate. “Smoke From the Branding Fire: Hank Pallister’s Tales” Copyright 2008 Joyce Pallister ISBN 978-0-9810034-0-5

“Permission to reprint this article has been kindly provided by its author Laurie Hodges Humble.   Laurie is a freelance writer and editor with Laurtec Writing Solutions (  “


Continued from page 19 one, I didn’t say I could actually get you one!” The third sign is showing undue anger to those trying to help.

storm blew into the Valley, it was all we could do to keep the tents up in the sixty mile per hour wind, fighting the blasting sand, the lightening and driving rain proved to be too much, so we all crawled under what was left of all of our tents and hunkered down for the night..

He was a little disappointed and down right annoyed until the next morning when he admitted that the only thing that kept him going was the hope she instilled in him. Shelly Donnelly’s practical ability to make the best of a bad situation, and his quest for cold beer, were the elements of his rescue.

The next morning the sun rose and all was quiet, we awoke to find the tents completely and utterly flattened and knocked down. We soon discovered most of the pots; pans and equipment had blown out of the chuck wagon when it flipped over in the night, our supplies were strewn across half a mile of sand dunes and rocks.

One of the hall marks of a great Guest Wrangler is the command of interpersonal communications; this skill must be demonstrated by the wranglers at all times. The ability to listen to the guests complaints about muscle soreness and sunburn and be sympathetic to their aches and pains without really being able to do much about it, is a common situation which must be dealt with tactfully and without seeming disrespectful to the guests feelings. If a wrangler can do this consistently they can be a real asset to the outfit.

One of our guests noticed a lone dome tent that was last seen pitched by the chuck wagon the night before, had flown away in the harsh winds and landed 300 feet up on top of the edge of Thunderbird Mesa, intact!

On a beautiful moonlit night in October, I remember vividly a small group of intrepid adventurers sat quietly around the fire soaking in the atmosphere and the quiet of the desert. I was softly playing the guitar, singing and spinning yarns, when one of our guests, a dusty, kind, woman from Philadelphia was sitting on the ground next to the fire circle. She pulled her hat back, revealing her sunburned face, now illuminated by the soft flicker of the flames, it shone bright pink from three days in the sun and She had a rather pained look on her face. I asked her how she’s doing? After a long pause She said. “Well I’m not sure really, I’m sun burned, my lips are chapped, my hands are chapped, my legs are chaffed, and I have sand in places that I couldn’t imagine sand could get into. If I had known this ride was going to be this tough I might not have come! A lanky guest from England spoke up, saying dryly. “Darling… It’s called the Wild West. Not thee… slightly inconvenient west! What did you think…that it was going to be like a walk in Central park?

It was an amazing sight! Don and Shelly Donnelly awakened by the noise of the guests, looking rather disheveled, as they crawled out from under what was left of their tent which collapsed in the wind at midnight, stood up and said. “What’s all the fuss about? The precarious position of the tent was pointed out. Always the making the best of the situation Don said. “Boy are those folks gonna to be surprised when they get up for breakfast!” Don left us at Christmas time several years ago, for his last ride to that big, guest ranch in the sky. For those of us who knew him the west will never be the same without him. The outfit is gone now and all the wranglers and horses are gone and scattered to the four winds. There is a small town where the D Spur Outfitters used to be. Don Donnelly’s name is now emblazoned on a street sign overlooking a golf resort near the Superstition Mountains in Gold Canyon Arizona. With his passing he left us a great gift. That gift is…our memories, our reflections of the fun, the hard work and the adventures we had wrangling dudes in those wonderful times.

Our Navajo Guide, Lonnie Yazzy recounted an incident one night around the fire concerned a Motion Picture Production Company that hired Him and another fifty Navajo men dressed in costume as Lakota Sioux warriors for a horse mounted chase scene in the motion picture “Back to the Future III”. While they were taking a break between scenes, a busload of German tourists happened into the area. The Hollywood warriors, in their war paint and costumes, couldn’t resist the temptation and charged the bus on horseback, at a full lope with blood curdling war whoops and rifles a blazing. The Germans were near panic stricken when the war party surrounded their bus. After the bus driver calmed everyone down… the war party posed for pictures. One of the disadvantages of outdoor adventuring is that you are at the mercy of the weather. On a journey in early May a terrible

Professional writer/photographer of Arizona Highways Gary Johnson Photo © Gary Johnson


Sheep Shearing Season in the Cowboy State It’s Spring here in Wyoming and time once again to create herds of naked sheep. If you’ve never seen the sheep shearing process, you are missing out on one of the most fast-paced, efficiently run endeavors in the world. Once again, Brad and Laurie Boner opened their ranch to let those of us unfamiliar with the process get an inside look. Brad Boner’s Great-Grandfather came with Brad’s Grandfather to Wyoming in 1902 and set up a homestead. The family, on Brad’s Father’s side, has been ranching sheep ever since. The family on Brad’s Mother’s side has been involved with sheep for the last four generations. This is a family that is very familiar with the sheep raising process as well as the sheep shearing process. Mr. Boner acknowledged, “The sheep are the bread and butter” of the family’s ranching, which also includes cows and bulls. While sheep are similar in care to other cattle, they are a bit easier in the fact that they are good browsers. Their body style and small mouth allow them to get into places cows can’t and this allows them to pick a better diet for themselves than a cow is able to. Brad Boner stated, “Because of the way they’re made, they can get into a lot tighter places….and be a lot more selective about what they eat.” This better browsing leads to healthier sheep which, in turn, leads to about 4 to 5 inches of wool growth on each animal. Shearing the sheep, however, isn’t just something done to make money--it‘s also done to relieve the animals of their burden. The wool is heavy, hot, and if let go too long can lead to disease issues for the animals. Mr. Boner explained, “It’s a fair amount of work, but it’s necessary. You certainly don’t want the sheep running around [in the] summer in a hundred degrees with four inches of wool on them.” And since the wool continually grows, in theory you could have a sheep with 15 inches of wool accumulated in five years--that would be one miserable animal, one which probably wouldn’t be able to walk under the weight of it’s own hair. Enter Foley Shearing. The Boners have been using Foley Shearing for the last several years and are very pleased with the work they do. Dave Foley, who originally came from New Zealand, now lives and works out of Kaycee, Wyoming. Each year he helps his crews (who are all from New Zealand) obtain their work visas so they can come and work their magic on the wool-laden sheep of Wyoming and surrounding states. Foley has two crews consisting of a total of thirteen men who work for him each year. Since this is

how these men make their livelihood, it is all they do and they are very, very good at it. How it works is this: A portable ‘shearing shed’ is driven to the designated ranch. Each shearer then sets up in his station with his shearers and a type of sling suspended from the ceiling. They put their upper torso through the sling and use it to hold their weight in a slightly bent position. This allows them to have full use of both arms without killing their backs. The sheep are run up a ramp (from a pen nearby) and down a narrow ‘hallway’ where the shearers can pull them into their station to begin the shearing. After the animal is sheared, it is allowed to ‘escape’ out an opening in the side of the shed and down a small ramp to freedom…..sort of. After the sheep, sans wool, come down the exit ramps they are herded into another pen and sprayed for ticks before being released back

onto the ranch. The fleeces are packed into a hydraulic press machine and turned into huge bales for transport. The shearers work from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day until all the sheep are sheared. Mike Harrex, the crew chief (“We call it the ‘ganger’,” he corrected with a smile) explained the way they shear a sheep. “Start at the belly and then do the first leg…the reason we do it like that is we try to keep the fleece in one so it’s easier to work with. Then you just work your way around the sheep…,” he said. If shearing sheep sounds easy, these guys make it look even easier-shearing one sheep every 1.5 minutes. Looks can be deceiving, however. Shearing sheep is most definitely not easy--the animal is squirming around underneath the shearer and it’s his job to make sure and keep nicks to a minimum while getting the fleece off in one piece……all in 1.5 minutes. A good crew can shear in the ballpark of 200 sheep per man on a good day and that takes experience. The men of Foley Shearing have been doing this a while, however……Mike Harrex alone has been at it for 16 years--the last 11 of those for Foley. So what do a bunch of sheep shearers from New Zealand do after they are done shearing sheep in the States? Many of them head for England next for the shearing season there, before heading home to New Zealand to shear sheep there. All of this leads up to next year when they will be back in Wyoming relieving our sheep of their woolly burden. It’s no wonder these guys are so efficient! Once a sheep is relieved of it’s wool, the worry for the animal doesn’t end there. Due to the way weather in Wyoming behaves, the ranchers must be very diligent in tending to the sheep until it is actually Summer. In fact, during the week of this article, there was a major dip in the temperature accompanied by snow and the Boners had to move all of the sheared sheep into a barn--no easy task with such skittish animals. The wool from the Boner Ranch is sold and eventually put to use in the public as yarn or other wool products. The next time you curl up under an afghan or put on that crocheted scarf from Aunt Dee, remember….the yarn used to make them just may have come from Wyoming sheep raised right here near Glenrock! Thank you to Brad and Laurie Boner for once again allowing access to the amazing workings of their ranch!

Article and photos by Jessica Smith




Cowboy Cuisine

Bunkhouse Recipes - a Round-up of Classic and Contemporary Cowboy Cooking Cowboy Wild West Potato Casserole Ingredients

2 large potatoes, with skins on 8 ounces sour cream 4 ounces diced green chiles 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1 teaspoon parsley flakes 2 tablespoons salsa 2 teaspoons Italian bread crumbs Paprika for garnish Boil potatoes with skins for 30 to 45 minutes until soft when pierced with fork. Cool slightly and peel. Slice potatoes and set aside. Mix sour cream, green chiles, cheese, parsley and salsa in bowl. Line a greased casserole dish with sliced potatoes on bottom layer, then a layer of cheese mixture. Continue layering potatoes and cheese. When complete sprinkle with bread crumbs and then paprika. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until slightly brown on top.

Well Wwater

on the


Ingredients 3 ounces Beefeaters Gin 2 ounces chilled Triple sec 1 ounce Blue Cruraco Crushed Ice Chill cocktail glasses. In a mixing glass half-filled with crushed ice, combine all ingredients and stir (gently) until blended nicely. Strain into the chilled glasses. Smooooooth.

Bacon Wrapped Beans Ingredients Bacon (less than a pound) 2 cn Whole green beans 1 cn Golden mushroom soup

Cowboy Pudding Ingredients 2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups white rice 3 quarts milk or canned milk equivalent 1 pound raisins or other dried fruit 1 tablespoon nutmeg Put your Dutch oven on the table and throw in two cups of rice Then throw in 2 cups of sugar and mix it up real nice. Next comes the milk - if you have some, put 3 quarts in your pot or get Carnation “Cow in a Can.” On the trail milk can’t be bought. Hang your pot over the fire to simmer nice and slow. Your milk will tend to boil over if you hang your pot too low. Give your puddin’ some time to work, an hour to get thick. For flavor stir in the nutmeg, agitate well and the bottom won’t stick. Slowly add the raisins, stirring them in as you proceed This will help your “Spotted Pup” thicken, right now that’s what it needs. Hang it higher over the fire and the rice will continue to swell. Stand your spoon up in the mess, ’cuz that’s how you can tell If your “Spotted Pup” is thick enough or if it still needs heat. Just keep stirrin’ occasionally and soon it’ll be ready to eat.

Open Range ™ suggests the following Wyoming made “Table Mountain Vineyard” wine to pair with your cowboy supper. Wyoming Gold - White Table Wine 2007 Wyoming Gold is a semi-sweet wine made from the Elvira grape. The wine imparts fruity and citrus flavors, while remaining true to its native vine characteristics. The wine is full of grape flavors and heritage. Best served chilled. perfect with richer meals. Best enjoyed with good friends & family!

Cowboy Cuisine sponsored by: Table Mountain Vineyards

Wrap 1/3 slice bacon around a bundle of beans. Make small bundles of beans. Place bundles in a 9x12-inch glass baking dish. Spoon soup over beans. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil & bake about 10 minutes more.

...they was bedded down, and we cooked ev’nin’ chow o’er a cowchip fire as best as we Background photo courtesy Library of Congress

an excerpt from Clark Crouch - Cowboy Poet

“It’s great to know that American National Bank still believes in connecting with their customers and community. I can always talk directly with my banker about any of my banking needs. And I am proud to say that they support lots of

Connecting with our

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CASPER • 234-5300 400 East 1st Street

LARAMIE • 745-3619 3908 Grand Avenue

CHEYENNE • 634-2121 1912 Capitol Avenue 6020 Yellowstone Road 3355 E. Pershing Ave. – In Albertsons 5800 Yellowstone Rd. – In Albertsons

WORLAND • 347-4241 700 Big Horn Avenue


Open Range Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1  
Open Range Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1  

Open Range Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1