Opinion, Discussion and Analysis

Candy Moulton: On the Trail 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

A man killed in the Johnson County War, another whose image is a symbol used by the University of Wyoming, and more who made a name for themselves in the rodeo arena and out on the ranching range are among the first class of honorees for the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame (WCHF).

Organized this year, the WCHF will induct 33 men and women during a ceremony at 1 p.m., on Nov. 2, at the Fort Reno Building on the Wyoming State Fair grounds in Douglas. That ceremony is for the statewide induction. The WCHF created 10 geographic regions within the state, and regional nominees have also been selected, who will be inducted in local programs.

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Candy Moulton: Reading the West 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

I recently had the opportunity to follow the Columbia River from its source deep in the Canadian Rockies downstream into Oregon taking a trail David Thompson charted while working for the North West Company in the early 19th century.

Thompson started his fur trade career as a 14-year-old apprentice clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company, but he left HBC employ to take a job with the rival North West Company in part because he wanted to explore new territory, not be stuck in a trading post.

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Steve Suther: Black Ink 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

I got my start with other people’s cull cows, just a bid or two above the hamburger market — which was not so dear back then.

Decades of using at least breed-average bulls in the pasture and artificial insemination (AI) on the top half moved their progeny up from 10 percent premium Choice to eight times that. I would not want to start over with any other cows now, but it’s still easy to find a bottom 20 percent in these.

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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-No Ranch 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Well now, let’s see, gentle readers, it’s off in the morning to have cataract surgery on my right eye. I am excited, yes I am. I have high hopes of being able to see clearly once more.

Ya really get tired of straining to see at certain times. Every one that I have discussed this with that have had the surgery sing high praises, including my sister and brother. You geezers and geezeretts that have had this done I bet feel the same way. The Rockies with their newly snow covered peaks looked especially good this morning and I betcha’ they will look even better in a few days.

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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Geezers and Crones is a poem written several years ago. I kinda adapted it a smidge so you can warble it to the Hearse Song. Geezers and Crones parody ditty is based on a cowpoke hearse verse I discovered in an old songbook as follows:

Did you ever think as the hearse rolls by

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Baxter Black: On The Edge of Common Sense 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Roadside Chuck: Delicious cuts of beef collected from scenic highways around the country. Flattened to the peak of tenderness.

■ County Line Cuts: (A division of Borders Beef Co.) Steaks and stew meat with an exotic history. Green card available upon request.

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Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Have you heard about the greatest moneymaking franchise since Nerds-To-Go? It’s called Rent-A-Chicken and it was started by Leslie Suitor six years ago in Michigan. Let me tell you, this Ms. Suitor is one very smart chick.

According to a news blurb in the ever-enjoyable Fence Post magazine, Leslie sells franchises who in turn rent out two laying hens, a portable coop and enough feed to last six months. And all for only $400! It sounds like a great way to teach your children about agriculture and the food they eat. Although the economics may not pencil out.

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Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

What in the world is the world coming to — a place where boys ain’t boys, girls ain’t girls, men ain’t men and women ain’t women? Apparently so in Lincoln, Neb., (Of all places. I’d have suspected California or New York.) where the schools are encouraging teachers to call students by “gender-neutral” terms. One of the suggested terms is Purple Penguins.

Good grief! Purple Penguins! How about Beefy Bovines? Nope, that suggests obesity. Or, Porky Porcupines? Nope, obesity again, plus the oak trees might be offended. Perhaps Furry Felines? Nope, those hairless Mexican cats might bring a lawsuit. How about Brown Blackbirds? Rejected! Much too racial for school children. (Whoops! I’m not sure the term “children” is neutral-enuf to be acceptable.)

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Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 10-18-14

October 20, 2014 — 

There is nothing like the month of October for a scary story. I usually don’t buy into all the tales about ghosts and hauntings, but I am intrigued by one spooky place — Ghost Bridge.

Apparently, I grew up only about 7 miles from one of Colorado’s biggest haunts and I didn’t even know it until recently. Unlike me, nearly every high school student from the Denver Metro area has heard about Ghost Bridge. Many come out at night to have parties there and look for a thrill.

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Peggy Sanders: Rangeviews 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

For readers “of a certain age” we have fond memories of Burma Shave signs but the story behind them may surprise you. The marketing idea was created by Alan Odell when his father, Clinton, knew that the company they owned was in deep financial trouble in 1925.

Clinton had hired a chemist to develop a brushless shaving cream; previously shavers had used shaving brushes to apply shaving soap. If the brushes were not dried before shutting them into travel cases, they had the tendency to mold and develop a bad odor.

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Lee Mielke: Monthly Milk Prices 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

The Agriculture Department announced the September Federal order benchmark Class III milk price Wednesday at a record high $24.60 per hundredweight (cwt.), up $2.35 from August, $6.46 above September 2013, $2.21 above the comparable California 4b price, and equates to about $2.12 per gallon.

That propels the 2014 Class III average to $22.72, up from $17.76 at this time a year ago, $16.54 in 2012, and $18.28 in 2011. That’s the good news. Class III futures portend declines ahead. The October Class III contract settled Friday at $24.27; November, $21.74; and December, $20.10.

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John Mattingly: Socratic Rancher 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

A lot of people think bears are cute, and a lot like dogs. Bears are actually close to dogs, as a species. Not as close as humans are to monkeys, but similar enough to cause some people to confuse bears and dogs in their minds.

Kingdom: Bears: Animalia

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Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

Folks, it’s odds and ends time again — when I foist off on my readers some of the “stuff” that’s been accumulating on my desk and in my e-mail box. So, here goes:

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Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

“The good old days weren’t all that great,” recalled the crusty old cowboy. “I remember working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for room and board and 10 dollars a month. And it sure was tough supporting 11 kids and a wife on that kind of income.”

“Why did you have so many kids?” I asked in amazement.

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Baxter Black: On The Edge Of Common Sense 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

Boys, I offer a toast

To that creature tied to the post

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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-No Ranch 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

Well, now just let me tell you gentle readers what’s going on today here at the O-No Ranch. Actually, not a whole lot but maybe enough to keep you interested.

The morning started off at the T Bar Inn where I had coffee with the hombres that share that time with me. Then it was off to the cement pond to go swimming. I hardly swam at all this summer as there were not enough lap lanes available because high school swim teams and other swim teams had most of them occupied. But I’m getting with it now and trying to get back in my swim shape. I came home, ate a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy and orange juice.

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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

There’s a million justifications for the need to visit a Doctor. Any slight illness, pseudo ailment or imagined distress is reason enough.

Now that we have universal “health care,” we can indulge more often. For some folks, Doctoring is a hobby, a passion and better than Facebook.

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Ryan M. Taylor: Cowboy Logic 10-11-14

October 13, 2014 — 

I’ve written a lot of columns about a lot of different things, but this is probably the first column I’ve written about bras. Yes, bras or brassieres or, as Ellie May Clampett called them in The Beverly Hillbillies television show, “a store bought, lace trimmed double-barreled slingshot.”

Every year, in Fargo, N.D., the bra becomes the symbol of an event to raise money for people in the area fighting breast cancer. This is the ninth year of the annual event held at the Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo.

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Quackgrass Sally: On the Trail 10-6-14

October 6, 2014 — 

I love history almost as much as I love horses, so its no surprise that I gobble up any info I can about the famous 1860s Pony Express. This tiny, short-lived part of our American history is taught to students in school and its legend, romantic images and wild adventurous spirit lives on, even today, in film, books and historical reenactments. We have all wondered about the young riders, who valiantly rode their swift mounts through storms and deserts, up the Sierra mountains and across the rolling prairies, braving wild natives and desperados to deliver the mail. For 18 plus months these riders rode a nearly 2,000-mile trail, never dreaming that they were writing a unique story in America’s history book.

Today members of the National Pony Express Association ride a 10-day, non-stop mail carrying reenactment each June. Horses and riders from all across the west and several from over seas, re-live the history and adventure of the Pony Express riders, delivering hundreds of letters, all carried by horseback. I have been a member of the NPEA for over 25 years and have loved being a part of this relay ... one link in the long line of riders, carrying mail along the Pony Express National Historic Trail.

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Candy Moulton: Reading the West 10-6-14

October 6, 2014 — 

It is a long way from the Netherlands to the Pawnee Nation, but Mark van de Logt made the transition during graduate school when he undertook a research project about the 19th century Pawnee Scouts at the request of tribal members.

Van de Logt attended Krusheren College and then Utrecht University, both in the Netherlands, where he was born and reared, but he spent a year studying at the University of Oklahoma when completing his master’s degree in history, and returned to Oklahoma State University for his Ph.D. While at OSU Pawnee tribal members Ramona Osborne and Mattie Fish asked him to research the Pawnee Scouts. As a result he spent a summer working in the archives in Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska, ultimately developing a report for the Pawnees that he turned into a doctoral dissertation ... and ultimately into the book “War Party in Blue: Pawnee Scouts in the U.S. Army,” published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

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Peggy Sanders: Rangeviews 10-4-14

October 6, 2014 — 

Well before writing an article, book and sometimes even a column, research is the order of the day. While old newspapers are considered primary sources, one must dig deeper in an attempt at authenticity. I love researching and am in the midst of a wild research trip — without leaving my home. Hang on while I tell the tale.

The object of my research is “Doc” Ellis T. Peirce who lived many years in Hot Springs, S.D., died and is buried there. Parts of his life remain elusive but with the help of many, the holes are closing in.

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Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-6-14

October 6, 2014 — 

The lame-stream media are making quite an on-going news story about the fact that in the U.S. 40 percent of all the food produced is wasted — most of it uneaten on plates or unsold in supermarkets.

I admit that wasted food is a minor league sin, but I want to assure my readers that ol’ Nevah and me on Damphewmore Acres are not contributing much to the nation’s food waste.

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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-6-14

October 6, 2014 — 

After a certain age ... which is to say after one is well into one’s “mature” years, short-term memory becomes a challenge as well as the basis of thousands of jokes. I recently attended a gathering held to salute the birthday of a couple, both in their 80s — the octogenarian years. It meant a lot of their attendee friends were in that same “mature” age. The event was held in a public hall to accommodate the large crowd of crones, curmudgeons, old friends, acquaintances, children, grandchildren, fringe relatives and a couple of small dogs. The walls rocked with the sound of conversation and laughter. (Only the people conversed; the dogs hadn’t much to say).

Local musicians provided music; the food was wonderful; the beverages kept the assemblage well oiled. Some well-wishers had left their own octogenarian years behind and are currently speeding through their nonagenarian years — going for a hundred. Suffice to say there was no dearth of us crones and curmudgeons at the party who have reached that age where one can carry on entire conversations without using a proper name and very few pronouns.

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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 10-6-14

October 6, 2014 — 

Gentle readers, the saddle room has always been one of my favorite places to hang out when I have run out of other things that require more of me. It’s a refuge, a place to collect my thoughts if need be, much like the honey house is to Tom the bee man.

I like the smells that are always present there, even if it’s a somewhat sweaty saddle blanket. I just like to look around as I sit and ponder what will be my next move when confronted with important issues about life or just plain ole’ ranch life. I can sit and study my hand made saddle and try and improve things about it. Should I find a more suitable place to hang my pill gun or should I try and find a place in the medicine bag for it? Little things like that ease my mind and also occupy it for long periods of time if I so choose.

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Baxter Black: On The Edge Of Common Sense 10-6-14

October 6, 2014 — 

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ...” The message that rings down through the Bible from Exodus to Revelations, “Blessed are ye poor for yours is the Kingdom of God.” This beatitude was planted deep in the Judeo-Christian settlers that built America and wrote our Constitution. The words on the Statue of Liberty in 1886 have not changed. Our moral values and heart-felt beliefs are the driving force behind the unparalleled generosity of Americans.

Our government’s efforts with a multiplicity of programs that offer help to the needy in our own country are so successful it is necessary to redefine poverty on a regular basis. Synonyms like destitute, starving, refugee, pauper or beggar no longer fit. They are replaced today by ‘malnourished, food insecure, food desert and the SUV poor.’

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Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 10-6-14

October 6, 2014 — 

Let me state right up front that I’m quite positive this column will be offensive to the folks who raise llamas, yaks, cats or ostriches, but please remember this is just one person’s opinion and I was wrong one time and could be again. Please keep that in mind as I present Lovable Lee’s Least Loved Livestock.

First we must define what falls under the umbrella when we speak of livestock. One of the definitions of livestock are those living things that can be raised profitably, which automatically eliminates chickens, camels, goldfish, cats and most of the time, cattle. I’ve never liked chickens as they are nothing more than tasteless walking soybeans. Camels aren’t a big hit with me because I rode one once and found the ride far inferior to horseback riding. I can’t imagine roping calves off a camel or turning back a wild cow on the loose. I have also heard that cattle will stampede at the sight of a camel, which is reason enough not to own one. I can’t envision a goldfish enterprise being profitable because I once raised them in stock water tanks but the cows and horses kept swallowing up all the profit. As for cats, I’d have to say they come the closest to being an animal that I really don’t care for.

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Rocky Mountain Mystery Photo 9-29-14

September 29, 2014 — 

Do you know what this is?

Betty Kirchenschlager of Yuma, Colo., is wondering if any of our readers know anything about this mystery object.

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Mr. Truck 9-29-14

September 29, 2014 — 

This summer I turned 57. I know, I can hardly believe either. Now I have a different view of manual labor. Since I use trailers in all my truck and SUV reviews, manual trailer jacks became an issue. Sometimes I hook and unhook loaded trailers three times in a day. My Gooseneck trailer has a hydraulic jack, but I have three bumper pull trailers. Ultra-Fab rescued me with the Ultra 4000. Yes that means it’s a 4,000 pound capacity tongue jack which should lift the tongue of about any conventional trailer made.

It was easy to install (about 30 minutes if you don’t use a camera). Just drop the trailer tongue on jack stands. The old jack just unbolts from the top with three bolts and the nuts are generally welded under the coupler. On my Logan Coach horse trailer, the tongue jack has a double brace for the jack. This keeps the jack from moving around when on the ground. And this horse trailer has a dressing room where I installed the battery.

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John Mattingly: Socratic Rancher 9-29-14

September 29, 2014 — 

According the Black Bear Society (BBS) of Colorado, our state had about 11,000 black bears in the 2011 bear census, which also found no Grizzlies. By 2013, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CP&W) estimated the black bear population at between 16,000 and 18,000, again with no Grizzlies, despite various sightings that were perhaps enhanced by the desire to see the great beasts. In any event, it appears that black bears in Colorado are doing pretty good, even though 300 to 450 bears are put down each year due to attacks or incidents.

Black bears are generally not inclined toward human company, and the number of black bears that have to be euthanized each year due to aggressive behavior are a relatively small percentage of the total population, and often the incidents in which bears are aggressive are not entirely their fault.

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Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-29-14

September 29, 2014 — 

One of life’s most enduring treasures and pleasures is spending quality time with friends. Last week I got to spend quality time with New Mexico friends, Albie and A.B. Kirky. They came for their semi-annual jaunt to the Flint Hills for four days of non-stop fishing.

The fishing wuz average at best, but Albie garnered the biggest game fish — a 7-pound channel catfish and A.B. scored the biggest bass of the week — a near 4-pounder who fell to an enticing grasshopper skewered on A.B.’s hook. My Flint Hills friend, ol’ Saul M. Reeder, who joined the fishing party two days, took home the “biggest fish” caught during the trip — a 7-1/2-pound carp that had found its way into a watershed lake and greedily sucked in Saul’s grasshopper.

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