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Old 02-15-2010, 10:43 AM
17 posts, read 44,786 times
Reputation: 25


Most ranches here in Montana and Wyoming still operating successfully are very large...Many MANY sections to them. Their standards of success though differ from others expectations.

Their cattle are rangie (if that is even a word) by that I mean they turn them out in a number of pastures during their calving season and rarely see a cattle hand until spring when they gather. Oh, and yes they have been handed down through generations.

Many of these ranches are able to do this because on any given year they can have anywhere from 3500 pairs (cows and calves) to 10 to 15,000 pairs on the ground. Be prepared to go check your yearlings at 3 and 4 in the morning and be prepared for any sort of disaster with your first year calvers. This could mean at 12 when you have just laid down to sleep after you've checked them you could promptly be called back out there to pull a calf.

No matter how cold it is...And no matter how bad the wind is blowing and how deep the snow is your work is outside. This goes for the summer time when you will roast as well.

My point is this lifestyle is not for the people who are not willing to work from sun up till sundown. Be prepared to absolutely love your work when you get off your horse at night and your chaps are frozen and you can't feel your feet or hands or face. It is truly one of those professions you have to be passionate about.

This coming from someone who grew up on my families ranch.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:36 AM
20 posts, read 88,462 times
Reputation: 18
Wow - thanks for the feedback guys. I didn't mean to say civilization as lacking civility. I just meant that I'd be giving up many of the conveniences like sewer, and that sort of thing just off the top of my head.

It sounds like your saying I should stop dreaming. It almost seems like those of you who live there have a love/hate relationship.

I am not as interested in being a rancher per se as I am just being in my own solitude, enjoying nature.

I admitted from the beginning I'm naive about life there, which is why I'm here asking from you folks who know.

I recently saw a job posting in Billings that is in my line of work. When I looked up the per capita income for Billings it said 20K. I don't know if that's true, but this job pays well above that. If the cost of living is pretty low, I figure I could do pretty well for myself and buy a nice piece of land away from everyone. Do people ever work in Billings and live in a more rural area?

I am tired of the east coast and city living.

Thanks again ...
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