winter 1949

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
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jodywy
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winter 1949

Post by jodywy » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:52 am



"Every once in a while, I’m overwhelmed by the feeling that I’ve done something REALLY STUPID." -Hank (Hank the Cow Dog ,John R. Erickson)

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Re: winter 1949

Post by jodywy » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:51 am

"Every once in a while, I’m overwhelmed by the feeling that I’ve done something REALLY STUPID." -Hank (Hank the Cow Dog ,John R. Erickson)

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Re: winter 1949

Post by Faster horses » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:58 pm

I haven't looked at your second post, jody,but I will. Thanks for posting these.
My dad was part of the 'mobile strike force' as he was a dozer operator. He told about this storm and said that they
got lumber to build cabs out of wood for the dozer operators so they could stay a bit warmer. The cats ran 24 hours a day,
they didn't dare shut them off.

Mr. FH said his dad helped haul the hay that was brought in to the cattle.

I was only a bit over 3 years old but I remember later on seeing in the movie theater the drops of hay out of the planes for the cattle.
It was a terrible time.

We went through a Good Friday storm of 1973 near Buffalo Wyoming. It stormed for 3 days, temperature was zero with 60 mph winds.
We had drifts that lasted til the 4th of July. The kids could climb on top of the snow and touch the phone lines. We lost cattle, lost a
milk cow, but it still was nothing like 1949, or maybe due to better machinery, we were better able to handle it. A 3-day storm
is devastating, regardless the date. I remember our CattleWomen club compiled stories of what happened in the Good Friday Storm and
one lady from Gillette who raised sheep, had 1200 in a shed as they were going to shear them. The shed sealed up with the snow and those sheep
all somothered. She said the ones on the bottom were cooked from the heat from the ones on top. They dug pits and used front end loaders to
bury the sheep.Our neighbor had sheep out on the range and they started looking for them, they looked for steam coming out of a hole and would start digging. They dug a lot of sheep out that way but many perished. It was a dreadful time for stockmen.

Buffalo had another terrible storm in 1984. Killed all the birds and many sheep then as well. We were in SW Montana by then, so
didn't personally experience that one.
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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Re: winter 1949

Post by jodywy » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:54 pm

they are the same page.
Dad said they forked hay into balers as there were not many at that time and loaded semis with the bales and hauled them to his Uncle's Sheep company down at Granger . Then out onto the desert and fed range ewes.
"Every once in a while, I’m overwhelmed by the feeling that I’ve done something REALLY STUPID." -Hank (Hank the Cow Dog ,John R. Erickson)

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Re: winter 1949

Post by jodywy » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:56 pm

right after the 49 video there another one from the 73 storm.
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Re: winter 1949

Post by Faster horses » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:37 pm

jodywy wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:56 pm
right after the 49 video there another one from the 73 storm.
Mr. FH wants to watch it with me. I can't wait to see it.
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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Re: winter 1949

Post by Big Muddy rancher » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:54 pm

My internet is so slow at the moment I can't watch a video.
I found a picture in Mom's scrap book of our old Army Truck Power Wagon with Dad and somebody else standing in the back of it and the snow bank they dug through by hand was taller then they were. !949 was the year my sister was born and Mom and her weren't off the ranch all winter.
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Re: winter 1949

Post by Faster horses » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:27 am

jodywy wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:56 pm
right after the 49 video there another one from the 73 storm.
I could only find '77 Storm, Buffalo NY.
Did I miss the Good Friday Storm, Buffalo Wy, 1973?
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Re: winter 1949

Post by jodywy » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:37 pm

Faster horses wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:27 am
jodywy wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:56 pm
right after the 49 video there another one from the 73 storm.
I could only find '77 Storm, Buffalo NY.
Did I miss the Good Friday Storm, Buffalo Wy, 1973?
sorry all I saw was Buffalo and was thin king Wyoming PBS
"Every once in a while, I’m overwhelmed by the feeling that I’ve done something REALLY STUPID." -Hank (Hank the Cow Dog ,John R. Erickson)

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Re: winter 1949

Post by leanin' H » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:37 pm

They flew hay out on the desert here using WW2 bombers. One sheep herder was killed by a bale that hit him. Grandpa told my mom and her sisters al about that winter. They were stuck at the ranch snowed in for 2 and a half months. When the county pushed a road in with a cat, they had two trucks behind it with hay and groceries loaded up. Grandpa said he jumped up on the running board and wanted to kiss the guy driving. They had plenty of food and hadn't taken any hurt there, but grandpa had run out of Prince Albert tobacco and was happy to get more. They lost about 25% of their cowherd that winter.
A poor ride beats a great walk any day!
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Re: winter 1949

Post by Hayguy » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:03 pm

this is a good film about that winter as well narrated by Paul Harvey






https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvaYWArTTU0

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Re: winter 1949

Post by mrj » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:30 am

I'm waiting till the 'elder' member of the family is in to watch the videos, as he's 'computer challenged', and I'll want to show it to him later.
Re. 'hard' winters.....I do wonder how much difference 'modern' equipment makes in the 'severity' of winters today???. Born in summer of 1940, I do recall some things about winter of '49. Talk mostly, and of the old surplus WWII vehicles moving about the area to haul hay out to cattle, as well as some airplane drops. The deaths of several members, I believe it was from two families, but were attempting go take, or get, kids between home and school. Kids and adults, maybe a total of 4 or 5. My memories of details of tragedies are not totally reliable, since they come from over-hearing adults talk about them in hushed voices around kids quite young at the time. And I didn't personally know any of them.

I wonder if there was a break in the series of storms in the winter of, if memory is correct, of '51 or '52, it was pretty bad, too, at least in my area of some knowledge, within about a dozen miles of Midland, SD where several family members lived. I recall being driven part of the 9 miles to the Calhoon ranch (my parents) in a pick-up, transferring to a hay rack/Iwagon half filled with hay, and several quilts for us to ride the final few miles home. It was pulled by a tractor. That ride home on a night with a very bright moon shining on the snow. It must have been just before Christmas, as going to the ranch would not have been done just for a week-end. There appeared just a little ahead of us what seemed a very large herd of deer, which of course, the adults riding with the kids, insisted had to be Santa's Reindeer! That was even exciting for a rather new 'non' believer in the Santa Claus story!!! Some of the changes, then to now: there was no county road maintainance in those days. It does happen on some roads now. Kids don't generally live in town during the winter, unless they go clear to Pierre, or at least more than ten or twenty miles to school now. And we very rarely went to 'other towns' for highschool sports events the...….and sometimes we do that several times a week now!!! And even drive more than 100 miles for tournaments!!! Recently, our second grader went 90 miles to a spelling bee (and placed 3rd in her category). I'm almost glad I didn't know about it, so didn't 'have' to go! Another difference in then and now.....I used to love to go anywhere...…..now at times, I almost would rather stay home, but usually think we should be supportive, even if I don't feel like a long ride home 'after my bedtime', being an insomniac, I need quite a few hours to get anywhere close to enough sleep!

We are into an intensifying session of a lengthy 'winter storm', supposed to give us a few inches. Much of Feb. and March has been 'that way'. And we have several inches on the ground. Seems like the current 'snow cover' has relocated several times this winter! Blows one direction one day, and moves all the snow back the next! Much of the time, the sun has been absent. It helps when the sky is somewhat bright, as it is now, but dreary skies tend to make dreary people!

To end on a positive note, we do have the heifers in, the barn ready, and a few calves safely here. Work for cowboys, even on still VERY horse oriented ranch, good pick-ups, trailers, tractors and hay-haulers sure do make the work lots easier and SAFER. But the hours are even longer, since we have artificial lights on/in vehicles and barns (electicity for calf warmer boxes is wonderful! Ditto running water an even hot water when needed at the barn! Saint Patricks' Day and Spring and Easter will come soon!

mrj

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