A Love of all Things Western and Wild

By: Tyler Jacobs

You’re not supposed to write about funerals in a blog post. However, it was last month that we buried my uncle “Bo” and the brief eulogy, familiar faces, and the lack of a cell phone distracting me offered some true revelation and clarity regarding my ever-present attraction, even love, for all things western and wild. Cattle, cowboying, hunting, fishing, neighboring, and even life in a Texas deer camp, all came from initial experiences shared with me by “Bo.”

134-01

Tyler Jacobs and a gator.

Being raised in East Texas, my grandparents ranched along several miles of the San Jacinto River bottoms, and the upland mixed timber where we wintered the cows. My first substantial memory of Bo (and always accompanied by my aunt Holly), was that of being invited along with my cousins to bring our horses and camp along the river for two weeks during the early part of summer. I was seven or eight years old. Campfires, tarpaulins stretched between cattle trailers, horses tied everywhere, numerous cousins and friends, all color my memories, regardless of how accurate they are.

The most vivid memory was baiting droplines in the river.   I can see us crisscrossing the river and sandbars, working our way upstream to check each of them. Bo walks to within eyesight of each dropline tied to a limb and can instantly decipher what may or may not be on the hook.  All the kids stood in awe when Bo tells us to hold the small stringer of channel cats, and he takes his shirt off, knowing there’s something big on the line. Slowly approaching the dropline, he suddenly disappears below the water line as his feet fail to find footing below him.   After an eternally long time (for a 7-year-old to watch), Bo re-emerges with a 25-pound blue catfish above his head, gripping it only through its gills with one hand.  Best catfish I have ever had, filleted, fried and finished by all of us kids in one night. That was the wildest thing I had ever seen.

I think I was twelve and was asked to come help pen cattle, and at that time we were running Simmental bulls on our Brahman-cross cows. Those bulls did not like the summer heat, and sure did not appreciate getting bothered with kerr dogs. We had most of the cows and calves penned, and went back to grab everything that had slipped off into the timber and brush in the river bottom. The ranch shared a three or four acre natural lake near the southern boundary, and the long-haired Simmental bull decided to find relief from both the heat and the kerr dogs by wading into the water.

Tyler Jacobs and his daughter.

Tyler doing what daddies do.

Bo and I, and two or three others, sat horseback on the bank to devise a plan, dogs barking as the bull swam away from us, not knowing there were always two or three alligators on the far bank. It did not take long for the alligators to awake from their slumber among all the commotion to notice that stubborn bull swimming right towards them. Bo said, “Well, this will be worth watching,” and soon thereafter a 2,000-pound bull met three alligators nose-to-nose. The immediate and direct reversal of the bull resulted in the alligators on his tail, and shortly thereafter on dry land surrounded by cow dogs. Bo remarked, “Never expected those ‘gaters to be the best cow dogs we ever had!” That was the wildest thing I had ever seen.

A few years later, we were penning cows and had some friends there helping us, one of which was “Bubba.” I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but we were casually riding without dogs among the palmettos and oak trees, when Bo hollered “Pig, pig! Somebody rope it!” Bubba was riding a three-year-old colt, but as the pig crossed his line of sight, he could not resist the urge to shake out a loop. Bubba roped that pig, but a dead, standing tree quickly came between his horse and the pig on the end of the rope, immediately reversing the pig’s trajectory towards Bubba’s three-year-old colt.  Bubba was tied on hard and fast, the colt thoroughly rejected the idea of the pig being under his legs, and the entire event was anchored to a dead tree. That was the wildest thing I had ever seen.

There are so many stories, many of which were shared by eulogy or fellowship afterwards – of elk hunting in New Mexico, the numerous accounts of helping neighbors when they were in a tragic bind, calving heifers, building deer camps, training mules, and endless other accounts. It is strange that it took a funeral for a man in his mid-40s (myself) to identify the primary genesis of my love of all things western and wild. You know what they say, “funerals are for the living!”

Tyler's daughter roping a cow.

Tyler’s daughter Molly.

Fire Creek Canyon Ranch in Glenrock, Wyoming

Wyoming Ranches for Sale: Fire Creek Canyon Ranch – Glenrock, WY

Situated in the Laramie Mountains of southeast Wyoming, this 400± acre retreat offers trout fishing and exceptional big game hunting in one of the top elk areas in the state. Area 7 is known for trophy bulls and bucks and the ranch has the habitat to attract the wildlife to qualify it for two landowner elk tags and two mule deer tags each year. The ranch also enjoys private entry to a large block of adjacent National Forest that is difficult for the public to access. In addition, Box Elder Creek and numerous ponds along Fire Creek offer great fishing and a three bedroom log cabin provides comfortable accommodations. Fire Creek Canyon Ranch is nestled in a picturesque mountain valley approximately 30 miles south of Glenrock and 55 miles southeast of Casper.

Wyoming Ranches for Sale View Listing Details: Fire Creek Canyon Ranch

Fire Creek Canyon Ranch

Elk Creek Ranch Homestead in Meeker, Colorado

Colorado Ranches for Sale

With over 25 miles of the finest dry-fly fishing in North America, Elk Creek Ranch offers an unsurpassed quantity of varied water on the sought after main stem of the White River, the meandering reaches of the South Fork and the intimate spring-fed flows of Elk Creek. The quality and diversity of the angling found in these private waters is second to none. The ranch is located in the coveted White River valley of northwest Colorado, a magical place surrounded by the Flat Tops Mountains, home to the nation’s largest elk herd and rich habitat that supports abundant wildlife and thriving fish populations. Careful stewardship of the land and water over generations has yielded superior wildlife habitat with prolific hatches and healthy trout. The owners share a commitment to conservation, with over 98 percent of the ranch’s 2,850± acres remaining as open space. All the newly-constructed village amenities – including a magnificent lodge, comfortable log cabins and fully stocked fly shop – are utilized and enjoyed by owners and their guests. The desirable riverfront sites sold out quickly after the initial launch – despite the fact that the launch occurred during one of the worst real estate markets in recent history – and this particular homestead is only available now as a resale.

View Listing: Elk Creek Ranch

Sand Springs Ranch in Hagerman, Idaho

Idaho Ranches for Sale

Simply stated, the 1,555± acre Sand Springs Ranch is among the finest sporting properties one could own in the Western US. With abundant spring water, irrigated cropland, and extensive frontage on the Snake River, the ranch offers unmatched waterfowl and upland hunting in a completely private setting. In addition, big mule deer roam the property, while Sand Springs Creek is home to 20+ inch rainbows eager to take a dry fly. The area’s mild climate and the property’s unique spring system support a lengthy hunting season lasting the end of January. Improvements include an owner’s residence, staff housing, and working facilities. The property is located 10 minutes south of Hagerman and an hour and a half from Sun Valley in the middle of the region’s top flyway.

View Sand Springs Ranch Listing

Cove Road Ranch in Weiser, Idaho

Idaho Ranches for Sale

Located 10 miles east of Weiser and 70 minutes from Boise, the Cove Road Ranch is a top flight hunting property offering excellent wingshooting and big game hunting for elk and mule deer. This 4,084± acre sporting ranch has been managed for over 40 years as a wildlife sanctuary with limited disturbance and extensive habitat improvements. Wild pheasants, quail, and partridge can found throughout the property utilizing springs, riparian areas, and extensive upland cover, while deer and elk take advantage of the draws and canyons comprising the south end of the ranch. Improvements are located in a secluded setting with excellent views of the mountains to the north and include an owner’s residence and a large shop/storage building. View Listing Here

Monument Peak Ranch in Rifle, Colorado

Colorado Ranches for Sale: Monument Peak Ranch – Rifle, Colorado (Garfield County)

An exceptional big game hunting property, this 960± acre ranch lies in two parcels strategically tied together with a large tract of BLM land for which most access is controlled by the ranch. Situated between Rifle and Meeker, the ranch lies in one of Colorado’s most renowned hunting areas. Large elk herds and other big game make this area home. Improvements are minimal leaving unlimited options to build in an area that commands dramatic views of snow capped peaks and broad vistas of colorful hillsides and mesa tops.

Ranches for Sale in Colorado