Hello Reddit!!! I am a Wyoming rancher and creator of the YouTube Channel OUR WYOMING LIFE.

Joining me is my wife, Erin, a Master Gardener.

https://www.youtube.com/c/ourwyominglife

My Proof: https://youtu.be/cPm0Yw4FNsI

Wow, what an awesome response, and I lived through it. I am going to go eat dinner with the family. I will check back occasionally so if you feel like asking a question go ahead, I'll answer when I can. Thanks to everyone who asked questions and thanks to everyone who followed along, it was really awesome.

Check our our subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/OurWyomingLife/

Comments: 2950 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

LessLikeYou1015 karma

I can't believe no one has asked you this:

Would you rather wrangle 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

wycattleman923 karma

best question so far.....I've tried to wrangle 1 duck...it can be a fight. A horse sized one would scare the crap out of me. I think I'd take the duck sized horses...unless they bite.

RivadaviaOficial588 karma

Oh they bite

wycattleman752 karma

can i curl up in a ball and cry...haha

1898smo741 karma

Have you ever been on an escalator?

wycattleman1033 karma

yes but not in Wyoming

TheFlyingFoodTestee685 karma

Which weather condition is worse for ranching: snow or rain?

wycattleman1186 karma

Snow is tolerable as long as the wind doesnt blow too hard...getting pelted by little frozen crystals blows....rain isnt too bad but the mud is annoying, I have lost many boots in the mud.

Rain snow mix...the worst. Throw in a few cows having calves in the middle of it and we end up with calves in our bathtub getting warmed up!

loveshercoffee379 karma

Snow is tolerable as long as the wind doesnt blow too hard

I lived in Wyoming for 15 years, some of that time on a cattle ranch in the Converse/Campbell county area. Is there ever a time when the wind doesn't blow too hard?

wycattleman582 karma

I have seen the snow fall vertically once this year.....I take anything under a 20 mph wind as almost calm

YoullShitYourEyeOut579 karma

Is there anything to do in Wyoming besides ranch?

wycattleman909 karma

Honestly ranching keeps us pretty busy, now that we have kids we definitely try to take one vacation per year, and it usually lines up between branding and haying. Last year we went to yellowstone for a week, and this year we are planning on a few days in Denver.

DragonXV4 karma

Up in the NE corner they have a place where UFOs sometimes go.

wycattleman7 karma

I have yet to see one

pdxscout390 karma

What do you think of the Bundy Boys? Do you support their cause, or do you think they're clowns?

wycattleman810 karma

I understand some of Cliven Bundy's deal, but when it came down to it he did graze on public land without a permit...we jump through hoops as land owners, sometimes you just have to make the best of a situation and do what you have to do to preserve your way of life. He chose a path...didnt work out so great.

pdxscout239 karma

Thanks for answering. I'm here in Portland, so it's still a very real thing we're dealing with.

wycattleman332 karma

Im curious....what is your opinion?

pdxscout436 karma

Well, there are a lot of things going on. I understand that there's frustration on the rancher's part. Grazing is necessary and large swatches of land is required, but everybody has to deal with government regulations, so filing permits and jumping through hoops is the way it should have been done. Taking up arms instead of doing paperwork is idiotic, but it's their right. Taking over the public building in Oregon is where the Bundys crossed the line. They kept people from doing important work. They hurt locals.

wycattleman292 karma

Yeah I hear ya. I think at this point they just keep diggin a hole.

KooopaTrooopa96 karma

Do your cattle graze on public land? Just wondering?

The land agency I work for allows for all kind of agricultural permits. While I don't deal with them directly, it doesn't seem like it's all that complicated. Most of the animosity comes from people who disagree with how we use our land. They want to hay or graze every acre of grassland we own whenever we've been dedicating a lot of it to restoration. If I'm correct, didn't the Bundy's have a permit but refused to actually pay it for several years while the BLM tried their best to not be forceful?

I also used to work for an outdoor outfitter that does bike and fishing trips all across the country. It took 3+ years for them to get permits for recreation with BLM while resource extraction permits have to be decided within like 6 months. Seems a little messed up if you ask me.

wycattleman139 karma

There are public land permits here, I dont mess with it. There are a ton of rules and regs.

Webpage4043 karma

Well, what do you think of the hoops? The way the extent of federal land has always been justified to me is that improper land management can have seriously negative effects on surrounding plots but I have no concept of how much sense those regulations make in practice.

wycattleman13 karma

I agree...improper land management can have bad effects, a few bad apples have driven alot of regulation into place

Poet_of_Legends279 karma

Do you really hate wolves, or is that a media thing?

wycattleman448 karma

I dont really have to deal with them here, thats more of a western wyoming thing. We do have coyotes and they will take a calf if they get a chance and foxes that will eat chickens. They are a predator that will take money out of our operation.

Poet_of_Legends129 karma

How do you handle those problems?

Is it fencing? Do you have hands that do patrols, or guard duty?

wycattleman260 karma

Mostly guard duty...chickens we can fence in, with calves it becomes a us vs them type situation

Razmo44273 karma

Do you or your wife have a career outside of the working on the ranch?

wycattleman452 karma

Most of our lives revolve around the ranch, and 95% of our time revolves around it. Erin gardens and attends farmers market. She also is the president of the local Master Gardeners group. I occasionally help a neighbor with his construction business when I have free time....not often

SeriesOfAdjectives244 karma

Tell us a little about your operation? How many head? What breed? What stage of production? :)

wycattleman357 karma

Good question...we are a cow/calf operation. We raise and sell calves primarily. we run about 160 breeding cows. They are mostly black and red angus. Cows are bred then we raise the calves with their moms until they reach weaning age at which point we sell them at auction to feedlots. I guess you would say that we are the front line of production.

tyby86 karma

How much land do you own?

wycattleman236 karma

We have a few thousand acres. We definitely aren't considered a large ranch.

BigHungry70218 karma

What is the funniest moment you have had in the field?

wycattleman758 karma

Erins going to kill me but a few years ago we were haying, she was driving a tractor and had to pee...she got out and almost sat on a dead snake...jumping up and running around the tractor. The other has Erin in it too. We were calving and we were trying to tag her calve. The cow charged Erin and she screamed at the cow...SCREAMED! That cow stopped, looked at her and walked away. Scary but screaming I think saved her.

lenswipe216 karma

Would you say that you were quite a happy kinda guy?....A jolly rancher, if you will?

wycattleman123 karma

haha

sp3ctive181 karma

How's the view?

wycattleman411 karma

We live quite aways from the mountains, in the plains. The views you are used to seeing from wyoming don't feature our side much. Here its rolling plains and medium sized hills. It is beautiful in its own way.

Drackene180 karma

Where is the ranch located in Wyoming?

wycattleman283 karma

We are located in northeast wyoming, think Devils Tower and not to far from Mount Rushmore

nuerion58 karma

so right around hulett?

wycattleman180 karma

Campbell County.....i guess i should say that around here 100 miles isnt that far

spookieboogie666172 karma

What is one of the worst accidents you guys have had on the ranch? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent it? What did you learn from the accident?

wycattleman299 karma

Accidents happen. We had a guy that was working out here loose his thumb in a garage door a while back, but overall we have been pretty lucky. Most accidents can be avoided by thinking ahead and planning. Sometimes you don't have that luxury though. I have been kicked by a few calves in a place you dont want to be kicked...that put me down for a few minutes.

moana88160 karma

Your wife is cute. How did you meet?

wycattleman320 karma

Actually we worked together in radio. I was a DJ and she sold advertising. One night after work a bunch of us went out...after a litter karaoke she was putty!

EDIT: She says thank you :)

griffbendor59 karma

That's really cute! I'm not the OP but I have a follow-up question: what kind of music did you play as a DJ? Also, if you don't mind me asking something a little more personal, did you two sing any songs together at karaoke?

wycattleman100 karma

Well I worked at a number of different stations. Country, rock, oldies, pop and classic rock.

I dont think Erin could get drunk enough to sing. Haha

redlinezo646 karma

For real. She be mirin' that boy.

wycattleman38 karma

haha yup!

samwise0912133 karma

On a personal level, what are a few of your favorite films?

wycattleman275 karma

Good question, seeing how I just found out Bill Paxton died, I would have to say Twister and the flying cows!

pdxscout168 karma

Fuck. Bill Paxton died?

wycattleman156 karma

Yea crazy.....sucks

Wyoqueenbee131 karma

Would you mind explaining your views on supporting local producers? And how buying and eating locally produced vegetables and meats effects your family?

wycattleman354 karma

This is Erin here. I'm going to jump in and answer this one. We are local producers so we definitely support the local food movement 1000%. I started growing vegetables and selling them when I was pregnant with our oldest child. I wanted to work and help provide for our family but be at home. After a few years we expanded into local beef and pork. The money we make from local food sales helps us directly provide for our family. It buys school clothes and shoes for our kids. Also allows us money to go on the occasional vacation if we can get away. One unexpected thing that we did't anticipate is how we would become known within the community. Mike and I are recognized all over town and people look forward to seeing us every Saturday during farmers' market season. The relationships we have made in the community were so unexpected and we truly enjoy them.

Ilikewaterandjuice131 karma

What is one life lesson you have that you wish non ranchers knew?

wycattleman402 karma

man these questions are tough....I'll give you one my dad gave me a long time. If something needs done and it is going to take less than 5 minutes...do it now. Doesn't matter what it is but do it. Could be as simple as paying someone a compliment or fixing a fence...doesnt matter.

elchupacabra206116 karma

fixing a fence takes you 5 minutes? can you fix my fence plz and thank

wycattleman163 karma

if its one strand...yes

MrFizzle93118 karma

How did you begin ranching? I heard to get good money you have to start with a few million dollars.

Thanks for the answers!

wycattleman122 karma

Check out our story https://youtu.be/32R0RME-T_I

its a family ranch.

luikiedook114 karma

Have you watched Longmire?

wycattleman144 karma

No I havent. Its on our list....have you watched The Ranch?

UberdMatt110 karma

Trucker here who's driven along I-80 too many times. Do you have problems with the wind being a rancher?

wycattleman118 karma

All the time. Try laying out hay for cows when the wind is blowing 50mph....as soon as it hits the ground its gone.

https://youtu.be/XQ53N7fKo4E

UberdMatt40 karma

Interesting! Thanks for the reply! I always wondered how people in Wyoming were affected by the wind and at what speeds. Much respect, I don't think I could cut is as a rancher. I nearly pee myself every time I have to go on I-80.

wycattleman49 karma

so do I haha

GISP109 karma

I am thinking about taking a trip to the US.
Would you take in a Dane for a day and show him the ropes?
(Turist stuff is boring)

wycattleman129 karma

why not

LukeNukem93106 karma

I recently took a road trip from Indianapolis to Jackson Hole (Came into the state on I-80 from Nebraska). As someone from the most densely populated state in the US, I was astonished at how spread out all of the people in WY were and how entire towns were just a 1/2 mile of road. It's definitely a different way of living than what I am used to. So my question is, what are your and your families reactions going to more densely populated areas? I saw a comment you made about how trees have made you claustrophobic but what about being around so many people?

wycattleman219 karma

We can be around a ton of people, not sure for how long though. I might start to twitch. Honestly sometimes Walmart gets to me.

Red_Corgi97 karma

What's the best and worst parts of living in wyoming?

wycattleman275 karma

Well the theater just got 3D....thats cool....I'll tell you what, the worst thing is that we are kind of behind in some things....the best is that we are kind of behind in some things.....

The wide open spaces are amazing, I have family in Oregon...all the trees make me claustrophobic.

vankirk84 karma

I once watched a film at a gallery in Germany. The film was nothing but a man putting in a corner fence post on his ranch. It was totally mesmerizing and took quite a while to do. How much time do spend building and repairing structures?

Edit: the film was called "Setting a Good Corner" by Bruce Nauman. Here is an interview with Bruce, but I couldn't find the video online.

wycattleman92 karma

Its an ongoing project. Fences always need fixed and after this winter (weve had alot of snow) we have a miles of fence that need attention.

DJErikD83 karma

How do you connect to the internet and at what speeds?

We fell in love with Wyoming and have considered retiring there but fear that we're too spoiled by the fiber-optic internet here to go rural.

wycattleman99 karma

we connect with radio internet...we can get speeds up to 50mbps but it depends on weather.

Verreaux71 karma

How harsh do the winters get up there? How much does it affect the work?

wycattleman98 karma

They can get pretty bad, nature is the equalizer of all. I've gotten tractors stuck many times. I've been stranded, I've been really cold.

framerotblues62 karma

What are your thoughts on wind energy/wind turbines in Wyoming and the politics that surround it?

wycattleman149 karma

We actually have a wind turbine on the property, its a small one that my father in law bought and installed before he passed. You can see it in our video https://youtu.be/TPIKDf8d_eE

It produces almost a third of the power we use here on the ranch. The politics? Thats a rough one being in a coal producing area. can i plead the 5th?

notmadatkate42 karma

How long have you had the turbine? How long will it take before it "pays for itself" in utility savings?

wycattleman71 karma

They say 10 years.....we got it in 2009

MaddieBee54162 karma

My husband and I have this fantasy where we move away from our jobs, buy a little house on a piece of land in Wyoming, grow our own food, and write our books. How naive are we?

wycattleman104 karma

We do it...aside from the writing but our channel is a chance to tell our story. Dream away

redyakuza61 karma

Are there any current or upcoming technologies (ranch related primarily but any if they affect you) that you are looking forward to; and any you are wary of?

wycattleman140 karma

Actually i just found out about this product that we are hoping to test, it basically straps to a cows tail and it can call you or text you when she is close to calving. It measures contractions somehow and looks very neat... at the same time any new technology is risky when you are relying on it to save a calf.

redyakuza186 karma

That is very interesting and helps with cattle in a way I hadn't even thought of.

Guess it would literally be a 'push' notification too.

2068857539109 karma

Stop it, dad.

wycattleman57 karma

hahaha

perhapsaduck60 karma

I'm British and my number one place to visit in the US is Wyoming..

My question is what's it like living somewhere that looks so beautiful? The reason I want to visit is the stunning landscape and wildlife - do you get a chance to take advantage of visiting the mountains that surround your state?

wycattleman69 karma

Its amazing, we do live a ways from from the mountains but we visit when we can. We did vacation in Yellowstone last year. It was a blast.

SuperSadbitchtits59 karma

How many cows have you punched?

wycattleman140 karma

More than I care to admit, but i've only punched in self defense. A good whap will stop them in their tracks and give you enough time to get the hell out of their way.

nobodyspecial55 karma

What's the story with the Foreclosure sign? Is business that tough?

wycattleman145 karma

Erin said this morning that I might have to explain that. Erin actually painted that sign when she was in high school. Gilbert, my father in law, had her paint it as a joke. He would hang it up on the fence. He's passed now and I'm not sure how funny it was.

Kfel42046 karma

Are you hiring?

wycattleman151 karma

Sorry no...but i do offer the ranch experience for free

squishypp43 karma

I would like to live in Wyoming, but I'm afraid of the scarcity of jobs/places for rent. How valid are these fears?

wycattleman90 karma

Not valid at all...lots of jobs in Wyoming. We say if you aren't working in Wyoming you don't want to work. Homes and apartments are abundant.

BullDurham8842 karma

Do you preg test your own cows?

wycattleman164 karma

Yes we do, actually we now have a vet that does it. They use ultrasound, its amazing they can tell us all kinds cool things about the calves. Sex, twins all that stuff.

And its much better that sticking your hand up their ass.

taggat41 karma

As a Wyoming Rancher, what your opinion on Winona Ryder?

wycattleman48 karma

haha. i liked her in Beetlejuice

AuggieG38 karma

How large is your ranch? Me and my brother always look at lots for sale in Wyoming online, we would love to homestead out west. You mentioned your wife is a master Gardener, do you do any homesteading yourself? What's the local hunting and produce scene like?

wycattleman52 karma

We manage thousands of acres. My wife grows produce and we raise beef and pork to sell at the local farmers market.
Hunting here is limited to deer and antelope.

Dr_THC35 karma

Do you regret leaving your career as a DJ ever?

wycattleman101 karma

There are moments...freezing my ass off in a snowdrift trying to help a cow have a calf...then the calf is born, moos and flips its ears and it passes

graipape35 karma

How do you feel about recent efforts to give away Wyoming's public lands?

(https://www.gohunt.com/read/news/public-land-takeover#gs.rJi_g=c)

wycattleman62 karma

I know ranchers that depend on public land, if it gets sold out from underneath them it would make their lives very hard and possibly even drive them out of business

wwxxwwxx30 karma

ever watched brokeback mountain? :P

howd you get into ranching? (thats a word... right?) was it your family's ranch?

wycattleman39 karma

Check out our story https://youtu.be/32R0RME-T_I

I've never seen brokeback mountain, haha

Dr_THC30 karma

Hey Mike, I know you were grandfathered into the farm. But for an average joe how does one even begin to fathom starting/owning/running a farm?

Thanks for the answers!

wycattleman48 karma

You need money...I would also say get experience somewhere....volunteer at a local farm or ranch. You really need to be built for this type of work.

kwiens26 karma

Nice tractor! What do you think about the right to repair bill Wyoming is considering to require John Deere make it easier for equipment owners to repair their own stuff?

Right to repair has been an active topic on reddit lately, and farmers in Wyoming are leading the charge.

wycattleman28 karma

Im all for it...I love fixing my own stuff. I do think that alot of the tractors have unnecessary bells and whistles that just are a pain when they break or a sensor fails.

I recently had to replace the starter on my gator, although it was a pain, I got it done.

Globeswift25 karma

Is your stock hereford?

wycattleman43 karma

There is hereford in them...we run registered angus bulls but there is that hereford blood in there and it keeps popping out. We dont mind too much, a little variety is nice.

fixmyfordf35015 karma

Hi Mike and Erin,

I'm in Wyoming too. Not into agriculture as a career, but I did pull my first calf last winter. Interesting to say the least.

Do you do any type of advertising/marketing for your youtube channel? Do you have any partnerships that help spread the word about you?

I ask specifically with the #ThatsWY promotion in mind. It's the marketing campaing that the state department of tourism is currently doing. I think your youtube channel falls right in line with what they are doing.

If you have facebook or instagram you should tag your posts with the #ThatsWY to see if you can get some free promotion from the state.

http://www.travelwyoming.com/ (I am not affiliated with the state dept of tourism in any way. Just proud of the state and support the sharing of how awesome it is.)

wycattleman15 karma

We have done some local press releases and K2 radio in Casper has done a couple stories for us.

We hadn't thought of the #ThatsWY promotion but we will check into it. Thanks!

lolobodev14 karma

Would you rather fix fence in the cold, or stack hay in the heat? I always hated both growing up haha

wycattleman34 karma

Thats a good one, but I cheat...my hay bales weigh 1500 lbs each and I use a tractor to stack, with AC

Macmania9212 karma

What is an average day for you like?

wycattleman28 karma

Average is a subjective term....everyday is different. I usually have a plan, it never goes the way I plan it. Everyday, I feed the cows, that usually takes an hour or so. I go check on the horses, I might not ride everyday but I make sure I spend some time with them. I let out and feed the chickens. I gather eggs. I feed the steers, clean the pigs and feed them. I make sure everyone has water. That usually takes me up til noon.

I have afternoon projects like cleaning the chicken house, washing eggs or mechanicing on some broken piece of equipment. In the middle of all that, I have to be a dad and a husband.

abacon8112 karma

Hello, thank you for doing this.

First, I loved you in Heathers.

Secondly, Was it difficult finding meaningful work in Hollywood after the shoplifting scandel?

wycattleman15 karma

I wasn't in Heathers.

EthiopianKing16207 karma

Who is the primary buyer for your cows?

wycattleman7 karma

Our cows go to auction in October or November. A number of buyers come to the sale and bid on the calves, its different every year.

BouncingBoognish6 karma

Do you get many wolves out in northeast Wyoming? I live in northwest Wyoming and there's perpetual controversy surrounding wolves out here. Wolves get a bad rap, especially from ranchers, for livestock predation. Do you find yourself or other ranchers you know around the state suffer substantial losses in your herds, or are otherwise financially affected by wolves? I'd be curious to hear your perspective on the issue because as someone who loves to observe wolves in the wild, I'm always saddened to hear when Wyoming Game and Fish has rounded up another handful of wolves to be killed, which seems to happen once or twice a year at least. Thanks for doing this AMA!

wycattleman4 karma

I have heard of the stray wolf over here although I have never seen one. I can feel from both sides. Its not easy to be a rancher and its even harder to lose money and realize that theres nothing you can do about it.

USOutpost314 karma

How are you guys set for water? Do you use windmills or are you on a.... disbursement? Or irrigation scheme? Do you have water tensions? How's the water table?

On a Cultural note: You're on reddit, but people support you and your lifestyle nation-wide. I like steaks. I also lived in Wyoming. I'm the opposite of a Wyoming rancher, in terms of loud mouth and personality (but I'd love to own an operation!) But realize, people do know you're the center of the country, in a very basic and essential way. I wouldn't attend your Church but I'll stand up for you to live Wyoming no questions asked, anytime.

wycattleman5 karma

We are, in a way, having church right now.

We have multiple water wells, some are shallow, 35 feet, and some are very deep, up to 650 feet. It just depends on what part of the ranch you are in.

We dont do any irrigation at the moment aside from the gardens.

We also utilize windmills and solar wells.

YodasHutOnDagobah3 karma

How big is your land, and are you folks having any issues with coyotes? Thanks for staying American!

wycattleman8 karma

coyotes suck... i have a video i took the other morning while i was out feeding...the coyote was watching me feed and was staying about a hundred yards from me in the tractor. Coyotes will take a calf. We have a county trapper that tries to keep the population down.

CPTMorgan10202 karma

Do you get any seasonal help from migrant workers? If so, how do you think the current administration might effect the ranching business?

wycattleman7 karma

We do not use migrant workers. In previous years we have taken advantage of the H2A program where we paid and legally hired workers, however due to the economy we havent been able to do that in the past few years and its all been on my shoulders

Asking_what_matters2 karma

What is your favourite brand of detergent?

wycattleman5 karma

Tide

kevinator351 karma

How did you come to own your ranch? Did you buy it or was it passed down a generation?

wycattleman2 karma

check out our story https://youtu.be/32R0RME-T_I

It was in my wifes family.

squishynurse1 karma

Whats your favorite cheese?

wycattleman2 karma

I have hunters from Wisconsin who come to the ranch every year, they always bring me string cheese or cheese curds.

Dr_THC1 karma

Hey Mike,

Why do the chickens lay their eggs in the little box then leave them? Wouldn't they sit on top of them to nurture them?

wycattleman2 karma

They will but we take them everyday. Plus we dont have a rooster right now, a fox got him, so they are not fertilized right now anyway

fatguyinalittleboat1 karma

Can I come hunt turkeys on your ranch?

wycattleman8 karma

We acutally dont have turkeys.....we do have antelope.!

peevee781 karma

[deleted]

wycattleman5 karma

8 mph but our high wind for the year so far was 55....and thats nothing, last year our high wind was 70.

asportingman1 karma

What would you say/advice would you give to someone who wanted to start up a ranch in the Wyoming/Dakotas area ?

wycattleman3 karma

Marry someone who has a ranch in Wyoming. :) Be prepared to work and make sacrifices for your dream.

Dr_THC1 karma

Hey Mike, how often do you have to fix fences?

wycattleman2 karma

Fences is an ongoing project...we have miles and miles and miles of fence. I think when i get to the end, i start over.