All Work and No Play Part II

In my last post about our snowmobiling fun, I left out the best part. You see I was saving the best for last!

As can happen from time to time, unexpected things happen on a ranch. When Timmery and I were having fun up in the mountains on snowmachines we found a stranded cow, one of Timmery’s, and it was a long way from home. There was absolutely no way the cow could walk 17 miles of snowmachine trail and climb up to nearly 10,000 feet in the process. What were we to do?

RealRanchers Jim and Timmery Hellyer rescue a stray heifer cow from a wintery situation in Fremont County Wyoming.

That black speck in the center of the picture is the cow that didn’t come home from the mountain with her sisters last fall.  We think she had been up there since late October.

Thankfully we live in a community where people help one another.  The local snowmobile club, The Lander SnowDrifters, had an idea and the equipment to bring the cow home.  We made a plan and met at the parking lot and off we went.

Upon arriving at the scene we found the cow for the second time and as seen below, Timmery put a rope on her and then several members of the club and I pushed and pulled while working a path in the snow to get the poor thing to the trail.

RealRanchers Jim and Timmery Hellyer rescue a stray cow from the mountains in Wyoming

The next step in this expedition was loading her into the back side of the groomer sled.  Surprisingly it didn’t take long to get her situated and strapped down for the ride home.

RealRanchers Jim and Timmery Hellyer rescue a stray heifer cow from the mountains in Wyoming by strapping her to a snow sled

That is her, ol’ RT 13, all bundled up in hay and ready to roll.

At this point in the rescue mission it occurred to me that we probably had a lot more money tied up in snowmachines than this heifer was ever going to return. But, she is one of ours and she made it this far, this long, and we owed it to her to give her a fighting chance.

The Lander SnowDrifters helped RealRanchers Jim and Timmery Hellyer rescue a stray cow from the wintery mountains in Wyoming

Above is the total crew with two big, yellow Ski-Doos hooked together and ready to start pulling up toward the pass.  This is the critical part of the story.  The SnoDrifters had the machines with wide tracks and low gear to pull the long hills and not just dig a hole and get stuck.  So onward we went.

RealRanchers Jim and Timmery Hellyer rescue a stray heifer cow from the mountains in Wyoming using snowmobiles

Some readers might recognize the sign.  This is the same place Timmery and I took our self portrait last time.  We really like our cows and decided to take them snowmaching with us for fun this time – not!

Eventually we made it back to the parking lot, loaded her into the stock racks on a pickup and headed out.

RealRanchers Jim and Timmery Hellyer rescue a stray cow from the mountains in Wyoming using snowmachines

Finally we could tell ourselves the heifer was on her way home.  There was only more task before we could celebrate.  We had to get her into the barn.  Thankfully, the SnoDrifters were a committed and capable bunch and they came all the way home to Timmery’s barn and helped us unload her…by hand.

RealRanchers Jim and Timmery Hellyer, along with the Lander SnowDrifters, welcome the stray heifer cow home after being stranded in the mountains

The heifer had arrived.  Too bad it wasn’t Christmas or something.

So, a big thank you to the Lander SnoDrifters for volunteering your time and equipment. You helped us fulfill our commitment to our livestock to care for them the very best way we are able.

From RealRancher Jim Hellyer – Lander, Wyo.

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