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The Livingston enterprise. [volume] (Livingston, Mont.) 1883-1914, January 01, 1900, Image 17

Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075261/1900-01-01/ed-1/seq-17/

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The Cowboy.
It was formerly believed by residents in the older
states that the cowboy was the most terrible
creature to be met with throughout the region of his
range. Although this was true with "dudes," or
offenders of the law who had gained their displeasure,
in which case they took great delight in tormenting
them, or in securing revenge to their own satisfac
tion. On the other hand, to those who met them
pleasantly, or who passed by them in the "taking
care of their own business, and letting others do the
same way," the cowboy could not be excelled in
hospitality, joviality, or in performing the good Sa
maritan act if called upon.
As to the patriotism and bravery of the cowboy,
we find an example familiar to all, in Roosevelt's
Rough Riders during the late Spanish-American war.
To the tenderfoot it seems strange that education
and politeness are predominating accomplishments
of these rough rangers—many of them being college
graduates ; while despite the above facts, this pecu
liar rough and independent life on the range pos
sesses an enchantment that cannot be overcome.
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O F ALL the moneys that enter Montana none
are so widely distributed and remain so
permanently with us as do those of the sheep
and wool industry. The wool here is unques
tionably the favorite range-produced now thrown
upon the market ; there are climatic conditions that
make it light and strong, and range conditions that
keep it from sand or dirt,
while the best of all there
is a set of intelligent
and progressive wool
growers established here
who see that everything
is done that can be done
to keep up and advance
its reputation.
The history of the
sheep industry of Park
county does not go back
mauy years, but such
has been its growth that
it stands second to none
among the sheep produc
ing counties of the state
today. Every day we
hear of new adventures
in this direction, while
those who are older in
the business declare it to
be the best investment
that can be made, bring
ing, as it does, immed
iate and substantial re
turns. Confidence in
this business as an in
vestment cannot be
shaken. It is a good
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substantial investment and, whatever the market
changes may be, will always continue to be so as
long as there is a call for mutton or wool.
During the summer of 1883 nearly 200,000 sheep
were driven into Montana, the upper Yellowstone
region receiving the greatest per cent of the number
according to her size. At first they were only raised
for home consumption, which was found in the lo
cal mining districts. By the advent of railway fa
cilities the sheep ranches have no limit to the num
ber or their flocks.
In selecting a sheep range some care is taken to
secure broken ground, comparatively free front
brush, where the wind has unobstructed sweep in
blowing the snow off tne Higher nages, laying bare
their feeding grounds. Instances have occurred here
where an investment in sheep has paid 100 per cent
cent the first year, while on the other hand examples,
might be cited of almost entire loss of the invest
ment in one year. In large flocks, where the utmost
precaution is used to insure against loss, involving
expense, a return of 30 to 40 per cent is reckoned to
be as certain as the interest on government bonds.
The difference in the above per cent of gain or less
depends upon the climate, but conservative sheep
men prefer the latter method of caring for their
flocks, rather thanrunning the risks of a changeable
To the man with small capital no business pre
sents greater attractions and advantages than wool
growing, as profits are more immediate, if not quite
as large as in the kindred industry of cattle raising
which requires more capital in the beginning, and
profits are not realized as soon or so often. It
is a favorite method with t he amateur to locate a ranch
in a farming valley and pasture his sheep upon the
adjoining upland. In this way the owner may sup
port himself off the products of farming and allow
the profits of his sheep to go toward the increase of
his flock as long as he
may desire. A corral
must be built, into which
the sheep are driven
every night to protect
them from the ravages of
wolves, coyotes, or other
dangerous animals; sheds
must be provided to shel
ter the ewes during the
lambing season, and hay
gathered to feed the
flock in case a heavy
snow should lie on the
ground so long as to
threaten the sheep with
starvation. Although
the hay may not be
needed throughout the
whole course of a winter,
yet the careful sheep
grower experiences no
loss in being prepared
for any emergencies in
his business.
Our sheep will, in a
healthy condition, clip
from five to eight pounds
of wool which, since 1883,
has ranged in price from

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