Grand River Roundup

We finally got a little more rain, four tenths of an inch on Friday, a whopping .03 hundredths on Saturday, and way more wind than we needed this Sunday.

Betty Olson COLUMN BOX 2We finally got a little more rain, four tenths of an inch on Friday, a whopping .03 hundredths on Saturday, and way more wind than we needed this Sunday. I got in trouble with my husband for mistakenly telling you that the hay they cut last week was second cutting alfalfa. Reub informed me that we hadn’t gotten enough moisture for a second cutting and what they baled was pigeon grass and millet. I think I’ll make him proof read this from now on!

The week started off with some beautiful weather. Casey shot a couple coyotes Monday morning before he and Taz left to tril the cattle home from our Horse Creek pasture about twenty miles west of here. It’s really rough country up there, so they got RonE Jenson and Ben Juelfs to help them gather the cows and calves out of the deep draws and get them headed south toward Turtle Creek. Casey and Taz trailed them east across the Hackamore and Missy took lunch up to them when they were about halfway home. The drive usually takes a day and a half, but the cows were more than ready to come home, so they got all the way home before dark.

Regina Bruha, 80, passed away last Monday at Bowman Southwest Healthcare. Her funeral was this Monday at St. John’s Catholic Church in Baker with burial at the Bonnievale Cemetery. Her family has our sympathy.

Tuesday Bill Holt, Casey and Taz helped RonE Jenson vaccinate his last batch of calves and PG the cows. Pretty much everyone around here is done with that job now.

We caught another big coon in the live trap Wednesday morning! Hopefully the decreased number of the chicken-eaters will save what’s left of our laying hens.

Taz delivered a load of ewe lambs to his uncle Brian Dreiske’s near Keldron Wednesday morning before going to help Sage work on his new house west of Hettinger. Reub and I joined a whole lot of folks that evening to hear Curt Pate speak at the West River Veterinarian prime rib supper at the Hettinger Armory.

Thursday morning Bill Holt came down to help these guys move our cows through his pasture to our east place. They were just gathering them when I left for the South Dakota Stockgrowers convention in Rapid City. This was the 125th anniversary of the Stockgrowers and it was a very interesting two days. They had a display set up with a picture of every Stockgrower president and another display featuring saddles and memorabilia from former Stockgrowers presidents, including Reub’s uncle Claude Olson and his cousin John R. Olson. They showed the “4 Season’s West” movie all day on Thursday and several times on Friday, so we got to watch our neighbors and the Olson, Matson, and Doll kids at a Hackamore branding a long time ago. That was really fun!

The Brand Committee met Friday morning and one of the issues discussed was the possibility of bringing legislation to allow brand owners to elect the members they want on the Brand Board.

Angus McIntosh PhD is the Executive Director of the Range Allotment Owners Association and he gave a VERY interesting talk Friday morning. He explained the many court cases that have verified that grazing allotments and water rights are private property rights and supersede the federal government on what is called “public lands”. He has good advice that the people who lost private land and livestock in the Pautre fire on the Grand River National Grasslands need to see. He handed out information on all these court decisions and gave me some of his cards to share with the folks who were severely damaged by the fire set by the Forest Service on the National Grasslands.

Reub and I went to Buffalo Saturday afternoon for Bill and Verona Vroman’s 90th birthday party celebration and chuck wagon supper. Bill’s birthday was Sept. 20 and Verona turned 90 Sept. 26. They were a little late getting to the party because Verona had spent most of the week in the hospital in Rapid City and didn’t get out until Saturday. Our old friend Pearl Jesfjeld also had a birthday the same day as Verona and she is now 101!

Congratulations to these wonderful people.

The Reva/Sorum Fire Dept. had a good turnout for their pancake supper at the Reva Hall Saturday evening. Bryce came home from college for weekend was tickled to win a couple of the door prizes! Sam Marty came to both Vroman’s birthday party and the pancake supper. He had to come in his car because his pickup quit him this week between Prairie City and Bison.

Just for Sam I’ll leave you with this:


#10 They have about 20 miles before they overheat, breakdown or run out of gas.

#9 Only the owner knows how to operate the door to get in or out.

#8 It is difficult to drive fast with all the fence tools, grease rags, ropes, chains, syringes, buckets, boots and loose papers in the cab.

#7 It takes too long to start, and the smoke coming up through the rusted-out floorboard clouds your vision.

#6 The Border Collie on the toolbox looks mean.

#5 They’re too easy to spot. The description might go something like this: The driver’s side door is red, the passenger side door is green, the right front fender is yellow, etc.

#4 The large round bale in the back makes it hard to see if you’re being

chased. You could use the mirrors if they weren’t cracked and covered with duct tape.

#3 Top speed is approximately 45 mph.

#2 Who wants to steal a truck that needs a year’s worth of maintenance, u-joints, $3,000 in body work, tail-lights and windshield?

#1 It is hard to commit a crime with everyone waving at you.

Betty Olson is a South Dakota rancher and state legislator for District 28.