Winter in South Dakota

It is a cold winter in South Dakota right now at 12 degrees this morning and -14 forecasted tonight.  But it is not bad compared to what I have experienced at -66!!

I remember like it was yesterday as I would make ready to go out into the cold weather. I would look outside the window and gaze across the quiet of the snow-blanketed frontier and take in the beauty of it all.

SD Winter

There was always something magical about it all! I never experienced anything like it while growing up in the Arizona desert and it took a little while for my thin blood to thicken as I adjusted to my new home in South Dakota.

South Dakota is known for it’s wide expanse and wide open spaces. Since there are relatively no mountains (except for the Black Hills)…. when it snows and the wind blows…big snow drifts pile up everywhere. there are no mountains to stop anything so the wind can get quite fierce. It’s beauty is incomparable, however. With the never-ending prairie and small hills, one can see for hundreds of miles at a time. Because of no mountains, there is nothing to keep in the winter storm as it moves across the plains. Many farms have large tree-lines surrounding the homes as well as fields to shield them from the relentless wind and snow every year.

Next time you are thinking of experiencing a real winter, try somewhere in the Dakotas! You will not be disappointed.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Okay so this is the coolest name for a Midwest football team. Where else can you watch football and think about farming? I have never been to Nebraska but have only looked at it from across a frozen river in South Dakota.

I assume that the land is full of corn just like the Dakotas are but I hear some good things about the Nebraska Cornhuskers and I want to go so see them play. Part of the reason is that they have some pretty good winning streaks. For example, did you know that they are the only football program that has the most victories against the ‘Power Five’? They also have some of the highest winning percentages over the past 50 years!

All I say is there must be something to all the clean air they breath and all of the corn they husk and eat….I’m hungry.

Hunting in Wyoming

CoyoteIn the latter end of 2000 I was transferred to a place called Douglas, Wyoming where I fell in love with Wyoming, it’s people and country-side…even with the wind. That place is refreshing and part of the old west! For a time I resided in Casper, Wyoming and I knew a guy who liked to hunt coyote for a living. He actually would hang out of a helicopter while hunting these predators!

We got to accompany him one time when he was out hunting. It was in the later afternoon in the fall and he had been hired by a rancher to get rid of the coyotes who were terrorizing his cattle and killing some of them. We found ourselves at the top of a ridge watching as the hunter took out his gun and binoculars to search for the coyotes. The thing that truly set him apart from other hunters however was the fact that he had a very large and loud instrument hooked to his truck that would ‘call’ the coyotes. When he did this it would make the sound of a bunch of yelping dogs and supposedly the coyotes would come running.

Well, he did it and we got onto the top of the ridge, crouched and waited. Nothing. He did it again and we waited some more. The 3rd time he let it go for awhile to see if he could get any luck. After having a long call he would then get down on the ground with his gun and look through the gunsight to see if he could see anything. Still nothing! We nonetheless had fun going out with him and I would do it again.

If you want to try your hand at catching these predators in Wyoming then there is no license required. You can basically show up and start hunting.

Night hunting is also legal…as long as it is done on someone’s private land and of course if you have permission to do so. Wyoming is also the least populous state in the Union and thereby the hunters are fewer making the hunting opportunities spectacular!  The state has less coyotes than Arizona or Texas but with the low number of hunters it is a great place to learn this sport and become successful at it.