“I was shocked a ranch this size still existed with so many Cowboys still practicing cowboying the way it was done 100 years ago, with just their ropes and horses. The land on the Waggoner is beautiful, but it’s the Cowboys on the ranch that make it a special place.” -Jeremy Enlow
The Waggoner Ranch cowboys work hard to keep the ranch’s cattle camp operations going. A work week is 5 and a half days long, averaging 10 hours per day. “When I started thirty years ago, we had two vehicles,” says Weldon Hawley. “We rode in the camper in the back of the wagon boss’ truck. The chuck wagon was out (instead of cowboys driving in to eat at the cook shack). We have radios and cell phones and the helicopter. Everything else is about the same as it always has been.”
Cowboying this way is a hard, demanding way of life that requires a lot of grit. As predictable as their work is, any number of things – the weather, a startled horse, a debilitating accident, disease taking hold of the herd – can change everything in a moment. Cowboys are accustomed to uncertainty. They face each new day as it comes, making the best of it.
These are the cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch.