Jan Swan Wood: Feed everywhere, haze and smoke, IEBA fundraisers, more big bad wolf | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Feed everywhere, haze and smoke, IEBA fundraisers, more big bad wolf

I took a flying trip back to the eastern part of the state last week and it sure looks different than last year. There are hay bales for as far as the eye can see on some stretches. The variety of crops being grown seemed greater than I had seen before. There was corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, millet, milo, sorghum-sudan grass, sunflowers and some I wasn't sure of. Of course, there's lots of alfalfa and such like too. Looks like harvest will be a busy time for all.

I think we could winter on just the hay that had been rolled up in the road ditches. It was amazing. All of the cattle I saw were fat and slick and enjoying the still-green grass. I did see a couple of calves that sure needed doctored over east of Highmore. I saw a nice Char cross heifer calf with pinkeye and a black steer calf in the same bunch with pneumonia. Wheat was being combined all around them, so I doubt anyone will have time to look at them for a while. My traveling companion son said that I needed to stop "riding on everyone's cattle" since I couldn't do anything about them anyway. True. I wasn't much good in my car and wearing sandals.

The haze in the air is sure heavy. East of the river it was combined with dust from the fields and roads, but it was nearly as bad to the west. All the smoke from the fires in Oregon, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Montana has drifted into the plains. In the areas where it's so dry, all of those bug killed trees are a tinderbox waiting for a lightning strike. I sure feel for all those people who have lost all of their grass for the whole year. I don't know what they can do other than sell out.

The International Equine Business Association (IEBA) has kicked off a campaign to raise the resources needed to continue the fight in court against HSUS and their anti-horse processing agenda. There's an IEBA Volunteer Equine check off that has started and was implemented at the past weekend's Billings Livestock Horse Sale. You can download a check off slip from the IEBA website. There are some other great events that are being planned to raise funds too and I'll be telling you about them as the information comes to me. If you want information on holding a fundraiser, email Sue Wallis at sue.wallis@ieqbassn.org and give her you name and number and she'll call you back as soon as she can. You can also just send a donation to IEBA Legal Fund, Box 71, Recluse, WY 82725.

The wolves in the Victor, Idaho region killed 176 sheep in one band on Aug. 17. The sheep, 119 big lambs and 76 ewes, were in the care of herders who couldn't get a count on the wolves in the dark or stop the attack. The hind quarter of one of the lambs was the only one even eaten on. What a terrible loss for the Siddoway ranch. I'll bet they'll have long gray beards before they get compensated for their losses by the government who claims they are the owners of the wolves (Defenders of Wildlife decided their "pets" ate too much and backed out).

Jim Leachman's jury conviction on abusing his horses (starving them) was upheld by Yellowstone County District Judge Susan Walters. The Billings, Mont., man tried to claim that the prosecution never proved that he owned the horses. Of course, back when the trial was on he said he had been out in the pasture taking care of HIS horses every day. He needs to try harder to keep his story straight.

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The folks who manage the horses at Theodore Roosevelt National Park at Medora, N.D., are going to round up the horses in September to reduce the numbers to a safe level for available forage in the park. They will be sold at auction on Sept. 28 in Wiskek, N.D.. The last sale of the park horses was in 2009 when 77 head were sold. The current total of horses is up over 200 head and the park can only handle about 100. This horse herd has been well managed over the years with studs added to keep fresh blood in the gene pool. There are a lot of folks who have bought these horses and made good saddle horses out of them because of the improved genetics. They've kept them a variety of pretty colors for the viewers in the park too. I always enjoy seeing them and knowing that they are well managed. A shame that all of the wild horses in the nation aren't managed so well.

Thank you Rod G. from North Dakota for the suggestion of using fabric softener sheets on your bridle to repel nose flies. I'll give that a try.

Well, I'd better call this circle ridden. Send me you info and I'll share it here.