The Trespasser

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life, Uncategorized

There are two things you don’t do in cattle country: steal another rancher’s horses or cattle, and trespass across their land. Either one may find you looking down the barrel of his rifle, or, at the very least, meeting the local sheriff and possibly spending some time in the clink.

Trespassing and stealing livestock are among the unforgivable sins in the West.

Don’t bother another rancher’s cattle, and don’t trespass.

We recently had an unknown person trespass across our property. It was before sunrise, and I was going out to my 4Runner to start it and pile some garbage in the back end, when all of a sudden the yard light went out. While standing in the glow of the car light, giving the yard light a piece of my mind, brake lights on the county road caught my eye. I stopped what I was doing and watched the light for a minute, and knew right away that something was not right.

I ran into the house and into our bedroom; being up a little higher gave me a better view of the road. The vehicle pulled into our hayfield, and proceeded to drive down a two-track road to a haystack. As soon as I saw them back out of the haystack and continue to head west, I hollered at my husband to call my dad and go find out what the heck was going on.

Long story short, my dad and husband followed the trespasser without ever being able to catch up to them, while I sat at work worried and fretting like a typical mother and wife, imagining all the things that could go wrong if they did in fact catch up with the delinquent driver. All they knew by the time the sun came up is that whoever it was drove some sort of white SUV or pickup, and took off like a crazy person once he knew he was being followed.

Besides the fact that it irritates the hell out of me that people are so bold as to drive through private property without permission, it scares me that these people would probably have no issue breaking into our home and taking whatever they want. It happens, even in our neck of the woods. It is frustrating to have your naive world shaken by something like this, but I suppose it goes to show that no matter where you live, you have to be aware of what is going on around you and do whatever it takes to keep yourself and your family safe.

We will probably never know who it was that decided they were entitled to drive through our ranch, the neighbor’s ranch, and send the local sheriff deputy on a wild goose chase. I do know, though, that if he ever tries to enter my yard or my house, he will be met with a revolver and pack of pissed off dogs.

I bet you all have stories about people that have trespassed across your land, either on purpose,  or the poor hunter that got lost and accidentally found themselves on the wrong side of the fence. I would love to hear your stories- maybe it will give me the courage to not be freaked out by every white pickup truck I pass on our road for the next few months. And people wonder why I prefer my horses over humans!!

May your eyes be forever sharp and your aim on target,


Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life, Uncategorized

About Richelle Barrett

Richelle is a part time rancher, home office manager, full time wife, mother, and Customer Service Rep at the local telephone cooperative. She was born, raised, and lives on her parent's ranch in the North- Central part of Montana; and spends most days...

View all posts by Richelle Barrett