An American Sheep Herder Photo Gallery.

Jay & Kathy Hadley were sheep herders for 25 years in every state in the West except Arizona and California.

This is their sheep herding photographs from 1974 - 1999 taken with a 35mm Bolsley and a 110 Rolleiflex camera on film and slide film.

We didn't have cell phones in these days so I have no video. The camcorders of the day were big, heavy and expensive.

Memoirs of an American sheep herder.

Kathy and I loved sheep herding for the most part, one reason. We spent our summers in the forest living in a natural world among plants and animals. We have often talked about writing down our stories about sheep herding

Kathy and I loved sheep herding for the most part, one reason. We spent our summers in the forest living in a natural world among plants and animals. We have often talked about writing down our stories about sheep herding. Kathy aka Kathryn Hadley PHd has not the time. She mentioned to me the other day, "Allot of lambing knowledge will be lost with me when I die". Kathy now teaches Physics at Oregon State University. www.khadley.com.

So here I am thinking about writing something on sheep herding and a memory comes to mind of the time a horse in a pack string fell off the narrow mountain train and down the side hill several thousand yards to its death. We never tied our horses together very hard they were tied to break away if one fell it would not take all with it. This place on the forest was a particularly bad trail that had a rock that the horses had to go by and they walked on this sloped rock next to a drop off. We had a mare with a pony that year his name was Pony Kings.

Poney Kings

He followed his mom every where so he was never haltered or tied. I looked back and saw him slip on the rock. His feet scampered so fast he was back up and down the trail very swiftly. It sort of shook me up. We went by that rock 2 years so I don't know if it was that year or probably the next the horse fell to its death scattering toilet paper rolls and rolling all down the hill side. It was quite a site. We had to carefully climb down the hillside and pick it all up with the dead horse laying down there. In fact one of the mountains in my pictures was named;

" Dead Horse Peak". It was some very steep and rugged mountains. Bike Egbert was the camp tender. He was there when the horse fell, helping us through that rough place. He went back and told the forest ranger Dusty Hinks, what had happened. Dusty came up and looked it over and said they might could dynamite that rock out. That was our last year at Egbert's if I remember right I never went back.

I heard later Dick Egbert lost that sheep allotment because of it being grizzly bear habitat or something. He had trouble with bears. I never saw a Griz but one time I left a sleeping bag rolled up where I had had a TP camp and wether I went back to get it a bear had rolled it around and around all over the place pulling stuffing out of it and stuffing was everywhere. The bears liked to kill sheep in the hottest part of the day when they were laying in a bunch in the shade. We would go to our tent for lunch and to rest. It was never comfortable laying on the ground our there with the sheep. The ants would craw on us. The flies would annoy.

Dead Horse Peak

Dead Horse Peak

One time we had a bear split off about 18 head of sheep. It herded them off from the bunch or followed them around for a week. Kathy went out looking for them and saw some sign of them and ended up over near Dead horse Peak. She had to spend the night out there. She said she had 1 can of something to eat but no can opener. She had lost her pocket knife. She opened the can with a horse shoe nail. She had a handle little over under shot gun that had a shot gun and a 22 cal in one gun. She shot a sage grouse and having lost her knife she cleaned it with a native american artifact she had found and put in her pocket.

We never did see the bears. They knew when we were coming and would hide.

Well I might think of some stories later and put another page see: Memoirs of an American sheep herder.

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