When Catherine and Art Nicholas took the reins of the historic Wagonhound ranch in 1999, their vision was to honor traditions and preserve the land while introducing innovative concepts. Named for a hazardous creek crossing notorious to Texas cattle drives in the 1800’s known to have claimed many a drover’s wagon, the Wagonhound Creek flows just yards from today’s ranch headquarters. Much about the ranch has not changed since the 1800’s. Tiny wooden schoolhouses from decades past stand proudly intact; the stagecoach stop where a notorious Wyoming train robber fought his last gun battle hides behind a grove of trees next to the old post office; and the 1880’s bunkhouse and red barn still stand guard at the ranch’s main gate. Under the careful eye of the Nicholas’ any new construction, such as ranch homes, barns and outbuildings are painstaking re-creations of original ranch structures.
This is the heart of Wagonhound, along with its territorial brand quarter circle bar quarter circle, home to owners Catherine and Art Nicholas, Ranch Manager Dustin Ewing, and a team of 30 farming, cattle, outfitting, and horse program staff and families. The original ranch has expanded to encompass over 250,000 acres; mostly private and mostly contiguous in the Laramie Range of east central Wyoming. Wagonhound ranch spreads across three Wyoming counties; Converse, Albany, and Carbon. The ranch’s rugged elevation ranges from 5,000 ft to 9,000 ft and requires talented, strong and steady horses to help the cowboys manage nearly 5,000 head of range cattle and 7,500 head of feedlot cattle throughout year. Management recognizes that Wagonhound needs to be as diverse as it’s terrain in order to be an economically viable operation, one that with proper care will last the family for generations. Diversity includes a unique blend of the historic past with state-of-the-art ranch programs and facilities second to none, including a spacious indoor arena for winter training of elite AQHA champion bloodlines, holistic management of purebred Red Angus cattle from cow/calf to feedyards, low stress cattle handling technologies and advanced herd health practices, and an expansive farming operation to build customized feeding programs for each faction.
Wagonhound Land & Livestock is made up of four divisions (Horses, Cattle, Farm and Outfitting) which tightly interact, creating a self-sufficient unit based on historical Wyoming ranch traditions while incorporating new vision in education, technologies, and management of the ranch wildlife and habitat. The ranch vision statement, “Steadfast in Maintaining the Highest Standards”, reflects commitment to remain steeped in history, yet aggressive in leadership.