77 Ranch

2018 Landowner of the Year - Casper Region

Landowners: Bud and Betty Jean Reed

Bud and Betty Jean Reed, owners of the 77 Ranch, have actively worked with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Office of State Lands and Investments, conservation groups, and others to enhance lands they own or lease.  Their stewardship and love of wildlife make them an easy and most deserving selection for this award.
The 77 Ranch was founded in the late 1800s and has a rich history of record sized roundups, gunfights and over 140 years of raising cattle wearing the 77 Brand.  The brand is believed to be among the oldest in the state of Wyoming.  The previous owner, A.A. Spaugh, lead the largest roundup ever recorded in Wyoming near Hat Creek in 1884.  Other notable historic events involving the ranch occurred when Dudley Champion, the brother to Nate Champion, the first man killed in the Johnson County War, was shot and killed in a shootout on the ranch.
The 77 Ranch has been cooperating with the Department for many years by allowing hunter access. Hunters have always been welcome on this ranch and the Reeds have been participating in the Department’s Access Yes Program since its inception in 1998.  They have instituted Walk-in hunting on nearly the entire ranch because they believe it is the right thing to do. The diversity and quality of hunting found on this ranch contributes to thousands of hunter days per year.
Bud and Betty Jean are most deserving of this recognition, as they clearly are stewards of the land and wildlife. Their range and habitat conservation practices currently benefit their livestock operation and improve habitat for wildlife. In addition, they have graciously and unselfishly opened their land to hunters. It is our pleasure to nominate the 77 Ranch for this prestigious award.

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