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5. The Cowboy and the Mustang

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A man in a cowboy hat walks across the desert. A windmill is in the background.
Ashley Ahearn
Will DeLong is a fifth generation rancher from outside of Winnemucca, NV. His cows compete with wild horses for limited grass in this arid country but he says he doesn’t want the horses gone, “if they’re managed to the right numbers. We’re used to ‘em. I like seeing them, actually.”

For some ranchers, mustangs are seen as trash horses that litter the range, taking much-needed grass from cattle and destroying expensive fencing and water infrastructure. Ashley heads to Winnemucca, Nevada to talk to a fifth-generation rancher who runs his cows in wild horse country. But unlike many ranchers, Will DeLong doesn’t want the wild horses gone – they’re entwined with his family’s history – he just wants them better managed. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Boo bucks Ashley off and she gets teased about it by the cowboys at the local bar.

A transcript of this episode is available.

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