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Guest ranching offers up more than its fair share of shocking experiences – for both the ranchers, wranglers and also for the guests themselves! Top50 Ranches  highlights a few of the best from its selection of dude ranches, guest ranches and authentic working ranch vacations that are sure to raise a laugh...


Lazy L&B Ranch, Wyoming

Lazy L&B Ranch owners Bob and Lee Naylon found themselves in hysterics when one of their wranglers received an unusual request from a guest in distress...

The guest’s wife came to us one day looking a bit concerned. She informed us that her husband was in the cabin and needed some help – could our Head Wrangler and myself take a look and suggest what do? So off we went, wondering what on earth had happened. Then, as we walked toward the cabin, all of a sudden she burst out laughing hysterically. Between giggles she managed to explain how her husband had hooked himself in the lip with a fishhook, which she found hilarious! Luckily my Head Wrangler knew just what to do, so on he went into the cabin to assess the damage... Five minutes later he returned with a massive pair of bolt cutters and proceeded kneel over the bed over our unfortunate guest!

“Very soon the kids and I had joined the wife in hysterics in the room next door, as the husband looked at our wrangler in terror and shock. Being the quiet, dry sense of humor type guy our wrangler is, he then politely pulled out his Leatherman’s clippers, snipped one end off the hook and pulled it out in seconds. It certainly provided us with a laugh, although I’m not sure our poor guest took the same view!”


Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana

When Doug Averill of Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge found one of his steers taking a liking to water, it was all hands on deck...

“A few years back some steers got out of their pen and made a break for it, eventually deciding to jump off the dock into the lake and head for the other side – nine miles away! Two of us quickly hopped into a boat and caught up to the steer about 3/4 mile into the lake and roped it. The guy in the front of the boat held the exhausted steer's head up by the ears while I drove the boat and held up the rear by the tail. Let’s just say the steer was pretty happy to be back in his pen and on land!”

And that’s not the only incident Doug and his wife, Maureen, have seen over the years. Says Doug: “One of our long-time returning guests has had an ongoing 15-year prank war with our General Manager, whereby every year it’s the other person's turn to prank. Over the years we have had our entire 8,000 sq ft lodge covered in tinfoil and turned into a 'Disco Hall'. Another time, the guest had our Manager arrested during the Steak Fry – you should have seen the look on all the guests’ and staffs’ faces as two Sheriffs came blazing into the cookout, made an entertaining scene, arrested our Manager and hauled him off, much to his disbelief!”

“Think that’s crazy? You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” says Doug: “Way back in the day, a black town car drove into the Lodge property and asked if they could stay the night. After one night, they asked if they could spend a month in the Bob Marshall Wilderness at hunting camp with Les Averill (owner). Les agreed ­– but it turned out, much to his surprise, that the two guests in the town car were a fleeing Bugsy Segal and Virginia Hill!”

What’s been your most shocking guest ranch experience? Tell us at Top50’s official Facebook page!


Whether you head to one of Top50's dude ranch vacations, guest ranch vacations, working ranch vacations we know you'll have a great time. Or book a riding holiday in Argentina or a riding holiday to the Wild West, either way Top50 can help you find that ideal ranch experience.

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