Travis “Buck” Buckles was born April 17, 1940, the only child of Jim and Esther Buckles. He married Joan Burress 54 years ago and they are the parents of Jerry, Julie and Joni and have three grandchildren, Emilee and Jake Elwood and Ursula Anderson.
In the 60’s, Buck was employed at The Hill Ranch, working with Emil and Don Malberg. Emil was an important mentor to Buck.
During the 70’s, Buck contracted haying at The Fawn Lake Ranch, south of Merriman. Hay camp was the mode of living and working, moving camp with horses from meadow to meadow. The Buckles family lived and worked hay camp during the summer months. Horsepower was used entirely except for mowing and some raking.
Buck still to the day harnesses six-hear of horses and feeds cattle and uses horses in the hay field on the stacker.
He lives in the home that he was born in and on the ranch that he spent most of 71 years. Buck has employed by and care-taker of the land at The Shadbolt Cattle Co. for 44 years.
Buck saw cows over the ears of a horse and knew the Sandhills from the saddle instead of through the windshield of a pick-up.
He has a strong work ethic, he never goes on vacation. When asked why he never travels, he says “there are parts of Cherry County that I haven’t seen yet.”
Those that know Buck know that he’s not only a true cowboy but also quite a storyteller. Some of his “famous” quotes are: “I like warm weather and good horses.” “I want to die with my boots on, but not this pair,” and “I’m glad I lived when I did.”