Wyoming input: pros/cons of homesteading there

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by silvergirl, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. silvergirl

    silvergirl Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    I am curious about Wyoming as a homesteading location. I checked on the web and it says there are no personal or sales taxes in Wyoming - how is the land tax situation? I have heard that the water table and water rights are an issue for farmers... any input? It looks like water is fairly regulated... but that even fish farming is possible with permits. I have also heard that the political climate is good - I checked out a web site called freestatewyoming, with links to a libertarian web site... interesting stuff... and some funny anecdotes!

    Any comments, particularly from Wyomingites (?)?

    DH and I were interested in Wyoming as a possible landing site about a year and a half ago but put things on the back burner until now, partly to complete our commitment in eastern NC. Now, I am researching this for our group as well as for us personally and would welcome any links or info sites you guys know about...
  2. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 28, 2002
    I no longer live in Wyoming and can't answer your questions. However, Wyoming is a HUGE state with very different climate/land in different areas. I think to get an answer to your questions you'll need to be a lot more specific as to which part of the state you're looking at and what type of enterprise you plan on your homestead.


    FUNKY PIONEER No I don't smell Funky

    Sep 20, 2005
    Potato land
    Anything pretty is VERY expensive. The rest of the state is a freezing baren wasteland IMO.
  4. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    N. Calif./was USDA 9b before global warming
    The first winter my brother lived in Alaska he delighted in alerting the extended family whenever the weather in Chicago or Cheyenne was colder than Anchorage.

    He called a lot.
  5. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    NC is green/warm/wet

    WY is brown/cold/dry

    Although there is a lot of Coal/Gas/Oil in WY and gorgeous mtns...

    I was camping during almost blizzard conditions on June 24 a few years ago.
  6. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Sep 16, 2005
    AR (ozarks)
    Most of that state is practically impossible to Homestead on as someone said mostly a barren dry/cold wasteland IMO I have been thru it once in a vehicle and seen it from the air.
  7. bluefish

    bluefish Wait................what?

    Jan 27, 2006
    We live in Wyoming and actually like it. We're known as a little different tho. Some parts are dry, cold and barren. Other parts are just dry and cold. The very western most part is cold, wet(relatively), beautiful and very expensive. Most of the state, if you can get water, you can grow stuff. I'd definitely do more research tho. For one thing, we do have a sales tax. It's best if you can come out and visit first. I know it's expensive, but Wyoming is a love it or hate it state.


    P.S. Did I mention it's cold out here?
  8. coventry49

    coventry49 Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2003
    South Central Montana, foothills of the Beartooth
    I lived in Sheridan for two years. You are right about no state income tax in Wyoming. But the sales taxes, depending on your county and local city, can be over 6%.

    -Barb in Montana
  9. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2006
  10. cowgirlracer

    cowgirlracer Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Wyoming & building a homestead in Kentucky
    Wyoming is my home and I love it here. However it is very different from where you live. The state varies greatly, from high desolate plains where the winds blow constantly, to the lush green mountians and foothills - however the wind almost blows constantly. The climate is dry. The high plains are more desert like than grassland - more cactus than grass- more sagebrush than either. Ranchers often run 40 or more acres per head, than in your region where they are closer to equal. Many ranchers move their stock to summer range where the grass is better and bring them closer to home for the winter and spring calving. This would be a hard place to homestead - you need too much land, to feed too few animals, or you need to buy feed all year round, which is what we do. However, if you or your husband were to work full time and homestead on the side, it can be done. Land is expensive. We looked at staying here. I have a very good job, and can support our family, good benefits, and insurance. We can't afford land near here. Land outside of town runs 3500 per acre and up. You fence it, power it and dig a well (which are deep, EXPENSIVE, and not a guarantee of drinkable water). I know of several people who had wells put in, the cost of the well was greater than there land (40 acre parcels & up) and the still haul water to drink and do the laundry (whites) in town. DH and I just bought 180 acres in KY - we paid about 1/10th of the price they are asking for an acre here. We will get 4 seasons, good water, low taxes, and a very nice growing season. I can keep about 30 cow calf pairs, all the goats I want, along with chickens, guineas, and odd horse or two and never run out of pasture/browse for my animals to eat. And I will not have the WIND. Mind you, I said I love it here - and it really doesn't sound like I do. Wyoming is a great place to live. Taxes are low, the people are great, it is really just one big small town. We only have about 500,000 people in the whole state. The largest city has about 50K. When you walk into a local business more than likely the owner is waiting on you. You can write a check without having to answer 50 questions. It is a pretty fair dealing state to live in. For the most part politics are republican, with a democratic governor - keeps things in balance. In my area of the state (NE) there is almost zero unemployment. Wyoming is a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to homestead here.

    I think the comments I hear most from people new to the area are:

    Where are all the people? and where do they live?

    Where are the trees?

    I usually answer these questions the same way - they blew away. lol

    I would encourage you to come for a visit. Drive. You will get such a better feel for the lay of the land if you drive. If you have any questions reagarding this post please feel free to PM me, and I will do my best to answer them. If you would like I can mail you some realestate guides etc.

  11. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    My ancestors successfully homesteaded Wy. from the 1800"s on.The homestead buildings still stand along with the ice house and such(its to dry to rot) in fact the original one room shack with the sod roof ,still has a sod roof and a dirt floor.It is not impossible but it would take a hardy person or persons to live off of the land there.I love it there but I have not spent a winter there since I was 5 y/o.We used to visit every summer.I remember getting caught in a snow storm in july...It always feels like home to me when I go back..
  12. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    wyoming/ now tennessee
    I lived in wyoming for over 35 years. I miss it terribly. When we get our place here paid off in 5 years 6 months 22 days. We stay one more year. Then we move back home. Or if I win the lottery, it's the week after I get the check in my hands.
    I miss the wide open spaces. The people. The hunting and fishing.
  13. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    plains of Colorado
    We live on the NE plains of Colorado...parts of WY very similar. We do lots of trips in WY. If I ever had to move from Colorado, I'd say WY would be it. Lots of open spaces. Remember this used to be called great American desert. It's dry, windy, cold and hotter than blazes. We have two seasons: winter and summer...LOVE IT!!!!
  14. kitty32_z8

    kitty32_z8 Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    My grandparents both are from Casper WY area.My grandmother grew up in a home in a hill. Dirt floors. they both moved to WA after marrying. Both of them were tough as nails real 'cowboy' types. They much prefered the easy life to homestead here. Grandma many times commented on her 'sage brush' homesteading as a child. She said winters were so cold that your pee would freeze before it hit the ground. Summers were hotter than the blazes of ****. Everything was to be tied down well or it would move(by the high winds) to MT...lol.
    You have to be hardy to homestead there.
  15. sage

    sage On a City lot for now

    May 11, 2002
    Northern Idaho
    I'm with you shadowwalker, I lived there for almost 6 years outside Casper on the sand hills nothing but sagebrush and bunch grass and alkali water and of course the wind (30mph on a good day)! I moved here because I missed the trees and not much wind. But I miss the antalope and deer in the yard everyday and being able to hunt off my deck!!! I miss the blizzards! I wanna go home!!!!!! :Bawling:

    I may not be able to grow much there but I miss it.

  16. cowboyracer43

    cowboyracer43 Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    I just read the post of my beloved Cowgirlracer. I have been in WY for almost forty years. I have lived in the green center in Lander. I lived on the high plains of Laramie (while in law school) for three years. I have lived in the high desert of Rock Springs for almost 20 years. I have been in NE Wy for the last 15. My first summer in Laramie, I had to wear a jacket EVERY night. 45 nighttime and 90 at noon. If the wind ever stops blowing in Laramie, everyone will fall on his or her face. There is only one four year college in the state: U-dub. Even though it is a small university, it is and has been, a bigtime football school. It has won the NIT and the NCAA in basketball. Fans from all over the state think nothing of driving as much as 400 miles one way to watch either f'ball or basketball -- and then back home that night. Beginning last year, a Wyoming HS graduate can go to u-dub for virtually nothing (so long as he keeps his grades up.) That was funded legislatively by the collection of mineral severance taxes. If one plays golf, the winds are a blessing and a curse. My home course for years was on the banks of the Green River. The first hole, a 500 yd par 5 can not be reached in three when hitting into the prevailing winds. However, on those same days, the 400 yard 3d hole is frequently reached on the tee shot. I digress.

    The most difficult aspect of moving to Wyoming is the lack of traffic. I once drove home to Lander from Laramie (232 miles) following a football game and did not see another vehicle the entire distance -- going in either direction. I made several trips to Denver and to Salt Lake City just to get stuck in urban traffic. (I started driving before Interstates were built in Louisville and Pittsburgh). My sister came to live with us a few years ago from Atlanta. She had virtual panic attacks driving rural Wyoming -- even the forty miles to Gillette caused her anxiety. No side roads. No stop signs. No traffic signals. Little traffic. I took her to Medicine Bow to visit the Virginian Hotel and about 15 miles short of our destination, my car overheated. Sis was beside herself. No houses in sight -- not even any cows. The first car heading north stopped. It was a thirty something woman with two small children. She turned around and drove me into Medicine Bow where I bought some coolant. En route, we made introductions and it turns out that I knew all of her family(ies). Sis returned to the Southeast in April, unable or unwilling to get accustomed to the real Wyooming. (She locked the doors which proved to be a problem. I lived in the same house in Rock Springs for 17 years and never saw the key until I sold the place and it was in the bottom of a kitchen drawer.) Because there is no browse for our animals, our hay and feed bill for 2 donkeys, 1 horse, 2 heifers, and a handful of goats is more than we spend on two adults and three kids (and five dogs)).

    As for the seasons, there is only eleven months of winter and a month of bad skiing. Or, if you prefer, winter and highway construction. When we head to Kentucky, it will be my third effort to leave Wyoming. I spent a year in the US virgin Islands and a couple of years in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I have told folks that we are living proof that once one gets accustomed to Wyoming, he or she is unfit to live elsewhere. But . . . we tried to find affordable homesteading land in Wyoming. We looked long and hard at forty acres on the Montana line. The average well depth was over 1000' All of the well drillers were busy with gas and oil and many of the wells were producing "coal water." One poster mentioned Centennial. I love it there. 8000' high snow melt rivers and streams all around. Out of this world fishing and hunting. A nice ski area right there. Only 30 miles from Laramie and the Cowboys of U-dub. An absolutely perfect place to live -- but not to homestead.
  17. Marilyn in CO

    Marilyn in CO Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2002
    Ah yes, Wyoming, I live about an hour as the crow flies south of the southern state line. The farmer's grandparents lived in Cheyenne for years and loved it. Gramma loved the wind under her nose....said she could breathe better.LOL If I didn't live here, I would live in WY....few people, good government...still truly does resemble the old west. You gotta be tough though. The winters are cold and the wind blows all the time so that makes blizzards a normal occurance but in the recent years there hasn't been much snow. My relatives tried to farm in Minnesota and the snow and winter there scared them silly so I don't think WY even comes close to Minnesota or the NE winters. Anyway, we have rancher friends that live in Douglas and it is really a neat little town along the North Platte River(remember rivers here do not resemble rivers back east). The schools in Douglas are superior and well funded because of the gas/oil monies. You can't beat the friendliness and closeness of the communities. There are a few little homesteader type places around there I've seen. I just have to laugh when people freak about the dryness, lack of trees and the lonely hiways........I love it. NW Wyoming is home to the Tetons and Yellowstone(a must see for anyone absolutely awesome) and land would be sky high there, actually land is high priced all over the state, but who knows, bargains can always be found.

    Homesteading in WY? Of course, people have done it for years, it's just different.