As your driving down the road in Montana you might have noticed an old boot sitting on a fence post. "That's kind of odd," you think to yourself, and maybe it gnaws at you, "why was that boot on that fence." Well once you know, I think you'll realize why if you should come across another, it's best to just leave them alone.

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Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of both America and Montana. Hard working people with plenty of traditions that are sometimes not known or misunderstood by those not familiar with that world. Placing a boot over a fence post is one of those traditions.

Why would a Montana farmer or rancher put a boot on a fence post?


Thankfully the website Classroom has the answer, or should we say, answers for why a rancher or farmer places a old worn out boot on a fence post

  • It could represent the death of that rancher/farmers horse they shared a bond with
  • It could a hands boots after they pass away
  • To represent the hard work put in with those boots. Once they wear out, they go on the fence to show what was possible thanks to those boots.

Less likely today, but one of the reasons years ago, was to let others know the farmer and/or rancher was home. This was before the invention of the telephone or electricity. A boot on the fence let passerby's know that the work day was done and you could visit knowing they were home.

So the next time you see an old boot or two on the fence post, pay a little respect and leave the boots alone. The men and women who work the land thank you for it.

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