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Amazing Sink Hole Rescue on South Dakota Ranch

When I saw the post on Evan Brakke’s Facebook page, I didn’t think much of it. I thought, ‘heck, Evan found a hole in the ground and made some smart alack comment about it. Then I noticed it again. This time I saw the number of people that had ‘liked’ his post and the number of people commenting on it. Thought to myself, ‘better take a closer look.’

That’s probably how it happened out on the ranch. Something like, ‘hey watch out for that hole over there. ‘Don’t be stepping in it.

Yep, there was a hole out on the Brakke Ranch in Lyman County, halfway between Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Seems the folks in Florida aren’t the only ones that have land disappearing out from underneath them.

Now, I haven’t talked with Evan or Kim but here’s what I’ve gathered up so far.

That hole wasn’t your garden variety gopher hole. It went down. A long way.  The equivalent of about two basketball hoops at the local gymnasium called The Lyman Gardens.(about 18 feet)

At the bottom of that 18 foot hole was a 6 foot cave off to one side. And at the bottom of that ‘sink hole’ was calf.

Let’s call him ‘lucky.’

Imagine the phone conversation that probably took place. ‘Hey, you’re not going to believe this, but there’s a calf stuck in a hole.’

Well, pull him out!

‘Sure thing, bring an extension ladder and the tractor with the loader and I’ll get right on that.’

Now, here’s where the story takes an interesting and somewhat comparative turn.

Seems the same thing (or just about) happened near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October 2013.  And it took the cumulative efforts of 30 plus people to extract the calf from a certain death at the bottom of a hole.

Now ladies and gentlemen let me show you the South Dakota, ‘Lyman County difference’ in getting the job done, perhaps a little more efficiently.

Evan and Kim get a ladder, and a rope and a tractor loader, look the situation over and decide they can get the job done before supper. The way I figure it, they might have thought they could save some taxpayer dollars by not calling Governor Daugaard and requesting the National Guard.

Soon after that conversation,  Evan probably lost the coin flip or maybe came out on the short hand of an impromptu rocks scissors paper challenge. Because Evan headed down the ladder rope in hand. He stated on his Facebook,

It was a little creepy down there, and slightly worrying that the chief had his chance to bury me if he wanted. Seemed like he was kickin plenty of dirt in the hole while I was down there.

Here’s more Facebook conversation.

  • Logan Allen What made the hole and how did it get down there?
  • Evan Brakke Cody- it was about 4ft wide down below the surface
  • Evan Brakke Logan- I have no idea what made that hole. But me and that calf are glad nobody was home today
  • Evan Brakke The ol boys seem to think there is a fault line under there causing sink holes, there’s more smaller holes inline with this one about a mile away

I’m pretty sure they carefully discussed which side of the sink hole to park the heavy tractor before they hauled old lucky out.  I’d place a fairly large bet that somewhere in the conversation the statement was made by one of them,  ‘Andy wouldn’t believe a story like this in a million years, might have came up.’ (Andy Brakke-Kim’s Dad, Evan’s Grandpa and my Uncle)

  • Evan Brakke Here’s the rescued little fella. Pretty wound up when in the hole. Then just stood there when he got topside.
  • Bonnie Moeller Kim Brakke to the rescue!
  • Cody Henson Hullinger U think he just fell in or do u think he was dragged in.
  • Evan Brakke Hell Cody, if I thought he got dragged in there by something, I’d have called you for some backup. lol

As you can tell by the pictures, ‘lucky’ came out of the ordeal alright. Evan said,

He was alive and well, although in survivor mode and a bit tough to get a line on while in the hole.

Can’t wait to hear the details. If we’re lucky, like a fishing story, the drama and detail will improve with time. Lord knows these two farmer ranchers have a way with words. But you have to admit, that’s one heck of a small calf rescue on the plains of South Dakota.

Or as Kim and Evan might say, just another day at work.

 

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