Montana is the 4th biggest state in the country, which means we have lots of land. In fact, the state has over 94 million acres and the majority of that is rural.

Montana has thousands of backroads and as you travel them you are liable to come across many interesting sites.  Run-down barns, old beat-up tractors, farmhouses that have seen better days, and a lot of old fences.

If during your travel, you've ever come across an old boot on one of those old fences and wondered "What's that for?", well we've got the answers for you.

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The boot on the fence post can mean a few different things. It seems that back in the day before technology took over with all of the fancy electronics that we enjoy, a boot on a fence post let others know that the workday was over. If the boot was pointing towards the gate, apparently that meant that the farmers or ranchers were home.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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Of course, over time once phones become the norm here in Montana, the boot on the fence post took on a different meaning. According to The Family Handyman, a boot on a fence post means the following:

  • A rancher is honoring their deceased horse
  • Another rancher or ranch hand has passed away
  • The boots are worn out and represent hard work
Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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Whatever the reason, it's meant to be a show of respect and is a cool way to show it.  So, if you just happen to come across a fence post with an old boot on it on your journies here in Big Sky Country, leave it be, because more than likely there's a wonderful story behind it.

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