By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
Jake Edmunds is a BIG fan of Wyoming Cowboy football. And he’s shown it in a BIG way – by mowing a 175-foot high replica of “Steamboat,” the Wyoming Cowboys icon, into his lawn just outside Sheridan.
Edmunds, project manager and co-owner of 609 Consulting, a surveying service in Sheridan, said he got the idea for the design, featuring the trademark bucking horse being ridden by a cowboy, when he was walking his dog around a big section of his land in the early months of the pandemic.
“I was thinking it’d be fun to test something out there,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “And then during COVID we were a little slower at work, and so I got the image of Steamboat, overlaid it on some imagery and put it where I wanted it, and then we went out there with a survey crew.”
Edmunds said after the image was painted on the ground, he mowed it.
Although he chose not to mow the area last year, this year he said he couldn’t help himself.
“It was so green and beautiful out,” said Edmunds.
And this time, he brought a friend out to his property who had a drone, and took pictures from the air.
True Wyoming Cowboy
Edmunds is a Wyoming Cowboy football success story. He graduated from Southeast High School in the tiny town of Yoder, near Torrington. Although he played football in high school, he wasn’t a scholarship-level player. But he loved the game, and when he got to the University of Wyoming after his graduation in 2004, he was invited to walk on for the team.
“Growing up I was always a Cowboys fan, so when they asked me to walk on it was kind of like my dream come true.”
He said it was an adjustment, shifting from playing for a 1A school, which fields the smallest teams in the state, to the University of Wyoming’s football team.
“The first day I went, ‘I don’t belong here,’” said Edmunds. “And I just had to kind of keep out-working everybody there to try and keep up with them.”
Edmunds kept at it, as a special teams player and in his words, a “back-up guy.” His hard work paid off, and he was offered a football scholarship his senior year.
“It was just really fun to be a part of the team, and get to travel with them,” he said.
Edmunds graduated from the University of Wyoming with a masters degree in civil engineering. He and his wife, Megan, moved to Sheridan after graduation, and Jake is now a co-owner of 609 Consulting.
Using the tools that he had available to him at his surveying office, Edmunds completed the Steamboat design, and it didn’t take long to put his plan into action.
“To sort of stake it out and mow it, took about three hours,” he said.
A Lot of Attention
Edmunds shared the photos with a friend, Cody Tucker, a sports reporter who created a website, 7220sports.com, dedicated to Wyoming sports.
“He goes, ‘Hey, can I share this?’ I said, ‘Yeah, go for it,’” Edmunds said. “And that was Friday morning, maybe like 9 am – and my phone blew up. Everybody texted me. Facebook shares, Twitter shares, I mean, I just looked yesterday and it’s got I think over 1,000 shares on it.”
New Project Ideas
Edmunds said that the popularity of his design has him thinking about other ways he can use the idea.
“Now it’s all these wheels turning, like, ‘What else could I put out there?” he said. “There’s a little more property to the west, there’s another two acres over there, and I could put our company logo, I could put ‘Go Pokes’ – we’ll see if I expand and do any more next year.”
Edmunds said he may run the perimeter of the bucking horse and rider design with tracer wire, to make a winter project.
“If I run the perimeter of this in the tracer wire, then I can go out there with a locator in the wintertime and possibly put Christmas lights around it,” he said, “so people flying in and out of Sheridan would be able to see it.”