Carter Country: Who Wants Bacon?
Welcome To Carter Country
My name is Mark Carter and I am from Tensleep, Wyoming, population 300, though I doubt it’s even that. The truth is, I'm really a rancher; I just snowboard for fun.
I have been lucky enough to ride with the likes of Travis Rice and travel the world with the best snowboarders around; I have also branded more cattle than I can count. And oh yeah, sometimes I hang with Justin Timberlake (this is true, he’s my girlfriend’s cousin). How a kid from a small town in central Wyoming got wrapped up in all of this is just weird. Eight years ago I was on my family’s cattle ranch trying to figure out my next move; all I knew is that I wanted to snowboard. Since then I have been to Alaska, London, Paris and beyond. Whatever happened, I can say that I just used the tools the ranch has taught me to get me to where I am now. Hard work and dedication are the keys to this success.
No matter how you look at it, some of the scenes that I have found myself in the middle of, from filming for The Community Project and That’s It, That’s All, to having dinner with Elton John are pretty crazy. Even though I enjoy every minute of what life brings me, sometimes I feel a little
uneasy around the craziness. In the end, I would trade it all for the ranch.
This series of photos was taken last spring at our annual branding.
Every year when we brand the calves we call in friends and family to come out and help. It always ends up being a pretty big crew. The thing is there’s no payment other than beer and food in exchange for wrestling big Black Angus calves around and getting beat up all day. So you want to feed ‘em good.
My brother has a few pigs that he raises just for reasons like this. So he asked me to come help him butcher this pig, ya know. He needed help prepping it and getting it ready to pit barbeque in a hole we had dug already. So in the back of my head I had this idea. I thought, “You know I won that sword at the North Face Masters tournament…” I felt the blade one time and I knew that it was the real deal, not a toy if you know what I mean. I am really into sharp objects.
So when my brother came up with the suggestion of whacking this pigs head off, I could only tell
him what an amazing idea that was. And like we have done a hundred times before we went over to the pen and popped this pig in the head with a .45, slit his throat and bled him out. This is the humane way to butcher an animal. We then dragged him over to the shop.
I’m not gonna lie, I was a little apprehensive. I didn’t REALLY know what to expect. I’ve never chopped anything in half, let alone decapitated a pig with a Samurai sword. So I was thinking about how hard I would have to swing and what if I missed and did a 360 and hacked my leg off of or something. So I lined him up as was like, “Alright. I got this man.” I swung that thing at maybe sixty five percent and it was like butter. I almost cut his front legs off too. It was scary how easy it was.
Then we just drug him over to the barbeque, dropped him in, and let him cook for seventeen hours. We came back from branding calves the next day, cracked some beers, dug him up and ate that fucker. It was goooood.
— Mike Carter