Bill Potts at Whiteman Pass

Bill Potts at Whiteman Pass

What sidearm issue??


The Freedom Seeker, by Jim Deegan, January 22, 1988 (The escape of “Sam” from the Banff Buffalo Paddock inspired Jim to compose this poem about the escape and subsequent recapture of Sam).

Timberline Tales
revised edition – Folklore in Verse of the Canadian Rockies Jim Deegan

Out at the buffalo paddock
Within the confines of the Park
The autumn leaves had fallen
And the land lay cold and stark

Life in a fenced enclosure
Was a life to just endure
As the bull fretfully pawed the ground
And freedom was the only cure.

The cattleguard lay before him
Which he studied with deep intent.
How could he cross that barrier
And shake off his keeper’s scent?

How could he tackle the problem?
A slip would tear him apart.
A miscalculated jump could cripple
But oh! He had to start.

How he crossed that man-made trap
His keeper has yet to know.
But cross it he did and he escaped
To the land of the driven snow.

Up the Forty Mile Creek he travelled,
And onto Mount Norquay trail.
Ranging from forest to ski-run
Where Chinook winds prevail.

Oh, how he frightened the skiers
As they blundered into his path.
With great shaggy head and rolling eyes
He snorted and showed his wrath.

For weeks and weeks he ranged there
‘til his keeper was called upon
To capture that ton of buffalo
Even if he were hell and gone!

A half-built trap in the car lot;
His keeper had thus devised.
But returned to the government compound
To requisition more supplies.

John Nylund, the government keeper
Could not believe what he saw
When he arrived at the incomplete trap
That stood in the nearby draw.

Lying there was the bull in entrapment
Nonchalantly surveying the land.
Waiting patiently for his keeper;
The only one who could understand.

The beckoning call of the backcountry,
The valleys so seldom tread.
The lure of the aspen meadows.
No wonder that he had fled.

Wardens came to the aid of the keeper;
Armed with tranquilizer gun.
To capture that renegade buffalo
Who had been so long on the run.

A horse trailer drew up to the car lot.
The keeper baited its ramp with hay.
The buff walked up the ramp
To live yet another day.

The buffalo is back in the enclosure,
Texas gate is locked and barred.
The snows are deep and the Chinook winds sweep
His freedom now is marred.

But there may be yet another day
To roam those silent places.
To be the monarch in this country
In those great and hidden places.
Buffalo0175 copy

Jimmy Deegan Stories

After passing on Don Mickles story of Jim Deegans last ride to my mother Alice Hermanrude she started to laugh and retell several stories of Jim when he was Dads assistant at Healy Creek for 2 summers.

  The first one one involved  a pack rat that had set up housekeeping under the seat area of the outhouse.. The rat would continually carry stuff in and around and would  dive through the hole when approached. Jim was determined to rid the outhouse of the beast as the rat would thump around under there whilst a person was parked there. He actually had his head through the hole  and some how used his rifle.. He came out shaking his head and was deaf for awhile and he had to clean up the splatter as well..  but the problem was solved.

The second involved trail clearing. Now Jim was anxious to be properly dressed as a Warden and when they rode down the trail he was wearing the proper tie. Dad told him a tie was only for in town not on the District.  They came to some blowdowns and Dad was working chopping limbs while Jim was using a crosscut saw. Dad heard Jim call “Ole……Ole… and then quite loudly OLE !!”  He turned around and found that Jims tie had been caught by the saw teeth , dragged into the cut and then jammed so he was quite effectively pinned.. Dad looked at the problem , stepped closer, swung his saddle axe and neatly trimmed the tie, releasing Jim.. Jim stepped back, looked down and said peevishly” You cut my tie!”  Dad replied ” That’s why you don’t wear a tie on the district! ”

Mum also told me about a book of poems she has that Jim wrote and says it is pretty good  and well worth the read.


Rob Hermanrude




Jim Deegan’s Last Ride

Jim Deegan ashesJim Deegan Ski

In the summer of 1997 two Park Wardens, Keith Everts and Don Mickle, rode up the Alexandra River. Our pack boxes contained a few days grub, a bottle of scotch and..Jim Deegan. We made our way up  the Alexandra River to Castlegueard Meadows. Jim had written a poem about Castleguard many years ago and his last request was to have his ashes spread over these meadows. Keith had prepared an old ski and Warden badge to leave in the meadows for Jim. We arrived at Castleguard Meadows on a spectacular sunny day. The wildflowers were abundant the glacier was brilliant in the sun. We had a toast of scotch and Deegan’s ashes drifted over the field of wildflowers. We placed the ski under a krumholtz and rode back down the valley, leaving Jim Deegan where he desired as a last resting place.

Cuthead Warden School 1955

Good evening folks,

Picture ID for pic submitted by Mac Elder,

Here is a list of names of the Wardens who attended  Cuthead in 1955. This was compiled by Jim Deegan at some point. Our copy has been laminated and only one name has been corrected by  Alice Hermanrude. This list will start at the left rear with Jim Deegan – Lake Louise BNP and end at right front corner with Glen Fagan – Castle Mountain BNP. 

#1 Jim Deegan -Lake Louise BNP  ( pipe/cap)

#2 Malcom McNabb – Ottertail YNP

#3 Neil Wooledge – YaHaTinda BNP (camera)

#4 Joe Allen – Riding Mountain Park (RMNP)

#5 Bob Hand – BNP (no jacket)

#6 Alex Young – RMNP

#7 Ed Sipes – RMNP

#8 Percy (Beef ) Woodworth – Lake Louise BNP (no tie)

#9 Glen Brooks – Marble Canyon Kootenay NP (end of back row)

#10 Olaf Hermanrude – Healy Creek BNP (front left)

#11 Harry Harrison – Prince Albert NP

#12 Gerry (Red) Lister – Cyclone Mountain BNP (Cap-seated 2nd step)

#13 Bert Pittiway- BNP ( seated 1st step/plaid shirt)

#14 Robert Turpin – Sask River Crossing BNP ( behind Bert)

#15 Walter Perrin – Alpine Specialist BNP (sweater)

#16 Wallace McPhee – Windy BNP (seated on ground/Cap)

#17 Ross Baker BNP

#18 Frank Lightbound – Bryant Creek BNP ( with pack)

#19 Glen Fagen – Castle Mountain BNP (right front/with rope)

Hope this helps


Rob Hermanrude


1955 Warden School – Wardens identified so far (mostly by Mac Elder)

From left to right – top row numbered 1 to 9; second row numbered 10 to 17; bottom row 18, 19.

1. Jim Deegan 2. Malcolm McNab 3. Neil Wooledge 4. Joe Allan (Riding Mountain) 5 – ? 6 – ? 7. Ernie Stenton 8. Percy (Beef) Woodworth 9. Glen Brooks 10. Ole Hermanrude 11. – ? 12. Jerry (Red) Lister 13. – ? 14. Walter Perren 15. Ross Baker 16. Gerry Lightbound 17. Glen (Shadow) Fagan 18; Bert Pittaway 19. Wally McPhee.Image