Press - Last Buckaroo by Mackey Hedges

Toppin' Out from Working Ranch by Tim O'Byrne

Western Horseman, October 2009

Bill Reynolds
, Author and Western aficionado ...Lists top Western Reading for every "Buckaroo's bookshelf. Last Buckaroo #3. Click here to read article.

American Cowboy....April / May 2009
The Last Buckaroo, By Mackey Hedges BookSurge, 394 pages, $20

Out of print for nearly 15 years, this classic cowboy tale has been republished for a new generation of readers. Dedicated to "the handful of men who know the only future that life holds for them is a dirty bedroll and a worn-out saddle," the novel
follows the adventures of narrator Tap McCoy and his partner, Dean McCuen, as the two define what it means to be a buckaroo. Author Mackey Hedges, a dyed-in-the-wool cowboy, writes with a colloquial tone and short, clear-cut sentences that read as though he were telling the story around a campfire. It's a
tale that will keep you entertained long after the embers have cooled.
Nicholas LoVerde

Last Buckaroo (Fiction) Mackey Hedges, $20.00
By: Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza 01/01/2009
Tap McCoy, an aging buckaroo, tells about his travels from ranch to ranch as he earns his living the cowboy way. With a keen sense of humor and careful attention to detail, he relives his experiences with bucking horses, pack mules, deadly accidents, ornery bosses, barroom brawls and even some ladies of the night. Tap and his young friend Dean travel across the West in a dilapidated pickup truck. From California feedlots to Arizona's Apache country, they live a footloose and fancy-free lifestyle most of us only dream about. This memorable book is written by a true storyteller. Cowboy devotees will like it. Guaranteed. True West Magazine - March 2009 Edition on Shelf february 2009

Comments From Readers(1)

A classic...a must read by the real deal, not some posing Montana or wannabe dink that is trying to pass off as a buckaroo, or some clinic-raised preening wuss usin' a back cinch...nope. Mackey is the real thing and you can tell by what he writes. If you read one book this year, this should be it..... Straight up good reading and goes fast - you don't want it to end. This is what REAL buckaroos did and how it was...before all the hype and all the PC garbage....

posted by on 1/30/09 @ 12:36 p.m.                                           See Article and AD In this issue!

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Last Buckaroo by Mackey Hedges
Hailed as one of the most authentic narratives of the life of a contemporary buckaroo, Mackey Hedges book, The Last Buckaroo, is the story of the real deal. The book was originally published in 1995 and became an immediate must-have for those who loved the life of the high-desert
buckaroos. As a niche publisher released the book initially, the print run sold out quickly and was not reprinted in any quantity. The reputation of the book flew around the west and with the advent of the Internet; copies could be found only on auction sites, sometimes ten-times its original price. Enter entrepreneur and western aficionado, Robert Sigman. Through his help and guidance, Mackey was able to re-gain his copyright and re-package the book – this time with charming line drawings by another legendary westerner, the
late artist, Joelle Smith. Now available once again, The Last Buckaroo has found its rightful place amongst the classic
books of the west. So enthused about having his book back in print, Mackey is working on a sequel – sort of a part two
– that will be out in 2009. The Last Buckaroo should be in every westerner’s book shelf – right up there with Will James, Ivan Doig and Thomas McGuane. Bill Reynolds - Living Cowboy Ethics January 2009

Vernal, Utah Dec 23, 2008 Book Signings - Gails Office Supply and XXXXXXXXXX

Award-winning author visits Vernal
by Tabatha Deans

Buckaroo Mackey “Mack” Hedges, author of “The Last Buckaroo,” which received the National Cowboy Symposium Working Cowboy Award, advises other writers to “write about what you know and what you’re passionate about.” (Gary Parker/Vernal Express)
Buckaroo Mackey “Mack” Hedges, author of “The Last Buckaroo,” which received the National Cowboy Symposium Working Cowboy Award, advises other writers to “write about what you know and what you’re passionate about.” (Gary Parker/Vernal Express)
slideshow “Anybody can write a book. You don’t even need to know how to spell if you have a word processor,” says award-winning author Mackey “Mack” Hedges who was in town Dec. 23 for a book signing for the re-release of his book “The Last Buckaroo.”

Hedges was visiting his son Jed and his family for the holidays and combined the visit with the book signing. “The Last Buckaroo” was the winner of the National Cowboy Symposium Working Cowboy Award and the Mormon Letter Fiction Award. Hedges shies away from the fame that comes with being an award-winning author and says luck and circumstance had more to do with his success than talent. “I don’t know anything about writing a book,” he says. “I couldn’t even write my name.” Hedges’ story began in the spring of 1990, when, he says, he got “busted up” while riding a horse named Pegasus. After being bucked, then dragged by the horse for several hundred feet, he rode back to the ranch and continued herding cows until the evening. His wife, Candace, took him to the doctor, and after receiving X-rays, Hedges discovered his pelvis was broken.

“When I told the doctor that I rode home with a broken pelvis, he didn’t believe me,” says Hedges. He spent the next two months in a body cast, waiting for his wounds to heal. “Within two days we were out of the house,” says Jed. “He was driving us all crazy.”

Hedge’s wife, Candace, a writer, was concerned about her husband being depressed and was anxious to find something for him to do. She brought him a computer and instructed him to write some “little stories for the children” while he was recuperating. “I wrote a few stories, and then I thought, ‘they won’t want to read this,’” says Hedges. “So I added a little fiction and excitement to the tories.” Hedges says his stories are based on real-life experiences. “I can only write about what I’ve seen, or what I’ve done,” he says. “If the character is tall in real life, I make him short in the story. If he’s a little man in real life, I make him big in the story.”

After finishing a manuscript, Hedges began distributing it to people he knew. He received rave reviews from those who read it but says he didn’t feel his work was print worthy. His work became increasingly popular, and Hedges recalls the first time someone called, interested in getting more copies. “She called and asked for 17 copies,” he recalls. “I told her to just print them off, and she asked ‘what about the copyright?’ I said, ‘what’s a copyright?’”

Even though established author Baxter Black reviewed his manuscript and penned a personal letter of recommendation to a publisher, Hedges did nothing with the manuscript for five years. When he finally decided to submit it to a publisher in Utah, along with the letter of recommendation, he says he was in the right place at the right time. “I have to say it was more luck than talent,” says Hedges. “Everything that followed was like pulling the handle of a slot machine and winning four or five times in a row.”

Hedges, whose second book is due out in 2009, says he still has a hard time considering himself a writer. “I still don’t know anything about writing a book,” he says. “Everything you learn in a class about English and grammar, is trumped by my writing.”

He does believe, however, that anyone interested in writing should give it a shot, and offers these two bits of advice: “Write about what you know about, so people who read it don’t think you’re trying to sell them a bill of goods,” he says. “And be passionate about what you write.”

November 2008 As featured @

Other Books, Recordings, Publications, and News of Western Interest
See a roundup of what's New in 2008.

Mackey Hedges' acclaimed novel, Last Buckaroo, has been reissued, thanks in great part to the efforts of entrepreneur and strategic business consultant Robert Sigman. From a press release:

A former head of a major Hollywood studio and avowed lover of western life and culture is giving readers a second chance to hear from the real deal. Past President and CEO Robert Sigman has spearheaded the republishing of noted buckaroo and author Mackey Hedges' acclaimed western novel Last Buckaroo. The fascinating, authentic and action-packed tale has become a collectors' item classic after going out of print in 1995.

"I read the book a few years back and called Hedges out of the blue to tell him how much I had enjoyed it," Sigman said. "My life was enriched by this story and by the man who crafted it, and now I want others to have that same experience. Republishing this book is a labor of love meant to honor a quintessentially American way of life and a man who truly embodies the cowboy ideal."
Last Buckaroo is a rollicking, gritty, and always entertaining look at what goes on in the life of a cowboy. Told through the perspective of the larger-than-life narrator, Tap McCoy, the book covers the entire panorama of western lore, from bucking bronks to eccentric cowboys who dance on saloon tables, participate in spontaneous rodeos and more. Readers meet an array of bizarrely real characters, from stoic Indians to ladies of the evening to cowboys of every possible sort imaginable.

The publishers quote a True West magazine review:
Authentic buckaroo Mackey Hedges has written the western novel, the buckaroo's own version of what goes on in cow camps, ranches, pack stations, feedlots and trails of the west. Through the persona of Tap McCoy, larger-than-life narrator, tales of bucking broncos, a horse falling into and hanging upside down from the branches of a pine tree, eccentric cowboys who pull knives at the drop of a hat, barroom brawls, drunken cowboys dancing atop tables, spontaneous rodeos, and horse wrecks are spun. A cast of bizarrely real characters parade through the exploits of Tap and Dean. Practical jokers, stoic Indians, burly, reclusive buckaroos, egomaniacs, and brothel madams-all sides of human nature are examined through the unrelenting yet forgiving eyes of Tap McCoy. This is a side of the West that only buckaroos have known in the past - rollicking, gritty, wacky, dusty, dangerous, nerve-wracking.

The book's cover features the late Joelle Smith's stunning "Riata Man" painting. (Joelle Smith's art graced the first Cowboy Poetry Week poster and the 2006 edition of The BAR-D Roundup. Read more about her in our feature here.)

Read much more about how the Last Buckaroo and its reissue came about; more about the author, Mackey Hedges; more about the cover artist, Joelle Smith; find a discussion of "Vaqueros, Cowboys and Buckaroos"; order information, and more at the book's web site,

Last Buckaroo is available for $20 plus postage from, Amazon, and other booksellers.



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