Hunt McCauley

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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Hunt McCauley DVM died at home in my arms on Monday, June 11.

Everyone loved Hunt.  He was a very wise, perceptive, admirably tolerant man; blessed with a lively mind and constant curiosity about the ways of people and the world.

His adventurous life spans from academia to ranching in Big Timber, and finally to Bozeman.  He quickly became part of the unspoken membership of the Bozeman Community that make a difference.  He used his gift as a colloquial Spanish speaker (he could swear in Spanish with the best of them) and his compassion to support his many Mexican friends.

After graduating (1956) from the University of Colorado - Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineer - Hunt served with U.S. Air Force as a pilot and intelligence officer.  He was the first to admit that this James Bond image was not as dynamic as it might have seemed, and he loved every minute of managing a flying school for the Air Force.

At some point, Hunt decided that engineering was not for him; instead, he followed in his father’s footsteps to become a veterinarian. With a young family to support, he worked nights at a motel until he graduated in 1966.  He and his first wife, Sally, and their two children, Steve and Tara, moved to Petaluma, Calif.  Hunt became a partner in a general practice putting in long hours dealing mainly with dairy producers.

Academia followed at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences (1970). He lectured in large animal medicine, diagnostic techniques, herd health, animal health economics and world food supply problems.  He was especially pleased to be one of the first to get senior students out of the classroom onto an externship program for field training. He was also under contract with USAID where he advised on training for technicians in Vietnam for Rinderpest control. During his tenure he published many papers, too numerous to mention.

Always looking for a new challenge, Hunt rode into the wild west and bought a ranch east of Big Timber managing beef cattle, sheep and irrigated alfalfa for a family partnership.  It was at this point he became a consultant for the World Bank and went on many world expeditions to India, Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela.  He assessed small holders’ livestock to field investigations in ten states of Mexico and made recommendations on modernization of Mexico’s animal health services. 

In 1992 on a vacation from London to the Lazy K Bar Dude ranch in the Crazy Mountains, I was introduced to Hunt McCauley.  He was far too busy haying to get together but something must have triggered his curiosity because we met and started a lasting relationship.  It did not take me long to decide to give up my career for the most wonderful man in the world and the most spectacular ranch in Sweet Grass County.  Hunt gave me Rozita, a lovely Morgan mare, and that sealed it.

There are so many people Hunt held in his heart, including his mother, Norma, who started the first Planned Parenthood in Sioux City, Iowa; his father who was a farmer and veterinarian and his two children whom he spoke of almost daily.  In his retirement, Hunt gave back to the Congregational Churches in Big Timber and Bozeman, the Food Bank where he made many friends, the Mexican Community here in Bozeman and to me where he accepted and forgave my many foibles.

Lastly, Hunt was a party man and enjoyed letting his hair down, not much of it left, and the  wine industry might take a dive now that he is no longer with us.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Claypole McCauley; children, Steve and wife Suzanne, Tara and husband Joe Matthys; grandchildren, John and Eva, Virginia, Tori and partner Colin; his sister, Molly and husband Dick.

No flowers please.  Donations may be made in Hunt’s name to Planned Parenthood and Pilgrim Congregational Church, Bozeman.

A Service of Remembrance will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 20 at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service