Place item was collected
Logan, Utah. My apartment.
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My name is Shannon Parks. I am 20 years old and am in my third year of my undergraduate degree at Utah State University. My degree will be in Elementary Education with a minor in Equine Science. I was born and raised in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I currently live in Logan, Utah, but maintain my Colorado residency. I was raised Christian, attending church primarily on Christmas and Easter. I am currently a captain of the Utah State University Equestrian Team. My hobbies include horseback riding, reading, hiking, camping, and watching Netflix with friends.
The Utah State University Equestrian Team travels to Montana for horse shows at least once per semester. As a team we rent cars and caravan for the entire six-hour drive. Car placements are created based upon compatible personalities as well as music taste. I first encountered the game ‘Hey Cows’ my third semester on the team. My car assignment for the trip was ‘party car.’ There was no introduction or premise for the game, my teammates just began playing, and it was expected that the new members, including myself, would catch on. The game is played for every team road trip greater than 2 hours in length. Now that I am versed in the rules of ‘Hey Cows’ it is my responsibility to pass it on to new team members. The rules are never explicitly told, they are learned when someone faults them. Each road trip must educate at least one person in the rules of ‘Hey Cows’ until the entirety of the team is familiar.
The rules of Hey Cows are very simple. There must be at least 3 people in the car, the car must be traveling over 40mph, and the road trip must span at least 2 hours. Once the road trip is underway one person, typically the person riding shotgun, will initiate the game. When they spot a group of cows, they roll down their window, stick their entire head out and scream at the top of their lungs.
If the cow stops what they are doing and looks directly at the vehicle the person gets 1 point. If the cow does not look up or at the vehicle the person does not get a point, and also gets a slug in the arm from whoever is closest. After the initial cow the entire car spots cows and takes turns as to who gets to yell at them. The driver may also play, but they are not allowed to stick their head out of the window and the road must be flat and straight. The game is over when no cows are spotted, someone loses their voice, or the destination is reached. Whoever has the most points at the end of the trip is crowned the winner of bragging rights, until the next trip.
The first time I encountered the game I recall being extremely confused. Now the game is a highlight of team road trips. The game is always accompanied with laughter, the greater number of punches, the more laughter and fun there is. The purpose of the game is to create team comradery and pass the time as we travel. It is always well received, even the coach enjoys playing.
Introduction to Folklore, History 2210
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
G6: Competition Games
Parks, Shannon, "Hey Cows" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 184.