Wes was born on December 9, 1951 to Paul and Rosemary Hertzog in Hayden, Colorado. That’s where he made his last bronc ride on August 21, 2005. He had three sisters, Devona, Sharon and Gail and four brothers, Gary, Bill, Bryan and Tel.
He was raised in Maybell, Colorado where at a young age he washed dishes at a restaurant making $8 a week. He decided to get on a calf when he was 13 years old and won $13 that day. Washing dishes went by the wayside and his love of riding calves and later bulls and broncs became his life.
Traveling with his brother Bill, also a saddle bronc rider, he became the Rookie of the Year in the PRCA in 1975. In 1976, he broke his neck in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.