I figured that before I blogged the Erickson Cattle Company’s cattle drive this year, I should show some of the work cowboys do before the drive. First, they round up the cattle from the ranch, and then separate the calves to brand.
After the header leads the calf out of the corral, the heeler ropes the back legs to pull the calf down for branding.
Branding is done to show ownership. These cattle graze in the mountains where proof of ownership is needed.
Branding is done quickly. Cowboys say it is done to mark the cattle not to hurt them.
When you are born into a cattle family, you learn to be a cowboy by firsthand experience.
Some doctoring is done at this time of year. Here the foreman puts a parasite spray on a calf that was skipped in the usual process.
Cowboys often have to lay the calf down.
Young cowboys have lots of time to practice their roping skills.
Moving calves around is a constant job.
Cattle ranchers always start early to make use of the sunlight.
Traffic control is an important safety factor.