Yesterday we didn’t finish hauling the last load of cows home until 10:45 pm! This is because the pairs were rounded up, so we had to get the job done and them hauled home! It is not like a 9 to 5 job where you can leave when the clock reaches time. With the cows and calves corralled, and no water or feed in the ‘catch pen’, leaving them overnight was not an option. One may say, “Just let them go and catch them tomorrow!” But you would not do that, cuz sure as guns you’d not find those cows again for a long time. Rounding up cattle in the fall is a delicate balance of keeping the cattle calm and comfortable, so they continue to gain weight.
Our day started at 8 am, when we loaded our saddle horses and gator in the trailer and headed out to the Midway Range. With 4 horses and riders, 2 dogs and 2 people on the gator, we were able to round up 45 pairs. Then the work started as we had to load and truck them home. Like I said above, it ended at with us loading cows with flashlights.
It is a very busy time of year as we are trying to get the cows and their calves home and off of range. The calves are 8-9 months old and are what our ranch sells each year to make our annual income. Here are some pictures of the range:
(yes that hill is that steep!)
Right now we are putting in very very long days to accomplish this round up. It is physically demanding on us and our horses and dogs. We also use our airplane to spot animals and save wear n’ tear on our vehicles. It is a very unique job also because the weather can play a big role in how successful we are. Foggy mornings has made it a challenge to see the cattle to round them up! Here are some pictures of the horses after a big day, and our rigs getting loaded up.
We equate it to something like a 2 week long marathon crossed with a rugby game played in a beautiful outdoor Fall setting. Even though the work load is heavy, it is a spectacular time of year which I look forward to.