Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Good Branding Day

Branding day has come and gone again. Saturday Mike gathered upriver and we brought the herd onto the river bar to overnight.
Evening before branding day

Wes gets a ride with Cammie

In the morning Mike, Cammie and Dawson gathered the cattle off the bar and herded them across the bridge to the corrals.

Through the gate toward the corrals

We didn't quite finish sorting off the cows before our awesome crew started arriving.  We were a small bunch this year, as a few folks ended up not being able to make it.

In the corrals before sorting off the cows

Off to a good start

Before long things got rolling with Dave and Gabe roping. Mike, John, Mike S, Andi and Cammie were the ground crew.

Dawson with his calf 'trap'

Dawson caught a couple calves with his snare (and back-up from mom).

Gabe with the head catch

Dave moves in for the heels

It's always inspiring to see people work with skill and grace. And even when everyone starts getting hot and tired, they pull together and get the job done. Great teamwork. No wrecks.

Trusty ground crew

Dave builds a loop

Dave and Andi have worked on neighboring ranches for years. But this was the first time they made it to one of our brandings, so we really enjoyed their company.

Andi runs the branding pot

Andi helped hold it all together, keeping the tally straight, the iron hot, and the bander handy.
'Steer' 'Heifer' 'Steer' - the tally book

I ran the kitchen and rode herd on Weston, who made the rounds with me between the house and the corrals.
Wes and Sara up in a box elder above the corrals

As the crew finished up the last few calves, I laid a homemade local feast out to refuel and reward everyone's hard work. Roasted beef, ham, rolls, potato salad, pasta salad, veggies and dip, watermelon, asparagus, strawberry/sour cherry pie and rhubarb custard pie. Delicious!  

Mike S, Andi, John, Mike and Dave relax and refuel

Post lunch, a few naps were taken, a little fishing, a little refreshing of bare feet in the river.
Dawson and Weston - hand puppets in hammock

Gabe, Wes, Dawson and Cammie

Before folks headed home, we had the pleasure of a few tunes played by John, Mike and Mike.

Thank you everyone, for a very good branding day. 

John on the mando

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef