Day 2 – June 18, 2010
The cattle are starting to come together into one large heard now as we near the end of the gathering process on the Mesa. This year the grass has been good on the Mesa, so the cattle don’t want to leave, but we had plenty of cowboys and cowgirls out riding, so the cattle had no choice! Last year on the same day we had more difficulty because we lacked people and the cows (female who’s had a calf) wouldn’t stay with their calves (babies) and just wanted to graze (feed on the vegetation).
Generally, if you wake the cows and calves up early in the morning, the calves will get up and suck and then the pair starts heading up the trail. It is important to gather in the sides of the herd and give them a chance to string out on the trail. If you simply start pushing them from the back and do nothing else, then it will be a difficult day of cattle driving.
We came off the Mesa today and the place where the cows trail down makes for a very scenic picture. The dudes (visitors to a guest ranch) from Lozier’s dude ranch always take pictures at this point on the drive because you can see the cattle stringing down with the Green River Valley and the Wyoming Range Mountains in the background. I stopped to get a scenic picture of my own specifically for this blog.
We ended the day’s drive about Noon at the bottom of the valley and will now start pushing up the Green River. The cows and calves stayed pretty well paired through the end of the drive and very few ran back. Those that did run back will go to the last place where they saw each other and then come back up the trail. Some riders will go back tomorrow to make sure they do come, while the rest of us push on ahead.
From RealRancher Kent C. Price, Daniel, WY