Driving Part V

Day 5 – June 21, 2010

We pushed from what we call Barlow’s Corrals (the end of the driveway) to a place we call Mickey Adam’s today (It’s common practice for ranchers to name our pastures and other places on our ranches. This makes it easier to communicate when we’re conducting business).

Not a bad drive, but the cattle did not want to stop grazing (feeding on the vegetation) and they took a long time to gather.  It seemed like they only walked as far as you followed them, but as soon as you headed off to gather other cows they would go right back to grazing. Eventually we got them all on the trail and they lined out pretty good.

The cattle rest along the trail while antelope (the fastest animal in North America!) watch in the background. Antelope give birth in the late spring, the same time most cow herds start calving.

I saw a baby antelope jump up about 20 feet ahead of my horse today and go running off for his mother, just bawling.  They are funny when they bawl because they have a pitch black tongue that shoots out of their mouth.  I also saw several baby sage chickens… it seems like they can fly almost as soon as they hatch from the egg.  I know sage grouse can’t fly quite that soon, but I’ve rarely seen one before it could fly.

Now that's a LOT of sagebrush! Wyoming has an abundance of sagebrush which provides habitat for Sage Grouse (we call 'em sage chickens). Wyoming is home to 54% of all sage grouse.

I rode my new horse, Peach, again today, he seems to be doing better on his reining already, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.  He seems to do well off on his own where no other horses are around, although he did find a few large rocks and his own shadow to be a little spooky.  I’m hoping he will continue to improve at a steady rate and turn into a decent horse.

The mountains of Bridger Teton National Park provide a nice view for the week-long cattle drive in Sublette County, Wyo.

After we finished moving cows today, Dad and I went to our lower place to round up a couple bulls (an uncastrated male bovine) that we will use to cover our separate purebred Angus herd.  The bull pasture is kind of a swampy area and much of it you can’t ride through on a horse, but the bulls don’t mind going through it.  So I had to get off on foot and look for a particular bull.  As you might have guessed, he happened to be the farthest bull away.  I wasn’t prepared to go swamp wading since I just had my cowboy boots on, but ended up hopping from stump to stump toward the bull.  Then a bull being a bull, he wouldn’t cooperate and went into an even worse part of the swamp.  So, to make a long story longer, I ended up wading up to my thighs, but in the end got him over to where Dad could chase him with his horse.  However, when we got him near the gate to the next field and I went ahead to open it, the bull started heading back and Dad couldn’t turn him.  By the time I ran back to help the bull was starting to get angry and wanting to fight the horses so we had to let him go… making the whole incident a complete waste of time.

From RealRancher Kent C. Price, Daniel, WY

Published by RealRanchers.com

RealRanchers.com is a visit to the day-to-day lives of America’s original animal welfare advocates and environmentalists.

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