Northwest Nebraska

October 11 2013

Cleanup continues from last weekend’s early-season blizzard. Ranchers are dealing with cattle killed by the snowstorm.

“It was just the type of storm it was, very unusual coming this early in the fall, in October,” she said. “The animals don’t have their winter coat on yet. They’re still out on grass – they’re not up home in good shelter.”

And even those who avoided immediate losses may still be affected, Thompson added.

“The guys that their cattle was up in the timber, those guys fared a lot better with not losing cows,” she said. “However, those cows are going to start slinking calves in the next few weeks more than likely —aborting calves. Because they eat the pine needles and, long story short, it makes them abort the calves.”

As of Friday morning, the official count of cattle losses for Dawes and Sioux Counties stood at 1,060, according to local emergency manager Nan Gould.

But Jeff Wallin, idling at a gas station in Crawford Thursday evening with his truck full of carcasses, reflected a widespread view that the actual count is much higher: “I started this morning at 8 and picked up close to 80 head already,” he said. “And another guy picked up 50. And they picked up from one rancher 300 head of cattle. And there’s thousands of them up here that are dead.”

One estimate from a North Dakota newspaper put the number of dead cattle in neighboring South Dakota in the range of 60,000.

The financial effects are still unknown. A federal program to reimburse producers is caught up in the legislative paralysis over the farm bill.

by Fred Knapp, NET

Cattle Rustler’s Running Iron ~  A tool of a professional in the West involved in the stealing of branded cattle and altering the brand.   In the very early West, cattle rustling was almost accepted as a way to build up one’s head of livestock, which is how many a cattle rancher got his start. Stealing an unbranded calf not following its mother was not even looked upon as rustling.   But as the cattle barons decided it was hurting their pocketbooks, cattle rustling began to be seen as a serious crime. There were two types of branding irons:  the stamp iron which included the full brand, and the running iron which had a hooked tip that could be used to change or make any brand.  The running iron was a favorite tool of the cattle rustler.   Being caught by a vigilante group with a running iron in one’s possession could mean certain death by hanging if the law wasn’t around. These worked by unscrewing the iron from the tube handle and then re-screwing it in the other end before heating it to run the brand. It was small and easily concealed.   Cattle Rustler’s Running Iron ~  A tool of a professional in the West involved in the stealing of branded cattle and altering the brand.   In the very early West, cattle rustling was almost accepted as a way to build up one’s head of livestock, which is how many a cattle rancher got his start. Stealing an unbranded calf not following its mother was not even looked upon as rustling.   But as the cattle barons decided it was hurting their pocketbooks, cattle rustling began to be seen as a serious crime. There were two types of branding irons:  the stamp iron which included the full brand, and the running iron which had a hooked tip that could be used to change or make any brand.  The running iron was a favorite tool of the cattle rustler.   Being caught by a vigilante group with a running iron in one’s possession could mean certain death by hanging if the law wasn’t around. These worked by unscrewing the iron from the tube handle and then re-screwing it in the other end before heating it to run the brand. It was small and easily concealed.  

Cattle Rustler’s Running Iron ~  A tool of a professional in the West involved in the stealing of branded cattle and altering the brand.   In the very early West, cattle rustling was almost accepted as a way to build up one’s head of livestock, which is how many a cattle rancher got his start. Stealing an unbranded calf not following its mother was not even looked upon as rustling.   But as the cattle barons decided it was hurting their pocketbooks, cattle rustling began to be seen as a serious crime. There were two types of branding irons:  the stamp iron which included the full brand, and the running iron which had a hooked tip that could be used to change or make any brand.  The running iron was a favorite tool of the cattle rustler.   Being caught by a vigilante group with a running iron in one’s possession could mean certain death by hanging if the law wasn’t around. These worked by unscrewing the iron from the tube handle and then re-screwing it in the other end before heating it to run the brand. It was small and easily concealed.  

If I had pulled up next to this water tank in my old F150 the herd would have ignored me and continued watering for another hour or so. But today I’m in the F350 which makes this herd scatter. To them the sound and smell of a diesel usually means the arrival of stock trailers, cow pony’s, Cur dogs and a quick escort to the pens. -The mean things I have to do when I’m in hurry to clean a water tank. 

Thorns, Thunder, Lightning, and Hail

Lots of cowpunchers were killed by lightning, which is known fact. I was knocked off my horse by it twice. The first time I saw a ball of fire coming my way and felt something strike me on the head. When I came to, I was lying under old Pete and the rain was pouring down on my face. The second time, I was trying to get under a railroad bridge when it hit me, and I came to in the ditch. The cattle were always restless when there was a storm at night, even if it was a long way off, and that was when any little thing would start a run. Lots of times I have ridden around the herd with lightning playing and thunder muttering in the distance; when the air was so full of electricity that I would see it flashing on the horns of the cattle, and there would be balls of it on the horse’s ears and even on my mustache; little balls about the size of a pea. I suppose it was static electricity, the same as when you shake a blanket on a winter night a dark night. 

E.C. Teddy Blue Abbott, cowpuncher

From We Pointed Them North: recollections of a cowpuncher by E. C. Abbott and Helena H. Smith. By permission of the University of Oklahoma Press.

Lake Kissimmee

Kissimmee, Florida

photo: Charlton Ward

Charolais Cattle

Dr. William J. Broussard is a 10th-generation cattleman from Louisiana and a direct descendant of Joseph Beausoleil Broussard, the leader of the Acadian exiles who later became the Cajuns of Louisiana. Beausoleil was one of the Acadian leaders who helped begin the cattle industry in Louisiana. Dr. Broussard’s branch of the family has been in the cattle business in Louisiana ever since. His father, Alphé A. Broussard, first learned about a breed of French cattle that was exceptional in beef production in about 1947. He bought some cross-bred bulls from Ben Burnside of North Louisiana but later decided he wanted purebred. Alphe brought a herd of full-blooded Charolais cattle from Mexico to Louisiana which became the foundation herd of Charolais cattle in North America.  it was a long and arduous process to bring those cattle to his Flying J Ranch but Alphe managed to accomplish it in spite of great opposition from the Mexican Government and some Texas cattlemen.

http://www.katc.com/news/living-legend-honoree-dr-william-j-broussard/

Sunday Brunch, Ocala Style

Cowpunchers 1910

enjoying “son-of-a-bitch” stew

SMS Ranch, Texas

Sonofabitch stew, or sonofagun stew when in the presence of the ladies, was a favorite dish among cowboys of the America West. It was also known as rascal stew or by the name of some unpopular figure of the time. For example, some cowboys called it Cleveland Stew in (dis)honor of President Grover Cleveland displacing cowboys from the Cherokee Strip. If you’re not into eating animal organs, pass this one up. However, if you want to put some hair on your chest, belly up to the campfire.

http://www.swensonranch.com/ranch-history.html

Roger Williams 

foreman on the Circle and the Seewald Ranch

North of Amarillo, Texas

The Woodson Bridge

Texas

There are only seven surviving suspension bridges built in Texas from before 1940 - and one of them is located in the corner of Shackelford County, near Fort Richardson. Known as the Woodson Bridge, it was once one of the few reliable crossing points along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.

Built in 1896 to help facilitate the transport of cattle across the Brazos, it sits today as a condemned, abandoned rusting hulk along a little-used dirt road miles from nowhere.. Made of wooden planking, steel plates and heavy cords of twisted cable, the bridge was further strengthened and modified in 1926. But over the years highways were built that bypassed to the east and west, stranding the bridge in the north central Texas brush.  A Texas Senate resolution was introduced in 1995 to help restore the bridge due to its historic importance - but in the years since, the bridge continues to deteriorate.

photo by Matthew High

Angus Kennedy Sr. was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1886. In 1901, when Angus was 15, his family moved to Miles City, Montana.

He arrived in the Tobacco Garden Bay area of McKenzie County in 1904 with just a saddle and a pack horse. Angus found jobs with local ranchers but soon went into the cattle business himself, running them on the open range and in the river breaks until 1915.

He bought an old “line camp” that became home for the Kennedy family for the next 25 years. Angus also acquired a lease on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, which he and other well-known ranchers operated for nearly 50 years.

Angus was a charter member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and served as director and president. He was also a founder of the McKenzie County Grazing Association.

He died in 1965 and is remembered by family members as an honest, hard-working man who cherished his family and community.  

http://northdakotacowboy.com

Adena Springs Ranch- 25,000 acres of rolling pastures interspersed with heavily wooded areas and ponds create a stress-free environment for the cattle roaming the property – and for other occupants of northeast Ocala in Marion County, Florida.

http://www.adenaspringsranch.com

Young Bud Adams

Adams Ranch, Fort Pierce, Florida

http://www.adamsranch.com/


Charles Sanders

on the old Milt Hannah Ranch

Northeast of Anselmo on the Middle Loup River, Nebraska c. 1888

Larger reference image

Hilary Anderson

Ranch Hand-J Bar L Ranch-Alder, Montana


Hillary feeds an abandoned calf as her daughter Elle plays. Along with her husband Andrew who manages the cattle, Anderson’s main duties are keeping the cattle and rangeland healthy and helping calve in June and July. A wolf biologist by training who previously worked at Yellowstone National Park, she also helps shape the ranches policies on predator interactions.