Ranch Living

Branding Montana Style

Branding in Montana claims a true cattleman’s (or cattlewoman’s) heart.  Catching calves and dragging to the branding fire is a tradition as old as dirt itself.  Ranchers often share high mountain pastures for the summers so branding is done in early spring so that the calves can head to the mountains making them easily identifiable when in the larger community herds.

Heading to the Mountains

Cow-calf pairs are headed to the mountains as the State, BLM and Forest Service Allotments are opening to area ranchers.  Often held in an “association,” these allotments are hugely important to area ranchers as it allow use of grass in the high country, saving their lower pastures for fall and winter feeding grounds.  In Montana a lot of our high mountain roads traverse through open grazing so watch out and give way to the beef.

The faithful helper takes a break!

Herd riders could not do their job without their faithful companions at their sides as these trained dogs move cattle for miles with a whistle and a motion from their masters.   From moving cattle pasture to pasture to holding a herd in one place to cutting out a sick cow…..a good dog is worth its weight in gold.