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Week of May 17, 2010
South Dakota rancher, poet and writer Robert Dennis shares photos from recent brandings (Part 1). He writes:
These photos are from down in the Cheyenne River breaks.
We had to cross a steep narrow little creek with running water. We gathered them in to a set of portable corrals, sorted the cows off and went to branding.
We used Nord Forks to hold the calves, a fork on the head that is hooked by a thick rubber band to a pin in the ground and hold the heels of the calf with the rope and horse. It is fast and efficient, which is best for the calves. They were back with their mothers in no time.
We had quite a few young ladies helping us. Good help. All ranch girls.
This is part 1.
Week of May 24, 2010
South Dakota rancher, poet and writer Robert Dennis shares more photos from recent spring works. This is part 2. He writes:
This is the early morning light on some rough country to the north east of us:
This is Chance, my youngest son, on his 6-year old "colt." Ol' Jake did real well that day when he decided his back had finally got warmed up. He had Chance setting kind of crooked for a jump or two!
This is the cows and calves moving down to the creek to escape the riders. Just what we wanted them to do:
Here the cattle are starting to bunch up from all the different riders pushing from several directions.
Here they are funneling up a draw and heading over the top where more cattle and riders are waiting.
This last photo is part of the crew in the back where we were sorting the cows from the calves.
Then the cows went down a chute and got breeding shots. Then we branded the calves and gave them all their shots.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Literally thousand and thousands of cattle are being handled very similar to this all across the Northern Plains at this time of the year. It's our celebration of spring!
Robert Dennis has contributed other interesting photos to Picture the West, including:
"Cowboy farming," April 2010
Winter pasture, January 2010
Moving heifers home in October, 2009
Moving moving a few first calf heifer pairs in June, 2009
Mijo, his "ex-stallion"
2009 calving and branding on the Dennis Ranch
Summer ranch photos
Photos taken while he was "out riding on yearlings"
Photos of his mares and colts
Family photos from the 1920s and 1940s
Photos and stories from his ranch and Red Owl
Area photos from the early 1900s
Family photos from the 1920s
Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.
Read more about Robert Dennis and read some of his poetry here.
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See an index of all past photos here.
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