Sunday, April 18, 2021

Branding Calves in the Bear Lake Valley

 It is hard to believe that I only posted to this blog twice in 2020, but we were stuck at home most of the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now we have received our vaccinations and feel better about getting out of the house a bit more.  But I am sure I will post much less often than in the past.

There are several big cattle ranches in the Bear Lake Valley, Idaho.  Calves are born in winter and when spring comes, they need to be branded, ear-tagged, immunized, and more.

The action starts when the header cowboy ropes a calf’s head.  The men and women really enjoy their work and their skill with ropes and horses is amazing.

The unlucky calf is roped around the back legs by a second cowboy, the heeler.

After the calf has been headed and heeled, the horses stretch the ropes tight, immobilizing the calf.  A flanker repositions the rope from the head to the front feet and positions the calf properly for the next step.

In this photo, father and daughter, Chad and Daysha, brand and immunize the calf.  Once the process is started it is done very quickly and the calf is released and usually trots away wondering what the heck just happened.

I thought this photo of cowgirl Daysha with her long blonde braid and a knife on her belt was an interesting way to show one of the tools essential to the job.

Branding day is a big event on a cattle ranch.  Branding proves ownership of lost or stolen animals.  Idaho has strict laws regarding brands, including brand registration and inspection.  A brand is considered proof of ownership.

Please note that these photos are copyrighted and must not be used for any purpose without permission, and usually a small payment.