A Cowboy’s Faith: Work continues through decades – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Work continues through decades

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Going to grass sure takes a lot more help and time than it used to.”

Eighteen mounted cowboys and cowgirls were ready shortly after daylight. It sure seemed like an awfully big crew to gather a cowherd off winter pasture for distribution to summer grazing.

“Better to have too many than not enough and have some get away,” the herdsman insisted.

Like always, that conscientious younger stockman was sure right. Not too much later, the cows with their babies tailing meandered into the corral with horseback riders prodding forward.

Mommas were separated into different lots from the calves as tally was made on the number trapped.

Despite the calm roundup, there were still a half dozen mommas and maybe that many young’uns unaccounted for. Several riders verified certain ones had been seen in deep timber and others had gotten back without upsetting the herd.

Less than half the original horseback bunch headed out to locate the missing cattle. Fortunately, everyone was found and soon penned with herd mates.

Several trailers with horses loaded headed back to their homes while the remaining crew went to the tasks at hand. Calves had to be worked and paired back to mommas with identification recorded as to which pasture was summer destination.

Dinner time didn’t require a bell when cattle workers eagerly took a break while restless cow-calf pairs rattled nearby pens. In short order, ranch hands were back at it vaccinating, castrating, tagging, applying cattle insecticide and penning as directed.

Not yet mid-afternoon just a half dozen riders with help from a leading mechanical cart started moving pairs to pasture.

With roadside grass scrumptious for cow grazing and calves sore from earlier procedures, the cattle drive didn’t go too fast.

Careful count was made as the pairs went through the gate, soon stopping heads down eating with no further concerns.

Additional groups were driven and others had to be hauled until all cattle were distributed to a dozen native pastures.

Still plenty of daylight, the pairs were at their summer home, only requiring regular checking until fall calf sale time.

All in a good day’s work, yet quite contrasting to a young couple and an old veterinarian doing the job four decades earlier.

Reminded of Revelation 2:5: “Think about those different times and work as you did before.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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