Friday, April 23, 2010

Old Fashioned Roundup--with Lee

Last weekend, the cowboys on the ranch held an old-fashioned roundup to mark and vaccinate calves. Usually this is done in the corrals with a cattle chute and a calf table, as seen in last year's post on processing calves. The old-fashioned way means that the cowboys have to go out, rope the calves and bring them to a processing area where a team does everything they need to quickly. There were 200 calves to rope. Here is a sampling of photos, with more to come in future posts.

This post focuses on Lee, our 90-year old cowboy. He was out there pretty much the whole time and was definitely one of the best ropers. It takes a bit of strength and flexibility to twirl that rope around, but he managed it time after time.

Most times the calves aren't very cooperative, and sometimes they require a bit of a chase. Lee's eyes are a bit worn out, but once he knew which calf he wanted, he could see just fine to rope it.

Once he roped the calf, it was time to bring it across the fenced area to where a crew was waiting.

The calf is preferably roped by two legs to make it easier for those processing to handle. More on processing in the next post.

I never saw Lee smile so much as during this day. He was certainly in his element. My husband reminded me that Lee won a saddle in a roping competition when he was 70, competing against all ages. Lee's wife said he enjoyed roping so much he used to take a month off each year to go do it. It's so great he had the opportunity to practice those skills again.

Here are a few more shots of Lee in action.
And here's a short video of Lee bringing in a calf, and then it being vaccinated, ear marked, and ear tagged.


A said...

I imagine you'd assure me I shouldn't worry about the poor calf getting dragged around... :) said...

Great pics of Lee. What a guy!
The calves are fine and back with their mothers in only a few minutes.

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