Every Spring & Fall, the works begin. The cowboys gather the cattle and brand the calves. We start our Fall works in August. The cowboys will gather all the cattle and hold'em up in a pen or corral, one cowboy will go in the herd a horseback and rope a calf, drag the calf to the branding fire where 2 cowboys flank the calf, then the brander comes in and brands the calf with a hot iron with whatever the ranch brand is. This is very important; believe it or not there are still cattle thieves running around. Havin' the brand is proof that the cattle belong to the rightful owner.
I have a couple of pictures to give you an idea. The first picture is of my son, Tyler (who is horseback) and my 2 nephews, Wichita & Utah who are flanking the calf. Flanking is where they grab the calf and put it on it's side, then one holds the head down and the other basically holds the legs with one of the legs stretched out....this is where the brand will go ( the hip/leg area). In the second picture, my nephews are still flanking the calf while the brander comes in and brands the calf. Some calves need to be earmarked or have shots given to them. After that, they get released back to the herd. Finally, all the cowboys drive the cattle back to the pasture they belong in.