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Working Ranch April/May 2016

you might as well do the brand inspection work.’ And that’s how I became a brand inspector!” The fall roundup lasts six days and the association hires a camp cook to feed the more than 50-person crew; ranchers, hired hands, spouses and kids. The Utah ranchers bring their campers and wall tents for housing, while most of the Wyoming members trailer daily. The cow boss sets the gather schedule: which people are riding the circles and where, and who’s on the sort crew that gather the holding pastures into the corral for sorting by ranch. “When we fi rst started there were no fences,” Zakotnik recalls, “we had a lot bigger scope of country to ride. Now we’re at least bound in by Highway 191 and Highway 28. We used to have to cross them and help those neighbors gather to get our cows back.” With 2,000 pairs being gathered, sorted 15 ways and shipped out in six days, the roundup crew is highly effi cient. Horses are used for the main pasture sweeps, and people on dirt bikes double-check and call in small pockets of cattle to be picked up with a stock trailer and panels. The sort crew has 15 gates manned Gary Zakotnik of Eden Valley, WY serves as brand inspector for the cattle being shipped to Utah. The Wyoming ranchers travel on annual customary permits. The sort crew prepares to sort the cattle gathered the day prior. 78 I WORKING RANCH I APRIL / MAY 2016


Working Ranch April/May 2016
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