We offer cattle experiences and roundups in several fascinating and beautiful parts of the world.
Many cattle drives today, like at the Bitterroot Ranch, are conducted much as they were a century and more ago and are still part of the local economies. There are several reasons for a legitimate cattle drive. One is to move the cattle between winter and summer pasture. In many parts of the world as the snow melts in the mountains and the nutritious mountain grass starts to grow both the wild animals and the domestic stock move up to profit from this precious gift of nature. As snows come in the fall animals must move down to winter at lower altitudes in the valleys. The wild animals have the age old instinct to do this on their own, but the domestic stock must be rounded up and herded.
Another reason can be to drive cattle to a market as in movies like “Red River” and “Lonesome Dove”. Of course once the cows are in winter or summer areas they often must be moved periodically to different sections. Cattle must also be rounded up from time to time for branding, castrating, inoculation or to send them to market.
There is an important distinction between a drive and a round up. Before a cattle drive can take place the cattle must be found and rounded up. Often by the end of the summer the cattle are dispersed over many square miles of mountains and forest so that it can take days and even weeks of hard riding to locate and assemble most of them. In situations where the cattle are spread out over vast areas of uninhabited mountains and forest the round up has many of the aspects of a hunt as well as a drive and one must ride for miles through trackless wilderness to find small herds tucked away in remote forest clearings.