Went to our 3rd branding in a row, yesterday. Chance and kids went along. Windy and had a little rain but got them done.. have another one today. Getting lots of calves. Had to pull one out of a heifer and it was quite a deal.

My friend Raymond was here, photographing at the branding, for material to paint.. he is a great artist, so comes out when he can for background material. He and I drove down south where the drop bunch is and found a heifer calving.. we drove on and checked the rest of the cattle, came back and sh hadn’t made any progress, so stopped at Chances when we got back and told him to go check his heifer after bit… we putted around the house for awhile and then the three of us and Addy Bear went back and even took some supplies along, in case we needed to help her, and if we could get her caught.. sure enough, she is still trying, one foot and a nose.. it’s getting late so we decide to try and just rope her out of the Nitro… Chance ties a big knot in the end of the rope, hangs out the door with one leg out the window, door open and I build to her.. she can run real fast.. and she is smart enough to go down in the creek when we get in pursuit. Yeah, this will be much “faster” and “handier” than going home getting horses and taking her to the house!!! After several attempts, Chance gets her roped, I run up on the tail of the rope with the tire of the Nitro and bang, we got her caught….she drops over the edge os a shadow creek that is dry and we wait for her to choke down so we can hobble her and pull the calf… no dice, she won’t choke down, tho’ she sounds like she will never get enough breath.. So Chance attempts to walk up to her and work on the calf… she makes a sideways run, almost clotheslining Raymond and me and pops the rope out from under the tire and away she goes… we do this about 3 times before I manage to get two wheels on the rope and she is pretty short… Chance goes to work on her and she’s had enough and takes a run, swings around the backside of the Nitro and bashes in the side, behind the back door. Addy Bear and Raymond are in the back seat and they thought she was going to come in the window!

I have been on steroids for thew past few days trying to remedy a pinched nerve in my neck/back, so I am starting to have a “road rage”! I scream, “Lets go get the horses and do this right!” No one argues!

We go home and saddle a couple of broke horses and head back south on a lope.. Raymond and Tate come down with the Nitro, but can’t find us in the dark.. Chance and I get split up in the dark and I luck onto the heifer as I see her cross a creek in the dark but there is enough moonlight I can see the rope trailing her in the water! I start hollering at Chance that I have found her. No answer! I holler at Tate, that I have found her. No answer…! Reid rage in a fever, I am cussing everyone and every cow , stupid enough to not lay down and calf by herself….. she joins up with several other cows. All are black angus… it is real dark now.. I don’t have a flashlight, I am over a mile away from the buildings, in rough and rolling grassland, with water in creeks and no help… I lose the cow, as they all split and I can’t see which one is trailing the rope…Finally Chance finds me, then Tate and Raymond. I cuss and swap with Tate and now I am in the Nitro and Tate is horseback…I go tearing around the pasture, shining the lights all over looking for cows and one specific cow trailing a rope….It seems like we drove 100 miles, back and forth and round and round, looking… finally we decide it ain’t going to work and we will just have to come back at daylight…Next morning reallllll early, Chance and I have two horse in the trailer, drive down to the pasture and set up the trailer next to a fence with the gate open, trot out and find the heifer… still no calf! We trot her to the trailer, she jumps in like she has been pasture loaded in a trailer all her life. we had horse, get her in the oral and successfully remove the calf from her. Of course, by now the calf is dead, but she isn’t so thats a partial win….the things you do, trying to “save time” and “this will work slick”!