be part of a western tradition
If the nostalgia of embracing a simpler time appeals to you, continue reading.
Imagine days spent on the back of a horse pushing cattle through open rangeland with a quintessential mountain backdrop. Or evenings surrounding a campfire exchanging stories with a dozen new friends from all walks of life, and perhaps from all over the world.
When you’re storied out and it’s time to turn in, head to your cot and sleeping bag in the authentic wall tent just feet away.
Or, if you prefer, move your cot and sleeping bag outside and sleep under Montana’s renowned Big Sky. Either way, fresh mountain air and hard work are a time-tested recipe for a restful night’s sleep.
One other thing: Make sure to look up and we guarantee if it is clear you will say, “Where did all those stars come from?”
In the morning your wake up call will be a little different – maybe a lot. Sun beams will stream into your tent along with the distinct aroma of cowboy coffee brewing over the campfire.
If a Montana cattle drive is your definition of a legendary vacation here’s your insider’s guide.
It’s the real deal
This is a “work needs to get done” Montana cattle drive where we’ve partnered with the Whitford family who are descendants of the Blackfeet (Pikuni) tribe.
You’ll help round up about 400 head of cattle in different herds across 50,000 acres over the course of our time on the range. In this cattle drive, you won’t move cows from point A to B like you might to move the herds from winter pasture to summer pasture and back again.
Nope, we want you to get the full, authentic experience. After we round up the cattle and drive them back to the base camp corrals, you’ll get a chance to really get your hands dirty (in a good way). Cowboy or cowgirl up as you assist in a variety of chores as a true ranch-hand.
Here’s a list of tasks you’ll help with along with insight as to their history and purpose.
1) doctor the unfortunate males
This is a general term that involves castration. The idea is that only the best calve/bulls will be chosen to build the herd in the future – the best blood line so to speak.
Steers also get an overall wellness exam and appropriate treatment like deworming, castration, and dehorning.
If any calf shows signs of illness that appears to be more than the common cold, you may just be the one to boost its immune system with a vaccine.
2) branding the Cattle
On the Blackfeet Reservation they still open range/free graze their cattle.
Three generation of Whitfords own the cattle and run their cows together. Each generation has a unique brand in order to identify their ownership.
They use a hot branding iron heated by a propane torch. The branding iron is then placed on the animal in a specific spot in accordance with Montana livestock authority brand requirements.
3) tagging the calves
You’ll get to help each calf get its own ear tag with a unique number or bar code. These ear tags help keep track of birth date, lineage, health information, and other valuable information needed throughout an animal’s life. It also serves as a helpful tool to identify the cow instead of referencing the animal as “the one with the black spot.”
Our spring and fall Montana cattle drives are appropriate for all riding abilities and are ideal for folks looking to embrace their inner cowboy or cowgirl.
These weeks have a maximum capacity of 18 guests, which enhances the camaraderie and promotes a team environment.
Our cattle drives are best enjoyed by adults riding the range from groups, couples, and solo travelers.
When you book your Montana cattle drive vacation you’ll also be immersing yourself in a Western tradition.
2020 Dates: June 6-13, 2020 and September 19-26, 2020