The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 59
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A History of the J A Ranch
corrals and driven back to the pastures where they and their moth-
ers were."1 After going around for a few days and not being able
to find their mothers, they are very well weaned and are in shape
to be delivered. Then they are driven to Ashtola and shipped or
delivered as the case may be. After the steer calves have been
delivered there is usually a clean-up. of a few undesirable cattle.
These are shipped to market. Then the "poverty" cattle (feeders)
are worked and passed into definite pastures where they are to
winter and be fed. This finishes up the work with the cattle.
The next work to be done is the gathering and picking the
"broncs" (young horses). When the broncs have been gathered,
the wagon boss has first choice, the straw boss (assistant to the
wagon boss) second choice, the oldest cowboy in number of years
with the outfit has third choice and so on down the line, that is
seniority rules. After all the cowboys have picked their horse, the
campers pick them one, and here again the seniority rule is fol-
lowed. After all have picked, if there are enough, and there
usually are, they all pick another in the same order as before. All
the broncs are then taken to headquarters to be broke.
Two cowboys usually take the job of breaking these broncs for
so much per head. When the bronc-riders think they are broke,
they call the cowboys and let each cowboy ride his own broncs. If
the cowboy says he is satisfied, his horses are turned over to him,
but if not the bronc-riders will ride them some more. Each cow-
boy takes his bronc or broncs, as the case may be, after they are
broke, with him to his winter camp, where they are fed during the
winter months so that they will be in good shape for the spring
This finishes up the fall round-up and the wagon pulls into
headquarters and is stored in the shed. The boys are assigned to
the winter camps. Three are placed at headquarters, two at the
Graham place and one at each of the other eleven camps, and as
Huck Kent says, "The big thing is over until May the tenth,
which is a date longed for by the younger cowboys and dreaded
by the older ones." The duties of the cowboys during the winter
months are very light. They ride the range, help feed the poor
cattle and do any odd jobs that need to be done. This work is
nA calf will always go back to the place where it sucked last to hunt
for its mother.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/63/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.