June 6, 2018

Living a legendary lifestyle

Volunteers flock to annual Breuer brand
Lines of stock trailers and vehicles belonging to volunteers packed an area of the Breuer ranch Saturday. The smell of burnt hair wafted through the air and the bellows from concerned cows, separated from their calves, could be heard at vast distances.
In the fenced area below, horsemen roped and drug calves from a small area where they were sorted off. As the calves were brought in to the open area, wrestlers released them from the rope and held them down securely so they could be vaccinated, castrated (if male) and vaccinated.
Each year, the Breuer ranch receives overwhelming amounts of volunteers who help keep this piece of the legendary western culture alive.
“I have been doing branding for around 55 years, since I was a kid,” Breuer said. “It is important to brand because it proves your ownership of that calf.”
A cattle brand is a design that is seared into the hide of an animal, usually around the hip, to identify the owner of the animals. Each brand is distinct, so that lost cows—either through wandering animals or cattle rustlers – could be returned to their rightful owner. Besides tattooing, branding is the only marking that will last an animal’s life span. Breuer said all brands are registered with the N.D. Stockmen’s Association and North Dakota Ag Department.

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