Beyond the necessary business aspects of marking cattle, brandings are big springtime social events on Montana’s ranch lands. The valley snow has melted and green grass permeates the rolling hills of Big Sky Country. When neighbors live several miles apart, brandings are important social gatherings that reinforce valuable bonds. Hard work and helping hands shared among neighbors and friends have always been key to surviving in rural Montana communities.
These Instagram photos were taken by staff member HelloFromClaire
Depending on a ranch’s capabilities and weather considerations, most calves are born in late winter or early spring. By late April, most babies are ready to be branded. The morning of a branding, cattle are gathered and sorted. Calves are separated from their mothers and kept in a different pen.