Ranch Week Vacations
Summer days are anything but lazy at the Dryhead Ranch. Running a ranch is a full-time business and our cowboys and crew are devoted to the upkeep and management of the land and livestock. During the summer months on every horseback ride we find and check cattle. Stray cows and calves are sought out on neighboring ranches, sick or injured animals are roped and doctored, fences are checked and fixed after cattle are returned to our pastures, water holes and springs are looked at to make sure they are flowing. This is an authentic working cattle drive vacation.
Not Just Another Family Vacation
Sometimes, it can be hard coming up with the best summer vacation ideas. That is, unless you have never thought of cattle drive vacations! Summer vacations for the whole family can be boring.Who wants to go to another amusement park? Road trips used to be a big deal, but it seems with traffic and the cost of fuel these days they are becoming a thing of the past. Anyone who has ever tried to take their children on a cruise (and maybe even you yourself!) knows how that usually goes. So what kind of summer vacation ideas take everything great about a vacation and combine them with memorable family fun? Why not try out one of Dryhead Ranch’s exciting cattle drive vacations?
What Kind Of Cattle Drive Happens During the Summertime?
Well, we will admit: Summer is not typically cattle drive season. However, it is typically the season where we take horses just old enough to ride out on their first range excursions. Is there some parallel here between you and your own children? Well, it’s hard to know without trying it out. The fact is, people often make a big deal about the long and wonderful cattle drives that happen during other parts of the year. For a family looking for the best family summer vacation ideas, however, a summer ranch week at Dryhead Ranch might actually make more sense.
Relaxed and Beautiful: Southern Montana in the Full Flower of Summer
The West offers a different kind of Summer experience than the east does, and Montana is no exception. During your ranch week summer vacation at Dryhead, you will experience all the life of a working ranch has to offer. The grub is pretty good, the horses are nice, the cattle is generally cooperative, and the weather cannot be beat. Yes, this is all personal opinion, but the question is this: would you rather take your family on a predictable hotel vacation or summer vacation camping trip, or would you like to let them experience a completely unique cattle drive vacation at Dryhead Ranch? You are guaranteed to see more of the Big Sky then you ever thought possible, along with a menagerie of wild critters who still call this place home. Take home a working ranch vacation experience that you and your family will cherish for years to come.
Summer Vacation Ideas That Can’t Be Beat
It’s time to start planning for your summer vacation adventure. Do not wait to inquire about a ranch week at Dryhead. This is your chance to bring your family into a world out of time, where things move a little slower and more deliberately. Put those cellphones away and take a walk! Ride a horse! Do hard work, get tuckered out, fill up on some great food, and feel awesome. All these things and more await your during your summer vacation ranch week at Dryhead. Give us a call today to book your reservation. Ranch week spots can fill up fast!
Calf Branding Season
In Montana and Wyoming ranchers mark their cattle with brands. Each rancher’s brand is listed in a state brand registry. Any cattle that are bought, sold, or lost on cattle drives in Montana can be accounted for according to their brands. Spring is branding time, when the calves are small enough to be handled by a crew of guests and cowboys on foot. After our Montana cattle drives are finished, and our cattle are all at the ranch the branding begins. When you join us for a cattle drive vacation, you’ll see that we brand in the traditional way: with cowboys on horseback roping calves by the two hind feet one at a time. Calves are then drug to the waiting ground crew. Each calf is branded, given shots, ears notched, and males are castrated. By law we are required to brand our cattle to show ownership.
Just like it has been since the dawn of the Western cattle industry in the early 19th century, Spring marks the beginning of calving season at Dryhead Ranch. Calving season is a wonderful time to take cattle drive vacations, as the miracle of new life bursts forth all around you and staff gets ready for the first cattle drives of the year. Anyone looking to embark on a genuine cattle ranch adventure should seriously consider visiting Dryhead Ranch during the Spring calving season. Few experiences offer the real nitty-gritty texture of a calving season vacation on a genuine Wyoming cattle ranch, and few times are better than calving season to experience the frenetic pace and gratifying exertion of a real working cattle ranch.
Bringing New Life Into The World – Cowboy Style
Cattle ranches exist to produce beef, and the only place we have found yet that produces delicious grass-fed American beef is other cows. That’s why the working cattle ranch schedule revolves around the Spring calving season. What could be more important to the continued operation of a genuine Western cowboy cattle ranch than the propagation of their stock? The answer is obvious, which explains the obsessive effort that goes into each and every calving season.
Expect the Impossible; Plan for the Unthinkable
To those of us who do not work on an authentic cattle ranch, the sheer number of provisions on hand to guarantee the successful birth and post-natal care of calves on hand at all times can be a little head-spinning. First and foremost, there are the long gloves. These gloves reach the shoulder and are used for birth help. If you cannot imagine what that means, it’s probably best that you don’t. If even more “birth help” is needed, the prepared rancher has a “calf puller” on hand. The calf-puller attaches to an intractable calf at the legs and is used to pull the calf free of the mother in cases of difficult birth.
The Calf Is Out… Now What?
A calf emerges from its mother wet and hungry and in a sort of suspended animation. In most cases, the loving licks of the cow mother’s big raspy tongue serve both to clean and invigorate the calf, stirring it to wakefulness. Sometimes, however, something goes wrong. The mother cow may not understand how to clean its calf, the calf may suffer from respiratory problems, or the often-intense calving season cold may complicate the birth process. In some cases, the rancher must feed the calf by hand with a giant bottle, or else place it a small stall with its mother until the pair bond.
Unbelievable Calving Season Adventure!
If you and your family are fascinated by the idea of calving season, it is time to call Dryhead Ranch. Dryhead Ranch is gearing up for calving season right now. If you want to come lend a hand during the most important time in the life cycle of a working ranch, give Dryhead Ranch a call today. Space is limited!
Spring Ranch Weeks
Branding is a social occasion on ranches all over the west. Neighboring cowboys and friends come to offer their help, be it roping, wrestling, branding, giving shots, hauling water to the crew, or fixing lunch. After a long winter, it provides a chance to catch up on local news and get reacquainted with good friends.
As a guest during branding you will be involved in one of the oldest of cowboy traditions, as it was done in the 19th century. You are welcome to participate in all of the get down and dirty work you would like to experience. We just try to keep you safe. The week also offers many hours of riding as you gather the herd to brand and return them to spring pastures.
Summer Ranch Weeks
Our cowboys devote a great deal of time to working with young horses during the summer months. Two and three year olds are becoming mature enough to begin making small rides to move cattle or just become acquainted with the outside world with a rider accompanying them. The cowboys will take several weeks teaching the young horses to be caught, led, wear a saddle, carry a rider on a cattle drive, and begin responding to “a feel”. This is a remarkable process and a wonderful opportunity to watch horsemen at work.
As a guest during our cattle drives in Montana, you may spend several hours a day horseback riding through herds of mother cows and their calves, checking on the pastured horses and soaking up the vivid scenery of southern Montana. You may encounter antelope and coyotes, surprise mule deer in the brush, or watch a black bear and her cubs on a nearby hillside. You may get to work your first cow out of a herd and realize the partnership between you and your horse.
Book Your Ranch Week Today!
You may search the country side for arrow heads and scrapers baking in the red dust from years gone by, or slip inside a cool cave to see pictographs emerge on the walls as your eyes adjust to the dim light. You may visit the Dryhead Canyon buffalo jump and see bleached bones from the countless buffalo that fell to their deaths 500 years ago. You may see some of the last American wild horses raising dust as they take their harem a safe distance from the road.
Ranch weeks are the best enjoyed horseback riding vacation we offer. If you are looking for a unique hands on experience, that immerses you into every aspect of ranch life, from helping to halter break a young colt, to doctoring cattle, to wrangling horses at sunrise, to branding a calf, you need to reserve your place for a ranch week at the Dryhead Ranch.