Page 18 article text (OCR)
106 % Norihwett Arkanxu TIMES, Sun., Oct. 20, 1974 The Roundup Still A Ritual Of The West HOT SPRINGS. S.D. (AP) -Cowboys on horseback ars fan ring across the wide open spaces of the West before dawn these days, continuing a cattle- country ritual little changed over the years despite a rapidly changing world. i The riders are hands on t h e Quarter-Circle Z Bar and their cowboy colleagues on the Rocking R and the Lazy H and the Star and the S p a d e and hundreds of other Western ranches. It's fall roundup time, one o! the two major milestones of the year on the prairie. The other is the spring roundup. It's a time when neighbors gather, strayed relatives return to the home place, and cattlemen can quietly show off their cows and their horses and their kids, just as did their daddies and their granddaddies in days gone by. . Oh. there have been changes on some ranches, with helicopters and Jeeps and motorcycles used to chase in the cattle, but mostly ranchers still round up their cows as their ancestors did a century .ago -- with tough, wiry men and tough, wiry horses. "Cows should be handled with horses," says Frank D. Wilson, part Indian, part Irishman, all cowman, who reigns over 160,000 acres of lonely prairie as the owner of the Quarter-Circle Z Bar ranch in southwest South Dakota, east of Hot Springs. BROAD RANGE Wilson's spread stretches from the Cheyenne River -- on which he owns nine miles of waterfront -- to the White River, some 20 miles to the southeast, i Between the rivers there is little on the land but cattle, grazing on the grass of a land where little rain falls, streams are far apart, the sun beats down unmercifully in the summer and the wind and the snow sweep bitterly across the rolling hills in the winter. Only a century ago, hunters and warriors from the Sioux Nation roamed this land, with Crazy Horse and Red Cloud and Sitting Bull and other Indian leaders winning battles but losing the war against the white man. They start spreading across the prairie at 4 a.m. on the Quarter-Circle Z Bar on roundup day, moving the cattle toward the corrals located in a broad valley, with no other man-made structure in sight except a weathered old. shack once used by riders patrolling the lonely prairie. , The cowhands are 26 strong this day for the Quarter-Circle Z Bar roundup, recruited from Wilson's regular ranch hands, from neighboring ranches and from kinfolk who have come back home to help. The young calves -- born six months ago -- are the object of the fall roundup. They will be cut out of the herd and trucked off to the sale barn at Chadron, Neb., 50 miles to the south, where they will be sold to Easterners with corn to feed them until they are fat and ready to be slaughtered for the nation's beefsteak and ribs and hamburger acd roast beef. CATTLE TRAPPED On the cattle come, by the hundreds, over the hills and into skillfully designed barbwire funnels built to guide them into the corrals. Wilson, on his black horse long before dawn with the other cowboys although he concedes he is well into his 70s. pulls up on a ridge and watches his cattle pass, the animals lumbering toward the corrals as unwisely as lemmings on their migration. The cows and calves trot down the hill on the final stretch, carefully stepping over thousands of holes in a town of -prairie dogs, a town which, mushrooms each year as rapidly as any exploding suburb. By the time the sun is up, casting a golden glow across the dying grass, the cattle are enclosed in the wooden corrals. Half a dozen riders stay in the saddle but the others tie their horses to the fence and walk into the maze of the corrals to sort the calves from the cows. The riders on horseback push the cattle into a final trap where cowboys on foot turn the mothers back to the freedom of the pasture, holding the youngsters. The calves are herded into the chutes leading to the waiting semi-trailer trucks w h i c h csn carry more than 100 head, and truckload after' truckload heads over the hills to the sale barn at Chadron where they'll be sold two days hence. While their trucks are being loaded, Wilson's daughters, Mrs. Freeman Rapp and Mrs. Bill Kuhl, and his wife drive up in a station wagon loaded with soft drinks and coffee and barbecue sandwiches and cake. The food goes fast, because it's been a long time since breakfast. Then the remaining calves are loaded on trucks and the cowboys head for home. Some of the riders put their horses in trailers and drive off, a small concession to modern ranch equipment. But others rope fresh horses and ride home, galloping off as friskily as they rode up, 10 hours earlier. The fall roundup on the Quarter-Circle Z Bar is over for another year. AtJTUMN'S MOST EXCITING EVENT FROM THE STORE THAT BUYS Jlg TO SAVE YOU MONEY Special Purchase! Pant Suits Dresses and Party Pajamas 19 97 Special saving on our 2 or 3 piece pajamas, our 4 styles of panUuits or dresses in autumn'hues.; All are made of 100% polyester. Sizes 8 to 18. In Autumn tones and dusty pastels. Moderate Dresses--DILLARD'S-First Floor Newest Jewelry for Fall.. .Orig. $2 1 The newest fashion minded jewelry by a Famous Maker. Perfect for those new fall outfits. A large assortment of styles. In goldstone, silverstone and colors. Necklaces, chains, earrings and bracelets too. Jewelry--DILLARD'S--First Floor Now...Three Convenient Wjys To Charge These two popular oredtt eards plus your DHartfs credit card .. .At AH DILLARD'S and DILLARD'S Pfeffer-Blass Stores in Arkansas Opm Monday Thru Saturday 10 AJtL Until 9 P.M.