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In Eastern Oregon with Larry Turner.
Every year in February, Mark Williams’ ZX Ranch, Paisley, Ore., cow crew drives 2,000 head of cows to the Poverty Basin calving grounds–a near 50-mile push from the main Chewaucan Valley Ranch to the high desert. The sparse, open country is often covered in a mantle of snow, creating cold conditions and the occasional need of a fire en route to thaw numb limbs and brew a pot of warming buckaroo coffee. The two-to-three day cattle drive is done with a buckaroo cow crew of less than 10.
Sterling Heller brings up the drag, herding the stock forward.
Buckaroos Mike Merchant, Josh Ashford and Chris Hunt chat after pushing the herd of cattle into a field of winter grass for an evening of foraging before resuming the drive the following day.
Mike Merchant loosens the cinch and lifts his saddle, giving air to his mount during a noon lunch break. Soon after, a fire is made to brew some fresh buckaroo coffee.

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last page update: 04.03.05