JCross Ranch is a working ranch and a proud provider of Oklahoma Natural Beef. It’s home to many animals including an amazing herd of Oklahoma natural beef cattle. Check out Our Story to find out more about JCross Ranch and Natural Beef! Tonight, I was sitting by the fire after a great dinner of our own Oklahoma natural beef. As I was looking out the window at the cold weather, I remembered about a time a few years back when we had quite the snowy adventure…
It was in the dead of winter and we’d had some heavy snowfall on the ranch. We were checking on our herd, feeding them hay, and making sure their water wasn’t frozen when we noticed that we were missing a calf. One of our mama cows was there but her new calf who was born the week before was missing. This poor little calf was somewhere in the snow, probably trapped and hungry. We needed to find it quickly and reunite it with its mother or we knew it wouldn’t make it.
We figured that the calf was probably trapped somewhere, or worse, otherwise the mother wouldn’t have left her. My dad and I quickly saddled up our horses to go in search of this missing calf. She could be anywhere, there was so much ground to cover. It was freezing, snowing, and the horses were trekking in deep snow. Frantically, we checked all the places we thought she could be. After a long hour of searching, we finally found her trapped in the snow, tangled in some branches by a small pond. We were able to release her and she seemed happy for the help.
With the long trudge back home to the herd, we knew it would be a challenge to get the calf to follow us. We had to quickly figure out a way to get this baby calf back to the herd and back to its mom. Our solution: put the calf on back of the horse and ride home. Let’s just say our horses are used to cows, but not to them straddling their backs. In theory, my dad figured that he could carry this calf on the saddle with him all the way back. His horse was definitely not a fan of this idea.
After his horse freaked when he tried to put the calf on its back, my horse then proceeded to freak out as swell. Next thing I know, I’m laying flat on my back in the snow. I had to rush to catch both of our horses and settle them down. I got back on my horse and the only solution was for my dad to carry this calf all the way back to its mom. As I was riding and leading my dad’s horse behind me, my dad carried this little calf all the way back home. It was a long walk and it was not easy! Have you ever tried to carry a wriggling calf on your shoulders in the snow and freezing cold? I remember looking back as I was riding, watching him carry this black calf with the cutest little white face. He reminded me of the good shepherd who left the flock to find the one missing sheep. That’s what it takes to be a rancher!
It was miserable then, but looking back now, I realize that sometimes it’s the crazy situations that make for the best stories and memories. It was an adventure for sure! It gave me a new respect for my dad. He has a true rancher’s spirit. He is always willing to do what it takes and do his best for the ranch and his family.