New Mexico Cattle Brands
As Causey and other buffalo hunters
eliminated the buffalo by the thousands and located water on the LLano Estacado,
ranchers and settlers moved in replacing the bygone buffalo with herds of sheep,
horses, cattle and there was some speculation regarding a few herds of Camels
brought in by the U.S.Army, with cattle ranchers eventually winnig out.
Herd sizes ranged from a few dozen to several thousand head of cattle and horses being owned by one outfit, keeping track of which ornery old longhorn belonged to which ornery rancher was critical, especially during the Open Range period between 1885-19XX when cattle were generally grazed in an area or after a blizzard as that of the 1918 blizzard when livestock either froze to death or roamed for miles ahead of the ever advancing storm, leaving small homesteaders with nothng but despair, giving up their dreams heading back to where they came from or further west into California.
When roundup came livestock was gathered from miles around, brought to a central location where livestock was sorted by mark or brand that had been placed on the animal using a hot branding iron, and new calves were branded according to the cow feeding them.
Open Range Cowboy Association of Lovington
Southwest Cattle Brand history