Cattle drives part of fall agenda for Flint Hills ranchers

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STRONG CITY (KSNT) – As fall approaches and colder weather looms, the Flint Hills becomes a buzz of activity as the ranchers prepare to remove the thousands of cattle that arrived in the spring.

Each spring, more than 275,000 cattle from as far away as Mississippi are brought to the Flint Hills to graze on the rich grasslands. Just as important as bringing the cattle into the Flint Hills, is taking them off in the fall. These cattle drives are an important piece of land management for the ranchers that live in the Flint Hills.

In the fall the cattle are rounded up and driven to loading pens to be loaded on trucks and delivered back to their owners or taken to the feedlots.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, KSNT event photographer Keith Horinek had an opportunity to join a Flint Hills cattle drive that began in Chase County, Kansas. Because of the rocky terrain of the Flint Hills, most cattle drives are conducted on horseback. On Tuesday morning, they loaded their horses into trailers and drove out to the herds of cattle that were scheduled to be driven “home.”

The cattle drive took them over a 17-mile, 6-hour journey through the Flint Hills, crossing streams, steep valleys and rocky hillsides.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm