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photoZach Ferrill keeps a grip on the calf while Allan Acord applies the Bar A brand with an electric iron.

Range Ready
Branding time

As an icy wind whipped across the open grassland in the hills above Twisp Saturday morning, more than 150 calves were separated from their bawling mothers and driven into a straw-bale holding pen for one of cattleman Troy Acord’s rites of spring—vaccinating and branding.

Pickup trucks and horse trailers were plentiful. So were experienced cowboys and onlookers lucky enough to witness a small slice of Western history. Ropers on horseback worked two and three at a time to get a loop around the calves' rear hooves while others waited to help drag each animal into the open and hold it down.

Each calf got four shots up front and the “Bar A” brand on the left rear hip courtesy of Allan Acord, Troy’s dad, who stepped up, kneeled down and applied an electric branding iron. Within moments the smoke cleared and the deed was done.

The Acord cow-calf pairs will be moved to summer range northwest of Winthrop up Boesel Canyon and Cub Creek.

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