Wyoming Cattle

One can see a lot of cattle in Wyoming, if you drive through you will also see plenty of horses and an abundance of pronghorn. But this post is all about cattle and the beginning of the cattle industry in the state.

In 1847 a group of Mormons drove the first herd of cattle through the state. Later these cattle of Durham and Devon type were developed and used to stock western Wyoming ranches, along with the tough longhorn out of Texas.

The first cattle proving that Wyoming grass could support them was a complete accident. Robert Campbell and his partner Seth Ward wintered hundreds of oxen in the Chugwater and Guernsey area as early as 1852. The cattle wintered on Chug Creek and near Seth Wards, Oregon Trail trading post at Register Cliff, near Guernsey on the North Platte River.

The first, poor, tired, sore footed oxen they wintered were expected to die, they really were not trying to start a cattle industry in Wyoming. But to their great surprise, when spring came, the oxen not only survived the winter, but thrived, and were ready to go back to work on the trail.
The rest is easy to see. Take a drive through any part of Wyoming and cattle, fat and sassy, can be seen, enjoying the hard short grass of Wyoming.
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