Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Giddy Up! Cattle Drives Bring Back the Old West

Think cattle drives are a thing of the past?  Not so in Matagorda County.  The spirit of the Old West lives on with the Huebner family who has been driving their herd between their ranch in Bay City to the Matagorda Peninsula for 101 years.

“The mother cows spend the winter on the peninsula and then we bring them all back with their calves in the spring,” said Kristi (Huebner) Meyer, fifth-generation cattle rancher. “We move about 500 mother cows to the peninsula but keep the yearling calves here in Bay City until springtime, allowing them to eat winter grasses we planted on about 4,000 acres.”  They made their most recent trip on December 16, 2010.

“A lot of the winter Texan snowbirds or tourists in the area are mesmerized by them, and amazed at the fact that we still use cattle drives to move our herd from one property to another,” Meyer said. “For me, this is just such a way of living – the cattle drives happened every year of my life.”

If you'd like to watch the Spring drive, contact the folks at LCRA's Matagorda Bay Nature Park for information at 1-800-776-5272, Ext. 4740 or via E-mail  If you love the outdoors, you may be interested in the calendar of outdoor programs offered at Matagorda Bay Nature Park and McKinney Roughs Nature Park near Bastrop.

To read the full cattle drive story on LCRA's website, follow this link.

Video by LCRA Matagorda Bay Nature Park staff member Rhonda Westbrook.

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