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PHOTO GALLERY: The slow walk home - Black Diamond area ranchers round up their herd

Each year after the herds are driven out to forestry leases in Kananaskis Country in spring to graze for the summer, the time comes to gather them up again. Spending a week in K-Country, ranchers round up cattle, sort the herds, and bring them home for the winter.

Each year after the herds are driven out to forestry leases in Kananaskis Country in spring to graze for the summer, the time comes to gather them up again. Spending a week in K-Country, ranchers round up cattle, sort the herds, and bring them home for the winter.

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The cows and calves of the Thomson herd emerge from the forestry grazing leases on Oct. 16, grown and ready to come home from the winter. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Fourth-generation rancher Chad Thomson herds stray cattle through wooded areas. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Candace Thomson helps gather the family herd from the woods near Sandy McNabb Campground in K-Country to drive back to XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY

 

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Third-generation rancher John Thomson gathers his herd near Sandy McNabb Campground to drive back to family's XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Signs warn drivers along Highway 546 as cattle are driven home to the Thomson family's XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. Drivers speeding down the highway present a danger to the animals not just during the drive, but year-round. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Motorists stop and take photos on their cell phones as cattle are driven home to the Thomson family's XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. While difficult, it is often safe to slowly move through the herd with care. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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The Thomson family's herd is driven past a row of cars where hikers stage at the Kananaskis Country gates on Oct. 16. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Third-generation rancher John Thomson drives his family's herd back to XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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The Thomson family's herd leaves Kananaskis Country on Highway 546 on Oct. 16. Each year after being driven out in spring to forestry leases in Kananaskis Country to graze for the summer, the cattle are rounded up, sorted, and brought back home for the winter. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Hayes Thomson leads the way driving his family's herd back to XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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The Thomson family's herd stops for a drink at the crossing of the Sheep River southwest of Turner Valley on their way home to XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. Each year after being driven out in spring to forestry leases in Kananaskis Country to graze for the summer, the cattle are rounded up, sorted, and brought back home for the winter. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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The Thomson family's herd crosses the Sheep River southwest of Turner Valley on their way home to XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16. Each year after being driven out in spring to forestry leases in Kananaskis Country to graze for the summer, the cattle are rounded up, sorted, and brought back home for the winter. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY

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Scott Emerson, fellow rancher and friend of the Thomson Family, emerges from the brush near the Sheep River as he too drove his herd home on Oct. 16. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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On the home stretch, the ranchers and their herd must cross Highway 22, relying on the grace of motorists to wait the few minutes it takes for their herd to safely cross. | Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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John Thomson watches over his herd arriving home at a pasture near the family's XL Ranch near Black Diamond on Oct. 16 where they will spend the winter. Each year after being driven out in spring to forestry leases in Kananaskis Country to graze for the summer, the cattle are rounded up, sorted, and brought back home for the winter. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY

 


Brent Calver

About the Author: Brent Calver

Award-winning photojournalist for the Okotoks Western Wheel and OkotoksToday.ca
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