Driving The Herd...Holding Pens By Sundown

Susan Bergstrom

Mesquite, United States

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Artist's Description

Many of you have seen this capture (Driving The Herd) over the last year…it has been in many Top Tens, Features and Won a Challenge or two…out of ALL the pictures I took on the drive… this capture resonates the whole experience of this drive for me .
This was taken late afternoon of the third day out… we were about five miles from the holding pens and the whole energy level picked up…a little scary but equally exciting.
The whole herd of 2000 head of Buffalo (with luck) would be securely enclosed into holding pens by sundown.

The herd seemed to sense they were being driven to encloseure and a frantic energy filled the air…a thundering stampede began to pick up and developed as we neared the 6 inch steel pipe reinforced holding pens.
There is no wire or plain wooden fencing that will hold a buffalo, standing still much less at a gallop. All the holding pens have a 6 inch steel pipe running behind the wood slats and every post is put in the ground with concrete.

The wrangler’s now go on high alert and tighten the herd as they begin the final descent into the holding area…This is a very tricky time ( all guest riders and amatures are taken out of this final phase)…and another area where Professional Cowboy Magic comes into play…they have to finesse over 2000 head of buffalo to slow to a pace that will not crush the holding area and cause mass injury, even death.
As you will see in the side bar photos….why this is slated as the top most dangerous job on earth.

This all took less then 30 minutes and was a sight to behold…the sound was deafining and the ground shook like an earthquake. I actually got tears in my eyes as it was such an emotionally charged sight…these “Historic Icons of America” were alive and well and including the wranglers, those of us who were guest riders and the public that had started to gather on the hill tops… there were over 1000 people standing guard over these awesome animals…

Stay tuned…more to come!

INITIAL DESCENT

ONE MORE MILE

CROSS YOUR FINGERS

THE CRUSH

CORRALLED AND SAFE

GUARDIANS ON THE HILLSIDE

Artwork Comments

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