As Summer draws to a close the sheepmen of South Central Montana prepare for Fall. Fields may need to be hayed, breeding groups planned, sheep culled and shipped for sale.
I spent the past week in the Boulder river area at pasture with the Halvorson and Lair families as they sorted, culled and shipped sheep.
Culling is the selling of or separating of animals with undesirable characteristics or health issues . Hundreds of heads of sheep are assessed one by one, sorted into separate holding pens; those who will stay on pasture and those who will be sold(rejected) from the herd.
In both families fathers sons grandsons and grandfathers work side by side. In the heat of a Montana sun the process of culling can take as much as a few days depending on how many head of sheep the family runs.