Posted: Nov 9, 2012 1:35 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Updated: Nov 9, 2012 4:41 PM
DELL - An Old West piece of history came to life in southwest Montana recently.
Over 220 cattle came home for the winter last weekend, but these aren't your ordinary every day cattle.
"A lot of people stop on the freeway and take pictures because they either haven't seen them-I get all sorts of weird answers. Look at the strange buffalo, look at the water buffalo, look at the yaks," says Big Sky Natural Beef owner Wally Congdon.
These hairy, horned cattle are called Scottish Highlander cattle. They are considered the base cow for today's breeds.
"Very efficient in the winter, they grow really slow so you don't see them in feed lots," adds Congdon.
Scott Simmons is a Lima teacher. He helped drive the cattle home on horseback. He says, "They're unique to the cattle world. They're kind of fun to be around."
Up until 6 years ago Scottish Highlanders were on the endangered species list. This group has been feeding off summer grass near the Snowline exit off Interstate 90.
A tiresome 15-mile cattle drive brought the Highlanders home for the winter in the Dell area.
The cattle are being driven home on the historic Drover Trail or Drover Road.
It was established in the mid-1880s and used to move cattle from Fort Hall, Idaho to Deer Lodge.
Today it is used to drive cattle from Monida to Red Rock.
Congdon says there are about 10 people in Montana who raise Scottish Highlander cattle.
There are about 25,000 Highlanders in the US.