Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

April 22, 2013

Calf branding and cowboy cooking

by JUDY SHERIDAN

Breakfast, lunch and a history lesson — for free — that’s what’s in store for city folks who “cowboy up” to the Squaw Creek Cattle Company annual Calf Branding and Cowboy Cooking event set for Saturday, May 4, in Aledo.

The event is hosted by the Chapman brothers: Barney and John.

Coffee and biscuits — cooked over the campfire — will be served up starting at 8 a.m., John Chapman said, and cowboys will start working the calves between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. An all-you-can-eat fajita lunch kicks off about 10:30 a.m.

“Everyone is welcome,” Chapman said. “We buy enough for the whole county.”

Chapman said about 80 Brangus calves will be branded the “old way,” roped and thrown down instead of being pushed through a squeeze chute, to give folks a little taste of Texas history.

Attendance continues to grow at the longtime event, he said, at least according to the chuck wagon cook, who eyeballed last year’s hungry crowd at about 400 head.

“I’ve got to work the calves anyway,” Chapman said, waving off the expense. “I got started when people started asking me if they could bring their kids out to watch. They’d never seen anything like that.

“This is the way I like to do things. I’m an old-timey conservative.”

To find the ranch, take the Annetta/Mikus Road exit (415) off Interstate 20 and head south on FM 5. Drive 5 miles and turn right on Muir Lane. (Look for the Moncrief Quarter Horses sign.) Drive three-tenths of a mile on Muir Lane to Savage Lane and turn left. (You will see another Moncrief Quarter Horses sign.) Drive to where the road makes a “T” (1.1 miles). Turn left on Bear Creek Road and drive 1.6 miles — the ranch entrance will be on the left. You can see the branding pens from the road.

From Cresson, head north on Highway 71. Turn right on Bear Creek Road. (Bear Creek Road will be approximately 2.8 miles before you get to Interstate 20.) The drive is about 7 miles on Bear Creek Road to the entrance of the ranch, on the left.

For more information, call John Chapman at 817-925-2238 or Barney Chapman at 214-577-0555.

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