Cattle drives conjure visions of the dusty Old West, but the Western plains are not the only terrain capable of supporting this enterprise. The grasslands and marshes of southwest Louisiana not only supported a cattle industry, but also served as a rich environment for its growth early in the state 1/2s history. This illustrated account of the cattle industry in southwest Louisiana covers the trail drives of the 1750s to the status of the ranches in the 1970s.
Migratory cattle ranching in Louisiana prospered at the hands of early settlers accustomed to trapping, fishing, and hunting. Their innate ability to live off the land made them suitable to working with the livestock. Personal accounts reveal their passion for horses and a way of life that, although hard, gave them personal satisfaction. They all confirm that they didn 1/2t get rich living a cowboy existence, but they would have it no other way. Herding cattle to grazing lands and finally to market followed the seasons and the geography. Bill Jones takes us through the seasons and introduces us to the specific landscape and the dangers inherent in the Louisiana marshes. Bogging down a herd in the marsh, saltwater summer storms, snakes, and hurricanes were particular problems, and Louisiana cowboys had the skill and knowledge needed to make the drive successful.