Calling the Brands: Stock Detectives in the Wild West

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When one thinks of the Wild West, it’s easy to summon up images of cattle rustlers, lawmen, and outlaws roaming the range. It’s far harder to conjure up ideas of how long-range cattle drives were actually policed, or how lawmen properly built cases against criminals who stole cattle, butchered them, or otherwise sabotaged the honest work of ranchers out west.

Calling the Brands brings the world of the stock detective to life, describing the formal and informal practices employed to thwart cattle rustlers and other thieves. From state and federal bureaucracies designed to police branding symbols to unofficial associations paid by cattlemen in order to hire men as dangerous as the criminals themselves, it’s a rich and rarely explored addendum to the well-trodden history of the wild west lawman.

McCord clearly knows his stuff, cataloguing the various state-run organizations, how they handled recovering cattle and building cases against rustlers, and even offering brief histories on the colorful lawmen (and one lawwoman!) who specialized in cattle crimes.

And if you thought cattle rustling crimes were a thing of the past, you’ll enjoy a glimpse into how 21st-century stock detectives battle modern cattle crimes.


Reviewed By:

Author Monty McCord
Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 198 pages
Publisher TwoDot
Publish Date 2018-Jul-01
ISBN 9781493030873
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2018
Category History
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