Skip to content

Bringing the cows home with Russell Bayliss and Kathy Kyle

Annual event an old-fashioned cattle drive
Bringing the cows home
Russell Bayliss once again had an old-fashioned cattle drive once again this year.

CARNDUFF - Russell Bayliss and Kathy Kyle are cattle ranchers and have a 500-plus cow-calf operation.

Their ranch is located 12 kilometres northwest of Carnduff. Every October these ranchers have a series of old-fashioned cattle drives. Their livestock is moved by horseback from pastures located as far as 75 kilometres from home. 

The move home usually happens in stages over seven days; this year, due to the drought an extra move day was required. 

Sixty-six different cowboys and cowgirls participated in the October cattle drives this year, from ages seven to 70. Bayliss and his 14-year-old son Morgan are the crew chiefs, with Kyle and 17-year-old daughter Jillian preparing the meals.

Bayliss believes that bringing the cows home the old-fashioned way reduces their stress compared to trucking, and allows him to have a really good look at the condition of each of the cattle. Bayliss is encouraged to see the way that friendships and confidence grow as a result of the hours spent on the trail.  He wants the riders to remember how it was done in the old days.

Alameda resident Dwayne Henderson participated in this year’s cattle drive and it was his first in 12 years.

“I absolutely had a blast,” he said, “but I was a little stiff and sore for a few days.”

Kathy, who is also an ordained United Church minister, is in charge of the meals and refreshments.

“Jillian and I bring out lunch in a very cool van one of the cowboys gave us, which was reclaimed from SGI. It was given to us decaled as the Bar MW Bayliss Chuckwagon.”

Their essential crew member is 66-year-old Sharon Hubbard, who drives the truck and trailer following the cowboys on every single chase. Russ remembers telling Sharon when she first took on this role 10 years ago, “I am in charge of the cows, you are in charge of every cowboy, dog and horse behind me.” 

He is happy and not surprised to report that Hubbard has never lost a dog or a child. She spends her trail days doling out refreshments, snacks, switching horses in and out of the trailer and visiting with all who join her in the truck for a rest or a warm up. Rounding out the crew, Kyle reflected that “We have older friends and relatives on the crew that move the trucks and trailers from the pastures to the end point. It is a multi-faceted series of days.”

Kyle grew up in Saskatoon and never dreamed she would become a rancher. But she did and she loves it. Added her husband, “Cattle and ranching is a great way to make a living.” A cattle roundup requires co-operation and teamwork and the youngsters really learn good lessons for life. 

Their older daughter Gina, who is currently tackling theatre school in Victoria, B.C., was well prepared for the long hours, judging by the sun-up to sun-down days she spent on a horse while part of the chase crew. 

It has given the family a lot of joy to see their life together and with their crew documented by local photographer Liz Griffin during the last two years. They are in the process of creating a coffee table book about ranching; it will feature Griffin’s amazing photography. 


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks