Wildlife Refuge holds 69th Annual Longhorn Auction - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Wildlife Refuge holds 69th Annual Longhorn Auction

COMANCHE CO., Okla_ About 130 Texas longhorns headed for their new homes today.   

It's the 69th Annual Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Longhorn Auction. These cattle are the pride of the refuge and this auction is the high point this time of year. The annual event sells off surplus cattle to make room for the younger herd.

Cattleman Richard Robbins said being at the auction every year is a dream come true. He's been coming to this the wildlife refuge auction since 1975. He's not here for just any longhorn; he said cattle have to meet his checklist.

"I look for size mostly. I want the bigger calves, wider, longer. Any place they can put a little short animal, there's not room for any meat. The wider the more meat there is."

Robbins said he never knows how many cattle he may leave the auction with.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm going to keep the bargain basement closed. Many times I've gone out of here with the cheapest animal, because if anybody's going to steal one, I want it to be me."

Refuge officials say the auction is a vital part of keeping the wildlife population in proper balance, but they understand how the drought may hamper sales.

"Even though we have people coming from all over the nation," wildlife biologist Walter Munsterman said, "A high percentage of them are stuck right here in kind of the extreme drought strip of the central great plains. So they're struggling. They're hurting for water. They're hurting for grass pasture to feed these animals."

Munsterman said he likes what he sees so far.

"I'm happy. We've got a good turnout. You know we've got a lot of buyers out here with trailers, and that's always a good sign"

Refuge officials said they sold all 136 of their cattle today, bringing in a little over $68,000. Munsterman said longhorn typically sell for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars apiece. A portion of that money stays on the refuge to take care of the remaining herd. The rest of it is put back into the national treasury.

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