Refuge hosts 72nd annual Texas Longhorn Cattle Auction

Refuge hosts 72nd annual Texas Longhorn Cattle Auction

WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE, Okla._It's that time of the year again at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge as they host their 72nd annual Texas Longhorn Cattle Auction.

The auction kicked off at noon and about 300 people showed up and packed the stands as the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge auctioned off their overstock.

It is a tradition that was established in the 1940s and still going strong. This annual event brings many familiar faces to the refuge, like Randy Dodd

"I've been coming up here every year for several years. I used to raise longhorn cattle about 30 years ago. Don't have any anymore, but looking to buy some today," Dodd said.

He says the longhorns do come at a hefty price.

"The market is pretty high on domestic cattle. Don't know how much they will go for, but we will find out today," Dodd added.

When it comes to cattle, the longhorns are the crème de la crème.

"It's a special herd. A lot of people are interested in what they call a WR Texas longhorn with the history of this herd and genetics. People are very interested in these animals and that's what draws people to this auction," said Dan McDonald, wildlife refuge biologist.

McDonald is responsible for keeping the breed going.

"This herd was established in 1927 as a way to try and preserve longhorns. There were thoughts and fears that the breed was starting to disappear. We've had longhorns on the refuge ever since," McDonald explained.

The auction started with a running start and bids were flying throughout the stands, but what exactly do these people plan to do with the long horns?

"Often times, people get them to supplement the herd that they have to crossbreed them with the animals they have. And some just take them for meat," McDonald explained.

But no matter why you came, everyone says it's a good time.

"It's a good time. I'm from here. I used to raise longhorn. I've raised buffalo from the wildlife refuge. It's just a good time to see old friends," Dodd said.

There were a total of 120 longhorns in the auction and all of them were sold.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction go to the refuge and the rest of the money gets funneled to the federal government.