INDIAHOMA, OK (KSWO)- It's that time of the year again at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge as they host their annual Texas Longhorn Cattle Auction. Every year, people from far and wide show up and pack the stands as the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge auctions off their overstock to make room for the younger herd. It is a tradition that was established in the 1940s and still going strong.
The auction kicks off at noon on Sept 21st at the Refuge corrals immediately north of the Refuge headquarters, 12 miles northwest of Cache, Oklahoma off Highway 49. Head out early and enjoy a hamburger lunch for $5 at 11:00 a.m.
The cattle start at a couple hundred dollars each. In past auctions, some of the best animals have sold for as much as $10,000. A portion of the proceeds from the auction go to the refuge and the rest of the money gets funneled to the federal government. The Wildlife Refuge uses the funds to pay for testing, vaccinations and veterinarian fees for the upkeep of the population amongst other things.
However, some people at the auction just wanted to have some fun and enjoy the novelty of the longhorn. Only 30 head of cattle were relocated to the refuge in 1927, and it has now multiplied many times and resulting in the need for an annual auction. The Wildlife Refuge keeps just under 300 head of Longhorn on its 60,000 acres of land and when the herd reaches capacity, they must thin it out.
The Longhorns sold are the healthiest livestock. They come vaccinated for the most common diseases to assure they are in good health when shipped to the buyer.