Linda Weatherly ranches in partnership with her brother, Tom, in the corner of eastern Washington near the Idaho and Oregon borders.
Their brand was registered in 1888 in Garfield County by the Corum family.
“My great-grandfather and his brother married Corum sisters and my great-grandfather homesteaded near Peola,” Linda said. Her grandfather and his brothers homesteaded nearby, west of Asotin.
She grew up riding horses, taking care of cattle.
“We had cabins in the Blue Mountains and stayed there while gathering cattle. Our family has had a permit from the Forest Service since 1909. My first time helping gather cattle was when I was 9,” Linda said.
“My dad, his brother and my grandparents (Gill Weatherly and Sons Ranch) were Cattlemen of the Year for Asotin County in 1957. At one point we had more than 300 cows,” she said.
“Now my brother and I are down to 30. He does most of the haying; I do little bales and he does big round bales,” she said. “We are both in our 70s but very healthy.”
Linda loves to ride, and she’d rather be out riding and working cows than anything else. She was Cattlewoman of the Year in 2017 for the state of Washington.
She feeds cows during the winter and checks on them at least twice a week after they go to mountain pastures in June.
She checks cattle on horseback, and sometimes on a 4-wheeler. She had a wreck on her 4-wheeler in mid-April and was pinned under it for several hours.
“I was looking for a heifer that was about to calve. I could see her down a draw, so I went around the draw to drive closer.”
The grass was mashed flat where snow had been on it, and she didn’t realize it was covering a drop-off. When she drove over that spot, the 4-wheeler flipped over and landed on her.
She was stuck under it, and when she tried to use her cell phone to call for help, she had no cell service.
“I was able to dig underneath myself and slide to the side and get out from under the 4-wheeler. I walked about 20 feet and had cell service. My brother and a friend loaded up another 4-wheeler and came to get me,” she said.
“Everybody worries about me because I’m out here alone, but I was OK. No broken bones or bruises, just very sore,” Linda said.
A few years ago when she was on her horse moving cows, she crossed the creek and the bank caved off — and her horse flipped over on her.
“But she got up,” Linda said. “A 4-wheeler doesn’t! I was more banged up in that horse wreck than with the 4-wheeler.”
When she takes off after a cow on her horse she always hopes her horse won’t step in a hole.
“When I was a kid I never worried about anything, just rode hell bent for leather and never thought about things like that,” she said.
She has always enjoyed cattle.
“When we were kids, we had Herefords. Now we have Hereford, red and black Angus and one Charolais. I love my Herefords and I told Tom that my next bull has got to be a Hereford! The black baldies are great,” she said.
She also loves her horses.
“I have two Hancock Quarter Horses and the one I ride the most was given to me when he was a 2-year-old,” Linda said. “He is so quick and agile that I love riding him, and he outwalks all my friends’ horses.”
A group of cowgirl friends help her at branding or other times working cattle.
“In 2017, the Lewiston Tribune did an article about my cowgirl crew. The reporter interviewed all of us while we were branding,” Linda said.