ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - When you're used to keeping up with nearly 800 head of cattle, branding is a must.
"If I ship any cattle off from here, then I definitely brand them and I do a good bit off pasture leasing and stuff in other parts of the state," says Harrell Moore with Moore Cattle Company.
Harrell Moore has been in the cattle business since he was 18. 40 years later, he still makes sure his cows are marked.
"If it's heifers or something I plan on selling later on, I'll just put a small mark on them, like a little slash like you've seen on some of these cattle, that way if another ranch buys them, they won't be branded up," says Moore.
This year, those brands have to be re-registered. Every ten years, the state requires cattle-owners to register their brand.
If they don't go to the county clerks office and submit a form by the end of February, their brand is up for grabs.
"We have brands that go back to the early 1900s, some before that and the family keeps the brand forever. We've never had anyone, since I've been in office, that turned their brand in," says Joann Chastain an Angelina County Clerk.
Ranchers can re-register their brand just to keep it in the family, even if they don't plan on using it.
If your cattle get out, you have to transfer them to greener pastures to eat in this drought, or let them out because of a fire, a brand registered at the county clerks office allows the cattle to be traced back to their owner.
"It's just real important when you move cattle to a place you don't really know about and you're not going to be living there and you'll have other people seeing after them. It's really important that you know what cattle is yours," says Moore.
It's a permanent way to keep tabs on your beef.