It has probably been about 70 years since open range laws were in effect in Stutsman County. These cows evidently didn’t get the memo.
Under open range laws a farmer was required to fence in land he didn’t want livestock on and cows and horses pretty much had the run of the land. It was the common way of managing things in the western Dakotas up until the depression era or a little later.
These cattle evidently held a little jail break and instituted their own version of open range out near Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge.