The ranch was made up of seven sections, which were several parcels of land that Elmer Mack had purchased from various individuals. Wilmer and Merle Aus purchased the Mack Ranch on New Year’s Eve 1949, and it became known as the Aus Brothers Ranch. Later on, it would become Pitchfork Ranch on Sand Creek.
After nine years of owning the ranch together, Wilmer took over the ranch and Merle moved to Glendive, Montana. Since then, Merle has written a book on the history of the ranch and area titled, “It’s Better to be Lucky than Good”. When their mother passed away, Wilmer purchased the land owned by his parents, bordering the east side of Pitchfork Ranch, some of which was owned by Gordon Aus, Wilmer’s son.
In June 2009, Jon Wanzek purchased the ranch from Wilmer and Grace Aus and the portion of land owned by Gordon Aus. Jon kept the name Pitchfork Ranch, but the Aus family wanted to keep their pitchfork brand, Right Rib Cattle. Jon then purchased what is now the pitchfork brand, Left Shoulder Cattle, from another ranch near Reeder, ND.