Sent by Mona Everett in response to my question of what in the world was an "Under Keal!" (Thanks!)
Possibly it was a type of cut made in the animal's ear. I found this on a webpage about brands:
Marks besides brands were used. Some ranchers marked their cattle with a wattle, a mark of ownership made on the neck or the jaw of an animal by pinching up a quantity of skin and cutting it. The skin, however, is not cut entirely off, and when the cut is healed, a hanging flap is left. Wattles, however, were not as common as earmarks, which were used by nearly every cattleman during the open-range days and were recorded along with brands. As the name suggests, an earmark was a design cut into one or both ears of an animal. Sometimes a portion of the ear might be removed. A semicircular nick was an "underbit" or "overbit." A square clip at the tip of roughly half of the ear was a "crop," while cutting the ear close to the head was a "grub." A V-shaped cut in the tip of the ear was a "swallow-fork." The same mark on both ears became known as a "flickerbob." A "double over-bit" was the mark made by cutting two triangular pieces in the upper part of the animal's ear. One of the better-known earmarks in Texas was the "jinglebob," a deep slit that left the lower half of the ear flapping down. Many cattlemen considered it one of the most hideous earmarks ever devised. It was the mark of John S. Chisum,qv whose great ranch lay in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico.
Also, see Loch na Keal--the description is of an inlet that almost "dissects" the land--maybe that is the type of ear cut an under keal was. Just guessing, but it makes sense in the context.
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