In the late 1880s a conflict arose between the owners of large and small ranches. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association claimed that that some of these smaller operations were involved in stealing cattle from its members. It decided to employ a group of fifty gunmen called the Regulators to exterminate the men carrying out these activities. The small ranch owners responded by establishing the rival Northern Wyoming Farmers and Stock Growers Association.
In 1892 the Wyoming Stock Growers Association drew up a death list of seventy suspected rustlers. They also recruited an extra twenty-two gunmen from Texas. In April 1892, Major Frank Wolcott, owner of the VR Ranch, led the Regulators into Johnson County. They went to the KC Ranch and shot dead Nick Ray and Nate Champion.
News of these events reached Red Angus, Sheriff of Johnson County. He quickly raised an army of 300 men and went after Wolcott's army. Angus men besieged Walcott's forces at the TA Ranch until they were rescued by the 6th Cavalry three days later.
Walcott and his men were held at Fort McKinney but with the support of the powerful Wyoming Stock Growers Association the men were released without charge.