|A vast area of land, miles wide, is broken into five large cattle ranches, each run by a different family.
One of the largest and oldest ranches is run by Don Leone assisted by his sons: Freddie - the oldest but weakest, Sonny the Bear - a hot tempered natural leader, and Tom - the adopted orphan who acts as lawyer.
Don's fourth son, Mikey, is home fresh from a stint in the Indian Wars and wants nothing to do with the family business (he can't stand the smell of cows).
A rival rancher, Bart Ziti, has decided he wants to take over the Leone ranch and Don's interest in the local watering holes and whore houses.
After a failed attempt to try and convince Don and his family to combine with his in controlling all of the grassland and thus the feeding of their large cattle stocks, he hires a rustler/hired gun named Sal Lozzo and teams with another ambitious rancher named Phil Tattle.
After the large wedding of Don Leone's daughter to a local ranch hand Carl, the family works on beefing up their resources against what they expect will be oncoming bloodshed.
Don secretly sends his chief butcher to try and spy on Ziti and the Tattle family.
A week later his bloody leather vest is delivered to the Leone range, wrapped around a pair of horns.
It is a Texican message - Loco Brazi sleeps with the cows.
One night, as the Christmas holiday approaches, Don Leone heads into town to do some business, see some friends, and play poker.
His son Freddie drives the carriage since his father's driver Paulie has come down with a cold.
As Don emerges from the Genco Saloon he is ambushed by gunmen while Freddie watches in horror.
He's taken to the local Doc's place and although he lives, he is unable to conduct the family business.
When Mikey stops to visit his father he finds him unguarded; the local sheriff has sent the Leone men away - possibly allowing a chance for Lozzo to finish the job.
After some rough words with the sheriff (and a beating) he makes sure his father is safe and guarded.
It is at this time that Mikey decides his love of the old man is greater than his disgust of cattle and joins in with the family.
After the incident at the Doc's, Sonny has Don moved back to the ranch as he plans his revenge.
He orders riders to hit the Tattle family ranch, burning down the barns and killing many.
This turns into the start of a full out Range War and the Leone ranch is turned into a fortress.
Lozzo proposes a meeting to cool things down but The Bear has had enough of talking.
Mikey proposes a different method during the family meeting, one that will place him eventually as head of the Leone Family…