As a 'pantser', I never plan in advance. I just let things happen and see where it takes me.
This next scene was certainly the case. Well, it started in the previous scene with Komil saying the deer were shedding. Up until this point, I had been sticking closer with Inuit mythology/lifestyle, but because I had also been reading myths from Norway, Siberia, etc, suddenly deer appeared in this story. In Siberia today, there are still nomadic communities that own herds of reindeer and believe they have a symbiotic partnership: the deer grant the people the right to eat them and use their fur/etc in exchange for protection from predators on their migration routes.
Yes, I did grew up next-door to several farms, but they were small ones. 10-20 acres. One did raise meat cattle, but it was essentially just a 10 acre fence- in treed area for them to roam around. Not enough cattle to even bother tagging or branding. The only time I was ever on a farm that actually tagged cattle was during the year I lived in Alberta, and those were all microchip tags, no branding.
I wrote this scene with no real knowledge, just my imagination. I have pushed through herds of closely-penned cattle/sheep/etc before and know they're so used to other cattle/sheep shoving into them, that they really don't care if you're there unless you start behaving strangely or shouting or something. They're pretty low-stress animals as long as you're confident, and I figure deer, since they're also a herd-animal, would be similarly minded.
None of the cultural information in here was pre-planned either. I knew the basic idea of where they lived, how food would work, all the big-picture kind of stuff necessary to live... and then just started writing. I think what I find most interesting about folklore/etc is that the land/animals/etc pretty much is where stories and culture begin. Desert dwelling people will see the world in a completely different way than jungle dwelling people, or sea-faring people.
Which is why I always start with the land and let it influence the stories/cultures that could come from it. I ask, what sort of creatures live here? How does weather influence the ability to harvest food? What kinds of arts would they have and technologies they would rely on? If I lived in this world, with these available resources, based on all my knowledge and experience, how would I survive? What would I be concerned about? What would I do to improve my circumstances?
If I claimed one, true, innate *skill*, it would be my ability to deconstruct things, whether it be a physical object, or simply an idea. I think this is why I was able to hide the fact I'm dyslexic throughout my entire schooling-life. I can take things apart, re-arrange all the parts, then put it all back together in a more efficient way.
So, knowing I have no personal experience with branding/etc, is this situation believable? It's simply referencing what I do know against what would be logical (based on the technology level, culture, etc) and splicing it into a fictional world. Ah, and keep in mind, I have studied indigenous cultures quite extensively :)
If it's not believable, what information do you need to make it so?