Author Archives

All Articles written by // Duke Phillips
April 13, 2017

Chasing the Green

This spring feels like it’s pregnant. As if it is about to burst out unchecked as a living being.

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March 7, 2017

Wilder Bison Works

Our bison threatened to stampede through the North Dakota pipeline demonstration during the fall roundup.

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February 24, 2017

Wild Cows

For the sisters that got away.

You live in the hills, and parks,
And in the draws which best hold you hidden.
The sharp rocks are your friends…

A poem by Duke Phillips.

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November 30, 2016

Remembering Dale Lasater

“He was the most influential person in my life.” Duke Phillips III remembers his friend, mentor and fellow rancher Dale Lasater.

February 11, 2016

The New Cycle

Yesterday when we were riding home, Tom said to me, “I will be happy when things get back to normal”.  This is our third week of working cattle, and he was expressing what all of us are feeling.  It isn’t that Tom and the rest of us do not like doing this work, quite the opposite, we love it.  But, its controlled chaos. Things happening at perhaps not a fast pace, but for sure a much higher level of activity

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February 5, 2016

Today Was a Great Day

Since 2000, it happens once a year when all Ranchlands people gather from all the ranches to the Chico to cut up the meat that we will be eating for the rest of the year.  It started because one day I was thinking, here I work with cows and I don’t even know exactly where the rib eye or the new york come from exactly; we just sent the animal away to the local butcher like everyone one else.  So

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January 27, 2016

Winter Cattle Works: The Real Story

This week and the next three are the annual cattle works when we bring the cattle herd in its entirety into the corrals (the only time the entire year) to wean the steer calves that we sold last summer to deliver to the buyer in February, and pregnancy test the females.  This is when we find out how many cows are pregnant, how heavy the calves are, the markers of how we performed this year, the outcome of the work,

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December 7, 2015

Passing Through

Trotting out alone from HDQ last Friday, I was headed out to meet the rest of the crew to gather the commercial cowherd and move it to the next pasture in the rotation.  They were trotting out from May Camp, about 4 miles out, where their saddle horses had been overnighted.  The sun was not up, it was not too cold and my horse went into a long trot that would take us across Chico Creek, skirting Whipple Ridge which

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November 30, 2015

Winter

The first major storm has come leaving a white blanket thrown over everything.  I was just thinking -and it’s just November– the whole winter is ahead of us.  On days like this, my mind always goes out to the cows out there in the early morning during the coldest part of the day right before the sun rises.   Are we providing the right amount of protein? Do we have them in the right pasture with enough cover?

As we move the

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October 28, 2015

A Pretty Cool Place

In the fall on the Chico, the cotton woods trees are the ones that catch your eye, turning gold and yellow that is especially brilliant in the chilly morning first light.   But the prairie’s beauty is much deeper.  You have to live here every day for a while before you begin to even notice it.  AT first, it almost seems shy – waiting behind things, not needing to show off like a snow capped mountain peak.

But then one day after

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