Chico Basin Ranch

To view entries by location, click on a ranch name: Zapata Ranch // Chico Basin Ranch


The Chico is an 87,000 acre cattle ranch on the eastern plains of Colorado. Its sprawling ranges of short grass and sandsage prairie, spring-fed lakes, and creeks are home to diverse populations of birds, pronghorn, deer, fish, prairie dogs, coyote, badgers, and much more. Owned by the Colorado State Land Board and managed by Ranchlands, the Chico also offers education, farming, recreation, sporting, arts, and hospitality programs.

August 18, 2014

New Friend

When the kids are out riding you never know what they will find.  This little fellow came home in Cole’s pocket the other day.  He seemed quite content with human companionship.

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August 11, 2014

Ranch Roundup

This month on the ranches, we welcomed rain on the Chico, had our last branding, worked in the leather room, moved cattle with guests and of course, worked on the dirt bikes and trailers.

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August 2, 2014


It seems that we are always fixing one thing or another.
Whether it is a truck, a fence, or water system, it is always something.
The past few weeks we have seen them all. We’ve serviced all the vehicles,
we fixed the washed out fences and now we fixed the pump. Pictured here is Jason
saving the day by pulling the pump to change the motor
and teaching me about the system. It was great opportunity
to learn about hydraulics and electrical systems. I’m also very

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July 31, 2014

Kit, the Ranch Cow Dog

There’s a different feel at Headquarters now. If you go there very much you notice it from the moment you step from your truck, because the first thing you normally look for is Kit laying in one of his nests yowling you over for a pat.  Kit, the ranch border collie, passed on last week. He’d been going downhill for a few weeks and we were all waiting for the worst. What happened finally was one morning we couldn’t find

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July 18, 2014


Badgers are pretty elusive animals, and most of the time when you see one, it’s running away and quickly disappears into a hole. I was lucky to get this picture when I saw two scampering along among a prairie dog town. The first disappeared as normal, but I managed to capture the second one right before he followed the first down a hole. A moment later, he reappeared, just the top of his head, wondering what I was doing in

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July 14, 2014

Hoping for Rain

Saturday afternoon large clouds gathered angrily overhead, as if they were going to wash us away, yet again they slipped around our north boundary, as if fleeing, to the east.  Like they have been doing for the last three years.  As I tried to fall asleep that night, I wondering (hoping) what rains might come in the night.  Jumping out of bed in the dark the next morning, I made coffee and headed outside.  To my surprise and great joy,

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July 9, 2014

The Sheep Shade Huddle

The kids brought the sheep into headquarters this morning so they could perform their weed eating duties in the ranch yard.  They keep pretty busy at work most of the time, but as the day heats up shade gets more important than food.  Being sheep, it is a group endeavor.

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July 3, 2014

More Sand Creatures

The diversity found on the Chico surprises me all the time. I saw these yesterday on my way to a pasture check in the sand country. I see the ground squirrels pretty regularly but they don’t pose for very long. The turtle is the first I’ve seen, previously I have only found the shell.


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July 2, 2014

A Sunday Afternoon Adventure

On Sunday we saw a lost, or what we perceived as being lost, Stingray Corvette headed down the road toward the sand behind my house.  It’s rare to see anyone on our roads except our trucks, much less a high performance car.  Duke and I half smiled because we knew it would be back soon due of the loose sand it was headed into, and the low clearance of the car.  I say half smiled; we also were in awe.

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