July 9, 2016
It’s always great when one gets to experience something new with old friends, and even better when your old friends know your new ones. Little Duke made it out to visit Gregory Downs just in time for the local Camp Draft. It was incredible getting to visit with him about his work on a much larger station Van Rook and hear he and Paul share yarns about Dukes own time working the muster at Gregory four years prior. While …
July 6, 2016
My “gun horse” Legs — aka my string favorite — and I recently went on a ladies road trip down to our sister ranch the McAuliffe to help with a mesa-to-mesa cattle move. The terrain and tree cover on the McAuliffe are much different to the Chico — the ranch is ringed by cliffs that rise up to a flat top prairie veined with deep canyons of scrub oak and pinon. I always jump at the chance to visit as …
June 28, 2016
Sometimes if you sit really still at a busy watering hole you can get a curious heifer to give you a good sniff or maybe even a kiss.
By Chico Basin apprentice Eric Sauerhagen
June 20, 2016
While out checking fence with Thor and Tate, I noticed this grass that looked different than the others. It’s known as Squirrel tail, a cousin to Fox tail. Squirrel tail grows in the drier upland pastures whereas Fox tail grows in the wetter areas around creeks and ponds. Fox tail has a more bushy seed head unlike Squirrel tail which has longer, more flowing seed tails. Squirrel tail is a great indicator species to help assess rangeland health. Duke and I have been talking …
June 6, 2016
“I have no words to say that could express the gratitude we have for your generosity. I was amazed when you answered so quickly and opened your land to us. Not long after our arrival the boys realized how unique this opportunity was to stay on the ranch. We were able to see the buffalo herd in the distance as we arrived late Friday evening. The view and perspective of the dunes was second to none.
We appreciate your hospitality to …
May 27, 2016
Last week we wrapped up our Education season with an awesome group of 70 fifth grade students. I led the horse demo and corral tour, and explained to the students what everyday operations look like on the ranch and the importance of horses and cattle for specific land management goals.
This group had great questions, asking about everything from the long dangling things on my chinks (fringe), to the reason for shipping some cattle and not others. Their curiosity was contagious, …
May 20, 2016
As the season comes to a close, Duke and his crew must stay focused to make sure their way of life as ranchers can evolve and survive.
May 10, 2016
I wear a hat.
The kind they use with baseballs and bats.
But the times have changed,
And I’m a little more ranged.
It’s a hat that should be earned,
And the skills required have begun to be learned.
So I think I’ll retire from baseballs and bats,
For a Cowboy hat.
By Chico Basin intern Eric Sauerhagen
May 9, 2016
Spring is here in the valley and there are signs of it everywhere. The cottonwoods are greening up, hearty wildflowers are bursting through the ground and wildlife and their young can be spotted all around. Pronghorn, bison, and elk calves pepper the valley and mule deer fawns, jackrabbits, and a variety of birds can be seen around the lodge. I’ve even seen gray foxes just down the road from the ranch, which was very exciting. Spring is truly a special …
May 3, 2016
How many adult riders does it take to move a herd of kiddie bison? Fourteen. Obviously.
That was the size of our posse this past week when we pushed the remaining managed bison herd into the corrals on the Medano side of the Zapata Ranch. The wee woolies were getting prepped for their long road trip to the Land of Tatonka aka South Dakota aka the location of our newest ranch management project aka their new prairie home.
I always jump at …