June 7, 2011
In the 1990’s, a golf course was built in the meadows among the cottonwood trees near the lodge here at the ranch. Around 2000, The Nature Conservancy bought the ranch and therefore the end had come to the golf course. The native grasses and plants that were replaced by golf course grasses are now trying to reclaim there old place. For the past three summers, we have intensively grazed this area with cattle to help expedite the process of the revegitation of native plants. By putting cattle in high …
June 6, 2011
On Saturday several of us went to Saguache to help our friends George and Julie with their branding. It is dry there as well but the cows looked good and healthy. It was neat country with a lot of big hills like the one you see behind Jeff in the picture.
Our guests Jess and Carrie from New York camped out the night before with several of the crew and were close by in the morning to help bring the herd …
May 11, 2011
Humboldt Peak, the last of the Crestones we’ve covered so far, stands at 14,064 ft.
Humboldt Peak is the easiest of the Crestones to climb and often recommended to beginners. The hike up is on an easy trail that goes almost to the top. Closer to the top a little rock traversing is required and is not very challenging.
So if you’re looking to climb your first fourteener, Humboldt Peak is a good place to start.
April 1, 2011
While we were away at the Chico branding calves, our buffs took full advantage of the lack of supervision and busted out of their pasture. I got a call from Asta on Tuesday about noon and heard the news about our escaped herd. Luckily, they were stopped by the fence on the north end of the Wyatt, the pasture north of the Dixie where they were supposed to be. Wednesday was spent fixing the fence and taking them south back into the Dixie. Asta …
March 17, 2011
Every winter I expect the work load to slow down a bit and be able to get to things that I didn’t have time to do such as get some young horses started. Here it is mid March and I am finally getting around to those horses. For about a week now Nick and I have been catching our four year old mares every evening and working with them in the round pen. They are both very mild tempered horses and have taken …
February 24, 2011
Twice a year we get together to make the grazing plan for the next six months. On Monday we will be making the plan for the 2011 growing season. We will discuss all the factors involved with pasture health, animal health, logistics of moving herds, calving, employee needs, and many others. When we are done we will have a plan that maps the rotation of the different herds that fits the needs of the ranch as a whole.
February 17, 2011
Once a year we go out and harvest several animals, cattle and bison, to feed all of us who work here at the MZ and the Chico. We cut all the meat in a matter of a couple days at the Chico in a barn where we have the cutting tables, packaging tables, saws, and knives, plus all the other necessities such as the bbq, coffee, music, and almost the entire crew from both ranches! It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding to get together as a big …
February 1, 2011
I’m lucky to have such a good crew right now with all the work that needs to be done. This is an unusually busy winter because of the new bison herd on the former cattle side of the ranch and all of the fences and infrustructure have to be reinforced accordingly. This is one main reason why more people don’t raise bison. The cost of infrastructure is very high. Luckily for us, we already have the sufficient settup on one side …
January 6, 2011
Well, we survived the holidays and are back into the routine. As you may have read, our bison are turned out into the pivot, an irrigated pasture just north of the lodge. Our focus right now is teaching them to eat cake (a protein/mineral pellet) and to follow the cake truck. We started by driving right towards the main herd, letting out a really loud “whooooooo” and then start feeding. We have a person or two on horseback that can …
December 20, 2010
The 400 buffalo females in the pen were a sight to see last week, unearthly almost.
These are the animals that are now grazing on the Zapata as livestock. We will use them just as we do cattle, as a tool to manipulate the surface of the ground to achieve the conservation goals we want. We’ll treat them just as if they were cattle.
We will move them in the pasture rotation, doctor them when they need nursing. We will make sure …