Zapata Ranch Daily Journal

To view entries by location, click on a ranch name: Zapata Ranch // Chico Basin Ranch
January 22, 2016

Office Coyote

I spend the majority of my day in the office, but that is not to say I don’t see a lot of incredible things from my window. Lately a lone coyote has been loitering around the lodge grounds, behind the office in particular. The dogs let me know with a low growl every time it’s around and we watch through the large office window until it leaves. Usually it’s just passing through, but today I watched it do a few

Continue Reading

Zapata Ranch Pasture Map
January 21, 2016

Ranch Maps

Having a good map of the ranch is one of the best tools you can have, especially as we teach new people to get around.

January 19, 2016

A Bison Gather

Yesterday we moved the Zapata bison herd to the Medano side of the ranch.  There are no facilities to process, e.g. pregnancy check, vaccinate, the bison on the Zapata.  Several folks from our sister ranches came to help.  Most of us saddled up and rode out to gather except for Duke Jr. who drove the cake truck.

Tom, from the Chico, and I rode south to bring up 6 heifers from the Elk pasture that Duke Jr. spotted from the mountain

Continue Reading

January 18, 2016


A lot of my job on the ranch involves planning.  Usually every Saturday I take the time to write up a work plan for the week ahead.  This involves looking back at the week and what we accomplished and also looking ahead to what still needs to be done.

I not only do this on a weekly basis, but on a daily basis.  I start each morning reflecting not only on what needs to be done, but on what was done

Continue Reading

December 15, 2015

Training Bison

Every November we work the bison on the Medano side.  During this time we bring some calves and yearlings down to the Zapata.  We keep them in the corrals and feed them there for a few weeks.  During this time we train them to electric fence, being fed from the cake truck and hay wagon, being used to seeing people afoot, and horses.

My two interns, Caleigh & Megan, and I started by pushing them horseback up into a smaller pen

Continue Reading

November 11, 2015

Bison Worked

It’s the second week of November.  That means bison works is over and I can sleep again.  Just kidding.  Bison works occurs annually at the ranch the first week of November.  However, there is a lot of preparation that needs to be done, e.g. fences fixed and checked, vehicles repaired, working corrals and facilities looked over.  The crew and I started several months ago preparing and planning.  As always there were a few hiccups, but overall things went smooth.  In

Continue Reading

September 7, 2015

Bison Plan

Planning is a huge part of my job. Every week I write a work plan for the week ahead. It’s rare when it doesn’t change, but it still helps to create a big picture. Here it is September already. In 2 months time guest season will have wrapped up and bison works will be here. I’m already starting to think about what it will take to work all those buffs. It’s a huge undertaking,

Continue Reading

August 13, 2015

Fenced Out

I took some guests camping on the Medano side last week. The wranglers and I were setting up next to an old set of corrals. Essentially the corrals were an enclosure as nothing can get in and graze. There was a remarkable difference in the forage in the corrals compared to just outside. I borrowed Andrea’ phone and snapped a few pics.

Continue Reading

July 28, 2015

Elk & Fence

Our local game warden counted 7000 head of elk in the valley in his yearly inventory. While it’s good to see healthy numbers of wildlife, it makes keeping fences intact as they migrate a challenge.
This year we received a grant from the Colorado Parks & Wildlife through the Habitat Partnership Program (HPP). The HPP provides funding for special projects to make fencing more wildlife friendly.
Part of our plan is to install metal gates and high-visible electric wire.

Continue Reading