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    Zapata Tent Camps

    “We’ve got an hour before the sun sets, should we ride out and find some bison?”

    And so kicked off our camp out on the Medano among the wild bison. A combination of laid-back spontaneity and the freedom of having 55,000 acres to yourself set the tone for the evening. With the tents set up and fire ring built, Kate, Jessie and I had our chores done and could go have some fun. We set off north in search of some

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    by Emily Paxson

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    Christmas in Spring

    Photographer Matt DeLorme reflects on his first branding experience at the Chico.

    by Ranchlands Review

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  • Chasing the Green

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

    by Duke Phillips

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February 4, 2014

Lead Animals

Working a group of young calves or yearlings can be difficult because they are so used to having their mothers around for support and direction. The work can always be accomplished but it often takes more time than usual because they don’t know to look for gates or walk in the normal directions their mature mothers might. In an effort to keep things easy on ourselves and create the least stressful situation for the calves, we introduce lead animals. The

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January 27, 2014


One of the best, Nick “Suave” Baefsky came back to the Chico over his last
Christmas break. It was great having him here and one of the greatest treats
was his Border Collie “Liz”. She is turning into a great hand and has an
incredible character.

I noticed her keeping the bike at idle while Nick was
closing the gate after arriving back at headquarters. Riding along on a
motorcycle or horse is a great skill a working dog can learn. Checking fence
on a bike is

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January 11, 2014


While driving home the other day I encountered this wall of tumbleweeds that are stacked up on fences everywhere. They are non-discriminant, snagging on barbed wire, sheep mesh, and electric fences all over the Chico and high plains. I missed the photo opportunity, but the other day the county was plowing the tumbleweeds roads with their snow plowing rigs so that cars could pass through. A friend of ours was driving around out east and found himself stranded when tumbleweeds

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July 13, 2013

Box Turtles

Driving out east a few mornings ago I saw 6 box turtles in the road. It is amazing how they virtually disappear for the majority of the year, then at the first hint of moisture they inundate the two track roads in the sand country on the eastern end of the ranch. It had rained just enough to settle the dust for the first few hours of the day but that was all it took to activate the turtles.

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July 13, 2013


It seems it’s all animals from me this week. I have been rebuilding a dirt overflow tank to store excess water from one of our pipelines in case something should happen to the system in the hot summer months to come. A desperate situation can quickly develop with livestock if something should happen to the water source. By repairing this old dirt tank, we should be able to store enough water to meet the needs of the entire herd for

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