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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 13, 2017

Welcome to the North Country

In the buffalo pasture, there are many places where the fences are drifted over and the buffalo have taken this opportunity to walk right over them and head south for the winter.

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February 3, 2017

Prairie Winter

Even during winter, when the rest of the prairie falls dormant, days grow shorter, and animals retreat into their winter dens, the ranchers’ work doesn’t slow.

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January 2, 2017

Inside the Chico Snow Globe

We always linger longer together in the winter – and that may be why it’s actually the warmest time of year on the Chico.

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March 7, 2016

February Ranch Roundup

It seemed like we spent the whole month of February in the corrals. From pregnancy testing to shipping steers, every animal on the ranch was brought through, as the late summer snows turned to mud.

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

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January 16, 2015

Getting Mobbed by Bison

At this time in the Zapata grazing plan we have the large horse herd out on vacation grazing with our older bison herd. Now and then I ride along with Brett to go and check on them. As we go through the pastures, Brett will feed cake to the bison herd, first sounding the loud train horn to attract the bison’s attention.
They run toward the truck for what is an exciting delivery and we drop grain pellets that we call

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April 11, 2014

Just What We Need

Last Thursday we had a skiff of wet snow blow through.  It might look a little tough for the little one in the photo seeking shelter under his mom, but truth is, it is just what he needs.  Even that little bit of moisture has the prairie turning the palest shade of green.  If we could just get some follow through it might turn into something.  It is almost too much to hope for, green grass waving in the breeze

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Weekly Roundup
March 20, 2014

Ranch Roundup

A snapshot of the past two weeks at Zapata: moving calves, building fence, welding and spotting elk.

June 12, 2013

Sand Creek

Sand Creek is one of my favorite places on the ranch and I think I write a blog post about it every year. Nonetheless, I want to tell everyone about it again. Sand Creek is a sandy creek bottom lined with cottonwoods in some places, sand dunes in others, and lush meadows in some areas. It gets 100 yards wide and is dry most of the year. It’s hard to imagine, when looking at it during its dry months, it would ever hold water. Yet

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April 2, 2013

Snow

This is a drift right behind my house.  We’ve been waiting for a spring storm all winter.  Finally it came, big flakes pilling up on the ground.  Then, sure enough, the wind began blowing sweeping the snow from the blanket that had formed on the ground, into piles behind all the cholla and yucca plants cross the prairie. When I looked out the window, the snow was going practically sideways, the trees bending, the windows almost bending inward from the

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