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April 7, 2015

Green Grass

The crew and I moved the bison and the cattle into one pasture yesterday. The grass is growing fast so we want to get as many animals on it as we can. Then we can rapidly move them through the pastures so that the cattle that are calving now and the bison who will calve in a month can get the nutrition they need for the new mouths to feed without overgrazing.
The move took most of the day.

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April 3, 2015

Poetry with Jake

There once was a hole
Deeper than a ten foot pole
It made Jake glower
But he was not sour
Because digging is good for the soul

The end.

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April 2, 2015

Many Hands

The tumbleweeds had taken over. They stood several stories high. Thick enough to stop a tractor. The grove of trees where education and bird banding take place had been completely engulfed. It was easy for me to look at this giant mass and feel defeated. How do you return this impenetrable forest of tumbleweeds back into a beautiful area that everyone can enjoy once again? Many Hands.

That Saturday morning, community volunteers trickled in until we had a small army. I

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March 27, 2015

The First Two

Montana and I left the house at 5:15 a.m. Lane 6 was as quiet as were we. The coffee was hot but hadn’t fulfilled its purpose yet. Kate was starting the fire at the corrals so we could see to saddle. I caught Blue and Montana, Cinco.
The trailer was loaded with horses and the truck with riders. Kate and I handed the walkie-talkie back and forth as the navigation of the move was pointed out

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March 24, 2015

Almost Summer

A look at the forecast revealed an early summer day even though it was early March. Sixty-eight degrees for a high. The darkness gave way to light as I made my way down lane 6 to the lodge. I choke the bike and it gave a try. One more and it fired up. As I let it warm up I took a call from Scott. Elk had torn down a good section of fence,

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March 18, 2015

Newcomers

This week we had the unexpected pleasure of an early crop of calves showing up. We’re not quite sure how it happened – perhaps an escaped bull? – but, these guys are about a month early. Though there’s only a handful of them, they’re definitely bringing that springtime feeling to the ranch.

Adorable as they are, they can present a bit of a challenge when it comes time to moving cattle. Earlier this week, we needed to move a group

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March 5, 2015

Spring Prelude

I picked up Scott at 7. We ran the Big South fence and checked voltage. Elk activity was looked for on the road. Herds of elk run through the fences so we have to make sure the fence is up and hot every day.
We headed to pick up a charger. I put one together the day before, but it was a no go once I hooked it up to the fence. The new charger was

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February 26, 2015

New Heifers New Ranch

Ranchlands has recently begun managing a ranch in New Mexico. Little Duke flew to Durango three weeks ago and purchased some bred heifers for the ranch. We decided to stage them at the Zapata for a few weeks until some fence work got done at the new place.
Before they left we needed to brand them, so yesterday Duke and Amy came down and helped. We started by gathering them out of a pasture next to the corrals.

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February 17, 2015

Getting Your Bearings

87,000 acres is big – really big. It can be confusing trying to get around to pastures miles away. Driving in a truck isn’t that bad after a while, but trotting out to a pasture on the back of a horse is a totally different ballgame. Your perspective changes as well as the path taken. Pastures that you just traveled through look the exact same as the last 2 pastures you came through. Often times, cell phone service is

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February 13, 2015

Valentines Day

It turns out that CJ our Maintenance Manager at Zapata is quite the romantic. This morning he delivered flowers and chocolates to all the ladies on the ranch this morning. It made our day!

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