This Week: Horsemanship Clinic, Bear Intrusions

July 28, 2011

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A fourth generation rancher, Tess co-manages Ranchlands with her brother Duke IV. She is raising her two sons on Chico Basin Ranch with her husband David.

So far, this week has been the busiest of the season. We have about 23 guests here from all over the world– (literally! New Jersey, Germany, England, LA, the list goes on), many of whom are participating in the Horsemanship Clinic. Each day, riders have headed down to the corrals about 9 and set out in a few different directions. Those participating in the Horsemanship Clinic have been doing a lot of work with cattle and young horses. Cam and Duke have been excellent leaders, so good that even people who weren’t specifically signed up for the clinic have participated in it day after day. This includes various members of the Medley Family from NJ, who have returned for their third summer. Welcome back, Medley’s! Those that aren’t doing the clinic, have spent days riding in the sand dunes and with the bison, rock climbing in Penitente Canyon, and working with the ranch crew on various projects.

A couple of nights ago, we had a bear break into the lodge. Mike showed up in the morning around 5 to find the screens torn out of 2 dining rooms windows, a lot of fruit missing and some smashed on the ground, the candy/granola bar jar shattered and the M&M’s emptied from their bowl. He immediately thought that it must be a bear. I was a little suspicious because it didn’t touch some of the other food, and didn’t go into the kitchen that was just 10 feet away. Also, none of the guests had heard anything. Well, I was wrong. The next morning, the bear got into Duke’s truck through an open window. He did a little more damage this time, but still surprisingly little. A couple hours later, I was sitting in the office when a guest from Germany came tearing into the parking lot and told me that she had just found the bear on the counter in the Stewart House, drinking a glass of lemonade that had been left out. Upon seeing her, the bear ran outside through the screen door that it had come in through and scurried up a tree. I headed over to check things out and called the DOW who showed up shortly. They told me that they’ve been having a LOT of bear issues this year and that generally if they shoot them with rubber bullets (bullets that don’t harm, but just scare the bear), they’ll leave and not return. So this is what they did. Unfortunately, the bear broke into another car that night. The DOW is headed back out this week to assess the situation– I’ll keep you posted!