Mid August Update

The bulls are starting to bugle around the ranch.
Check out the latest trailcam shots

The season is upon us! Archery starts in a few days.
The only dates we have left are 3rd season rifle, limited spots left. Get on it quick if you want to hunt with Rocking R this season.

bull elk

July/August Update

Colorado Mule DeerCheck out the Trail Cam Pictures for the most up to date shots from the ranch.
We are starting to hear the elk bugle as we are working about the land getting things ready for this hunting season.

There are a couple spots left for the 3rd rifle season. Book soon to ensure your spot at the ranch.

Took a picture of these mule deer hanging out in front of the lodge the other day.

February/March 2015

We thought you guys would be excited to learn that Rocking R Ranch was granted a permit to guide hunters on National Forest.
We can now access and hunt the National Forest from our ranch, as well as some of the leased property’s we have.
This is going to give us even more flexibility and the hunting should be even better.  Plus, we added another 1500+ acres of private ground through another lease which brings us to 8000+ Acres of private hunting land.
3rd Rifle Season still has some availability!
Things are looking really good for this year!

rockingrhuntingland

October/November 2014

October/November 2014

With the ranch being covered in snow, it seems fitting that the last blog post for 2014 should hit the website. The animals have been seen migrating off the mountain in droves heading for the warmer areas with more feed. The elk will return in the spring to calve and feed when the melting snow opens up the succulent grass underneath.

Right now, we are knee deep into a coral project for our cattle herd. We are building corrals and holding pens, which are much needed. Calving season for our cows will begin in February and we hope to have this project completed by then. We are hopeful that we will have a very productive calving season this spring so our cows are ready to go up on the mountain in May.

Rifle season this year was the toughest in recent memory. Unseasonably warm temperatures during most of the rifle seasons allowed the elk to migrate up into the high country after the rut to cool off and relax. This is not normal behavior. Usually, the snow during rifle seasons at higher elevations will keep the elk out of the nasty dark timber. This year was different. The elk became tough to find because of the lack of weather. Thus, our success rate was not as high as we would have liked. We did not see any significant snow until 4th season, which is very late. However, we have now caught up as the weather in mid and late December has brought the area much needed moisture. This will be very important for next year’s vegetation.

Our opportunity rate for rifle seasons in 2014 was 73%.   We would have liked a higher opportunity rate but unfortunately the weather and elk behavior made it very difficult. Our guides put in an amazing effort during rifle seasons to find the elk. We had many comments from hunters about the efforts put in by our guides. They are a great group of guys and they are already looking forward to next year. This year was an albatross because of the lack of weather. We expect the weather to be back to normal during rifle seasons next year. This makes the elk behavior much more predictable.

The deer hunting during rifle season was fantastic. We did not have many deer hunters this year. However, the hunters with deer tags were very successful with a few of them taking their first mule deer. We had some very impressive bucks on the properties this year but none of the really big deer were taken. Some nice bucks were harvested this year but none of the hunters were able to connect on the monster bucks that were seen. We are excited to hopefully see them again next year!

We are very thankful for all of the great people we had hunting with us this year. We were extremely fortunate to be around so many wonderful people during the course of the 2014 hunting season. It makes our job so much more enjoyable.

There is already excitement in the air regarding our 2015 hunting season. At this point, we are about 80% booked for 2015. Many repeat hunters will be with us next year, which is always a great feeling. We hope that the winter continues to bring a good amount of snow, as this is always a great predictor for the feed and antler growth during the summer.

Again, we want to thank all of our hunters this year. We are humbled that you chose to spend your time with us this fall.

September 2014

September 2014

Hunting season is in full swing for the 2014 season. We finished up a great archery season and we are now gearing up for the rifle seasons to begin. Overall, we had a very successful archery season. We had a great group of hunters this year and overall our success rate was very good. We had two muzzleloader hunters this year and the rest were archery hunters. Our elk success rate for archery and muzzleloader was 77%. Our shot opportunity was over 100%. Some of our hunters had multiple shot opportunities before taking their elk.

A few of our archery hunters brought a video person along with them to film their hunt. This resulted in some great footage, some of which I have posted to the website. Also, be sure to check out the Rocking R Hunting channel on YouTube. I have uploaded some of the videos to that channel. It was a lot of fun watching the videos of the hunts because it allowed us to relive many of the exciting encounters.

The elk numbers were excellent during archery season. The bugling and rutting activity was quite impressive during September with most of the elk hunters saying that they have never experienced that amount of bugling before. The weather this year was fairly strange in that it was hot and dry for a lot of September. Then, the last two days of the season brought huge rains and terrible wind. The weather conditions made it a little challenging. However, overall the conditions were manageable and the hunting was very productive.   We are proud of our 77% success rate.

None of our archery hunters had buck or bear tags so we hunted elk exclusively during September. We saw quite a few bears during our archery season. Also, we have seen quite a few bucks with a couple of really big bucks being spotted multiple times. I am hoping that some of our rifle deer hunters get a chance to take some of the big bucks during 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons. We have some rifle hunters with bear tags as well which will hopefully help keep the bear population in check.

Fall is definitely here. Colors are vibrant and the Lone Cone had a very nice blanket of snow a few days ago. Looking forward to an exciting rifle season.

June/July/August 2014

June/July/August 2014

The summer weather on the ranch was very mild. The feed and water this summer were plentiful so the wildlife has been very comfortable on the property. The ponds have been full of water and the grass has been extremely lush. This year appears to be a banner year for acorns with the oaks being stocked full. The deer and elk have been browsing on the acorns late in the summer and seem very content with their food and water sources. The antler growth appears to be very good this year which causes us to look forward to hunting season with great anticipation.

Along with the fence repair, which is an ongoing task, we accomplished many projects on the ranch this summer. Fence work never ends since the elk are very hard on the fences. Many sections require constant attention since they are in the travel routes for the deer and elk. We built a road that connects one border of the ranch to the main road. This will definitely help with game retrieval during hunting season and helps us perform maintenance on the ranch with our equipment. There are a few sections of the road that cross over springs so the project definitely took some time to complete. All of our hunting stands were checked and secured in preparation for hunting season. We accomplished this during the middle of the summer so the wildlife would have time to get used to the stands prior to the archery season opener.

Once the ranch projects were complete, we moved on to the lodge. There were quite a few major tasks that needed to be completed to get ready for hunting season this year. We spent a great deal of time doing some demo work to remove some old, unattractive structures on the property. This was quite a major undertaking. However, removing these structures created a much better appearance for the property and adds to the beauty of the surroundings. We got to work on the equipment room and the shop in order to organize and prepare for the arrival of our hunters. With hunting season right around the corner, we needed to finish these tasks in a timely fashion.

We welcomed a new addition to our hunting setup this summer. I purchased a 1982 Toyota Truck and had a fabricator build a custom rack with a winch attached to the headache rack. This truck is lifted with oversized tires and is built to go anywhere. I built a ramp to drag an animal up into the truck bed. This will be a great vehicle for game retrieval since it is much quieter than an ATV or UTV and will go most places that an ATV will go. Also, equipped with a 6000 pound winch, it will pull anything into the back of the truck. We are excited to put this to work this fall.

Our last important job for the summer was to drive the cattle off of the interior of the ranch and into the lodge property. We like to get the cows off of the interior of the ranch before the hunting season begins. This allows our archery hunters to be able to focus on the wildlife and not be distracted by the cattle. Also, the elk really enjoy having all of the feed to themselves. The cattle look great and are ready to head into the fall in preparation for calving this winter.

April/May 2014

April/May 2014

April on the ranch is focused cattle.  It has been a very wet spring with lots of moisture.  Snow levels on the ranch are very good this year.  I expect the feed to be excellent.  The first productive trip to the ranch was Friday, April 25th.  We hauled up the cattle this weekend and vaccinated and branded them on the ranch.  This year, we have 6 Angus Pairs, 29 Angus Heifers, and 2 Bulls.  The ranch is accustomed to running a lot more pairs but this year the focus was on building the herd with very high quality Heifers.  We are running 18 Registered Black Angus Heifers along with 11 high-quality Black Angus and SimAngus Heifers.  Our 6 pairs are Red Angus Cows with SimAngus Calves.  We have 2 Simmental Bulls responsible for breeding our herd this year.  This weekend was spent hauling cattle, branding and vaccinating, placing salt, and checking fences.  The ponds are full for the most part in the lower sections.  The ice is melting on the upper ponds making water available towards the top of the ranch as well.  Grass is already growing so the cattle should be in good shape from the start.  Derek, our ranch manager, has been repairing fence that has been damaged by the deer and elk.  There are also a number of areas where trees have fallen on the fence.  The elk have tore up the fences all over the ranch so Derek will have a lot of time dedicated to repairing fence.  Spring is definitely a busy time on the ranch because we always seem to be running behind getting the ranch ready for the cattle.

I was actually able to find some time to get up and do some turkey hunting.  However, I only had enough time to hunt two separate mornings in May.  We had a lot of success locating gobblers and getting close.  The turkeys seem to be abundant this year and locating them was not a problem.  However, we kept getting close but the gobblers just wouldn’t cooperate.  Hunting turkeys later in the year when they have already gathered their hens can be challenging.  The gobblers would answer and come in to our calls but they just wouldn’t close the gap in order for us to get a shot.  Unfortunately, we were unable to take a gobbler this year.  Not surprising since I was only able to spend a couple hours on two separate mornings.  It is always difficult to find time in the spring to turkey hunt because of the other jobs that have to get done this time of year.  I hung three trail cameras while I was turkey hunting.  Putting up trail cameras is an important part of the big game management on the ranch.

Finally, we were able to spend some real time on the ranch getting ready for the summer.  Memorial Weekend allowed us to spend three days getting a pulse on what our projects are going to be on the ranch this year.  The weather wasn’t the greatest with a lot of rain during the weekend.  It snowed quite a bit the last night and we woke up to a few inches on the ground in the lower sections and about 4 inches toward the top of the ranch.  I put up the remainder of my trail cameras and was able to check on the majority of the ranch.  The elk and deer look to be in extremely good shape.  Bulls are beginning to grow their antlers and the cows look very healthy and ready to start calving.  Our trail cameras from last week show a lot of deer and elk on the ranch with a lot of bulls hanging around in their bachelor groups.  It was a productive weekend and the big game management this year has started off well.  It should be a great year for antler growth because of the feed and I expect hunting season to be excellent.