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.