Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weaning and Fishing

Crossing back to the home place
 It's been a bit of a challenge keeping the cattle where they are supposed to be. About once a week they cross the river below Packsaddle where the fences have been cut to provide easy access to fishing on the neighbor's property upriver. I've heard the neighbor eventually wants to build a pole fence, but for now it seems having cattle wander over is less of a concern than needing to open a gate to get to the fishing hole. So when the cattle wander, we gather them up and head them down river and back across to the east side.

It would definitely be easier for us if the fence were up, but we try to be flexible. Last week when Mike crossed the herd he saw fresh beaver sign. I wonder where the beavers are building. I'm going to keep an eye out for the new lodge. I'd love to be able to watch them doing their handy work.
Beaver sign

Beaver balancing act

Gabe lands a steelhead
While climbing around a rim on his trek back home, Mike caught sight of Gabe and Luke, with Dawson and James in tow, fishing at one of the holes above the house. Gabe was just landing a steelhead.

A few days later when the weather warmed up again, Mike and Gabe gathered the herd and sorted off the 2010 calves. It's weaning time and Mike will be staying on the river feeding the calves for the next month. While the herd was in the corral, he put small bunches into the alley and "groomed" them by pulling burrs and cutting off wads of cockle burr with his pocket knife. Not only does this remove the irritating seeds, it helps prevent the spread of weeds.
Weaning day  - a nice afternoon in January 

Steers ready for grooming

A few of the 2010 calves at weaning

Mike's not big on fishing, but while he's down there feeding the calves, I hope Gabe gets him out for a few lessons. Those fresh steelhead are pretty darn tasty. 

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef