-Bugsy

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Ranching 101


Saturday, Oct 14, 2006 from Hammond, Montana

As I woke up this morning the rising sun was melting to last of the frost from the night. All of the colors were starting to shine. From the front porch of the house I could see mule deer and antelope moving around in the pasture. Some cattle were grazing along on top of the ridge straight ahead.

After morning chores and a hearty home cooked breakfast, Lester, Carsrten and I went to work on the corral. A few of the old boards had to be replaced on the fence to prepare for the calves later. For me this is where it got exciting. Carsten and I each hopped on a fourwheeler and headed out pretty far into the ranch. It was still morning and about the most peaceful thing I’ve ever done. Eventually we could no longer see the house and buildings back near the road. The only manmade thing were the fences here and there to keep the cattle in their place. It was incredible. Just awesome. Not awesome in the generic sense of the word, but to the fullest extent of awe. The land is endless out there. The sky is endless. I was absolutely free from distraction.

Carsten and I eventually got out to the herd of cattle. We rounded them up and directed them back towards the corral a few miles away. At first I felt pretty useless. I didn’t know what I was doing. I have seen ranches portrayed so many times in movies and TV and all that jazz. But here I was. This was the real deal, I was rounding up the herd. I felt something knew. Not just the experience of doing something new, but a deeper connection to the land I guess. It’s powerful to be out there, at least I thought so.

It took some work to get all the cows to stay together. By no means will I ever be an expert, but by the end of the day I felt I knew what I was doing, at least in part. The idea to bring the back to the corral was to separate the calves from their mothers so they are no longer dependent. That’s where I felt even more useless. I tried though. I was out there with my stick like Lester, Carsten and their friend Frank. I was trying to direct the cows out the gate while keeping the calves in. Yikes! I didn’t so hot at it, but I survived and saw how it was done, and now the calves can start building an independence from their mothers. However, Lester and Carsten informed me that the cows we chased back into the pasture will make their way back to the calves over night, at least a few of them. So in the morning Carsten and I will have to direct the cows back to the pasture again.

I’m thankful for today! It doesn’t get any more rural than this. And the work is very rewarding. I’ve got a lot to learn, but there is already a lot to take out of this day. At this point I’m looking forward to the sunrise again tomorrow and the cool morning air. Waking up and looking across the land as the sun rises is a peaceful and relaxing feeling that can’t be replaced.

Blog Date Posted: Oct 14, 2006 | 555 words | comments 2 Comments
Comment by Carol & David Tembreull
From L'Anse, MI

Hi Bugsy, I feel the very same way about Montana. It is truely AWE-some! There is just something about it that calms the spirit, and relaxes the mind. Take Care and God Bless, Carol

Comment by Kristi Sauer
From Hugo, MN

Ride 'em, Cowboy!! LOl. Sounds like an adventure!! I would love to visit a ranch someday :)