Skeet has been my trusty sidekick, chief navigator, bunny patrol, bovine locator, quail flusher, and antelope hunter lately:
All in a day's work for the head of ranch security:
He goes absolutely ballistic when he sees antelope. You can kind of see some through the middle of this picture...or at least tiny specks of them:
I apologize for the quality of these pictures, but I just had my phone and it's about 4 years old. I've been making feed runs for DH. It's not hard, just takes time, but I'm glad I can help a little. I load up the cake feeder
Making sure to push it back into the corners so I can get a full load. Then apologize to the handful of bulls who have gathered at the sound of cake cubes being fed into the feeder. Sorry, fellas, today's not your day.
load a few sacks of mineral:
And head out:
I feed 2 pastures on M-W-F and two others on T-TH-S. There are others too, but these are the main ones right now. The feed run takes me 2 to 2 1/2 hours. I'm learning the habits of the cattle in each pasture as well as the nuances of an old, rusty feed truck that has seen better days. Still, I am thankful every day when it makes a clean feed run and rolls us safely back to the house. We've been on this place for 12 years and I've gone with DH a lot, but I am still easily turned around in a few places now that I'm the one doing the driving.
DH doesn't understand why, and I tried to explain. 128,000 acres is a lot of country and when I go with him, I am usually visiting with him or focused on capturing something with my camera. I'm not on the lookout for water leaks or the steer with a runny nose or whether we turned left on the third road (which is really just a cow trail) from the 4th dirt tank, just past the 2nd gate or right on the second road just past the plugged well. I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the fact that the wind is blowing up a storm from the West today and that the cattle have drifted to the dirt tank down in the draw and that I have to have the truck in the right place if I'm going to call the others up with the siren. There is an art to this cattle feeding gig.
Only 97 here.
There are 197 in Chuckbox. Surely 100 hd of cattle cannot be that hard to find
Well done Skeet.
The other day I heard DH tell someone on the phone that I was making a hand. In this line of work, that is high praise. I know he's just being kind because I'm a long way from earning that title, but it made me tear up anyway.