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Thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the ride! You can contact me at gtyyup at wildblue dot net. See ya on down the trail!
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rural Thursday ~ Close the Gate!

Rule Number One: 
If the gate's closed, close it behind you; if the gate's open, leave it open.

Don't ya think that's a pretty simple rule?!?

You'd be surprised how many people don't get it...and it's not the ranchers...it's the recreationists. I guess their thought process is "Well, we'll be right back through this gate, so we'll close it when we come back." Then they totally forget about it or leave the area on another road...leaving the gate open...and all the cows that are supposed to be in that field are left to wander...for miles!

The plan for Sunday was to brand a few more calves for Rancher Dan...but when the gate was left open and his other herd of cows spread all over three fields, the priority was to get them gathered back up and into the field they were supposed to be in.

It's a gorgeous area, and the sun was shining. We rode out from the ranch at about 10:00AM; three of us, My Man, Rancher Dan's son and me. Climbing out of McCoy Creek Canyon is a good warm up for you and your horse...it's so steep that you have to lead your horse up the last half of the climb. But look at the view!!


On the top of McCoy Creek Canyon

There are dirt roads that criss-cross the desert, so Rancher Dan knew where the cow/calf pairs were in general. We just had to gather every field and push them to the gate and trail them to the right field.

Oh yes...then there was the neighbor's bull that had been missing all winter...he found Rancher Dan's cows too...that won't bode well next winter when the cows he impregnates calve in the dead of winter. So, we gathered him up too and eventually got him down to the ranch.

Across the desert in search of cow/calf pairs

As we gather the first field, we found a calf with no mother, and it was a young one...just a day old, and too young to travel. We were going to carry it out on horseback, but it took off running before we could get it caught...fast lil' buggers even when they're young! When it stopped, I was getting my rope ready to catch it, Rancher Dan's son turned his head to see how far I was from him, and when he turned back the calf had disappeared...yes, totally disappeared!!

We spend the next 45 minutes zig-zagging across the area with no luck in finding the lil' guy. It had hidden itself under a sagebrush or a rock...which of course is just what his mother had told him to do! At that point, all we could do was leave it and hope the mother would show herself in the gathered herd. Sure enough, there was one cow that wanted to go back...so we pushed her up to the rim in the area where the calf should be. The cow should start bawling for it's calf, and the calf will come out of hiding.

On to find more pairs...as I came down around a rim rock face, I spotted this...

Indian pictograph? Probably not this time, but I like to imagine...

There are quite a few pictographs in the area from the Paiute tribes who lived here. Many get warn away by weather, and some get warn by the cows rubbing on them. This caught my eye, but the more I look at it, I think it's just natural coloring on the rock.

We finally got the biggest field gathered. As we drove the herd through the second field, those pairs just started moving toward the herd, so that was an easy gather.

Found this bunch at Mistake Lake
After we got the herd into the right field, we got the bull cut out and drove him through two gates to the north end of McCoy Creek Canyon where there's an easier trail down to the creek.

McCoy Creek

There were pairs down here too...where they weren't supposed to be...so we spread out again and gathered this field along the top side and pushed the pairs that were in the canyon back up to the top and through the gate into the right field.

Finally done. By the time we got back to the ranch (with the bull), it was 5:30 PM...7 1/2 hours of gathering and moving because someone left a gate open...enough to just chap your hide huh?

Hopefully this Saturday they'll all still be in the right field because Rancher Dan plans on branding the calves that day!!

Linking in today with Nancy at A Rural Journal and Lisa at Two Bears Farm...




21 comments:

Ian said...

Wow, nice country. It looks like a person could ride for miles!

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

I woulda been a littled (maybe more than that) peeved .. love the country you're in...

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

If there's a golden rule of farms, that one is it! Ugh!

Your pictures are gorgeous, as always :-)

Reddunappy said...

Dang city people.
Thats a lot of cattle! Dispersed over the county!

Keepin' Up With The Jones said...

You live in a beautiful place!

We have the same problem with atv riders and gates on our range. And then, they have the nerve to complain when our cows travel through their cut in the fence and into their yard. Duh! Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side and if you let the cows in...they'll come in!

Thank goodness everything out here is open range or we'd have trouble!

Elizabeth Martin said...

What a mess!! Thanks for posting the golden rule - way to spread the word! :)
Love the photos - I miss the mountains and open country! So beautiful!

Shirley said...

Some folks just don't have a clue what the result of their carelessness and selfishness means to other folks. Bet they complain at the cost of a good steak though.
Sure is pretty country for riding in, and a nice day for a gather, especially when you ride a good horse...

Mary said...

Good grief! There should be a BIG sign posted at all gas stations and stores in the area or on the gates themselves. (or maybe there are and the folks just don't get it anyway) What and incredible waste of a perfectly good day. Well sort of, I'd rather be doing that than any other job I've ever had, but still. Time that could've been used a lot more productively. (understatement) Colt looks beautiful as always, as do your photos! I hope that Mom and baby will be reunited.

Susan said...

A day in the life. Luckily the guy had good help to bring the pairs home.

KarenTX said...

Nope, there's always some yahoo that doesn't think he needs to follow the rules. We learned that lesson early on or risked getting our behinds whopped! It is something so easy to do and shows respect. Glad it worked out, but so unnecessary.

Ed said...

Hate to say it, but that looks like fun in some beautiful country. The rock does kinda look like a bear..:-))

lisa said...

Couldn't of had a better view to work in but it sure sounds like someone should of been real pi.....d!

Candy C. said...

You would think it would be an easy rule to follow but NOOOO!! That is some beautiful country! :)

Dreaming said...

You brought up one of my pet peeves! There are times when hubby and I 'forget' and leave a gate open - but that is so darn rare! If it's closed... close it. If it's open ... leave it open! It really only takes a second.
Love your photos!

Crystal said...

Yup I agree with that rule! I hate when the gates are left open. I always close gates, cause I know we moved cows into a new pasture and the gates were left open last year, and then gather them up and put em back in.

At least it was a nice day to go for a ride.

heyBJK said...

The view in your first photo is fantastic! Such gorgeous scenery! Anybody who has been on a farm or ranch knows the gate rule, but you're right, other people don't seem to get it.

Nancy Claeys said...

Your post demonstrates how much work goes into bringing those hamburgers to our family kitchen table. Wonderful commentary and photos. xoxo

Linda said...

This should be printed and posted on every gate! Maybe if people read how much work it created for people trying to make a living, they would be more considerate...but then again...maybe not! Loved the photos...and enjoyed the journey, although I am sorry you had so much catching up to do!

4RRanch said...

Living on a farm it only takes one time to leave a gate open with the thought, "I'll just be a minute," Those cows can smell an open gate and are more trouble to get back that it would have been to close it in the first place.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

What an adventurous life you live! What you did that day was what I had always dreamed of as a kid...well not having to go after cattle because some idiot forgot to shut a gate...but the herding cattle part. How was your butt the next day?! I hope that cow and calf found their way home. Thanks for taking us along on your adventure...I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

Mikey said...

Beautiful pics as always. I want to live there :)
But 7 1/2 hrs of work for someone's gate mistake, I'd be mad. I just hate that and know exactly how you feel.

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