Tag Archives: elk
Today, we set out by air to look for missing heifers. The runway at the Dixon Airport hadn’t been plowed, but the pilot, Justin, did an amazing job of taking off and landing in quite a bit of snow in what looked to me like the Volkswagon Beetle of small airplanes. Unfortunately, in spite of several hours and lots of miles of searching, we did not find said heifers. We did see a lot of amazing country, elk, deer, antelope, wild horses, sheep (ours) and cattle belonging to our neighbors. If you see heifers with a JO brand, a red eartag and a white eartag, please let us know.
The bitter cold and deep snowfall during the past week has seen critters, wild and domestic, on the move. We decided to trail our yearling ewes and old ewes from the Chivington Place to Powder Flat , where they are closer to the haystack. Likewise, the deer, elk and antelope are all on the move. Here’s some of the migrations we saw today.
Not all of the sheep trail north to the Red Desert for the winter. The yearlings and the old ewes trail west to the Powder Wash country. All of Wyoming was buried in snow and chilled by sub-zero temperatures. I read that of the world’s ten lowest recorded temperatures, last week, five of them were in Wyoming. Our winter country in Powder Wash lies in both Colorado and Wyoming, but it was equally cold and snowy on both sides of the state line. The elk are on the move, and we are feeding extra hay to the sheep. Winter is well and truly here!
The elk are starting to check out the feed which is opening up as the snow melts. These elk crossed the road just as we were heading home. They have wintered well, partly due to raiding our haystacks!
One bull appeared to be white, although not albino. Go figure.
I spoke too soon when I said the winter was just about right, and that we wouldn’t need more additional feed on the Red Desert. We have since had lots of snow and wind. In the mountains, where we live, we have had LOTS of snow. On the Red Desert, where most of the sheep are wintering, we’ve had snow and wind. This is usually a good combination, since the wind opens up the underlying grasses, but this year we’ve had enough snow to cover up the feed. At the Home Ranch, we’ve had enough snow that the tractors have been getting stuck, making it hard to feed the cows. Today, Eamon hauled extra feed to the ewes, and we’ve had folks in to unstick the tractors. All the animals have been fed, thanks to lots of time of effort on the part of family and valued employees.
Pat was on his way back from Siobhan’s track meet when he saw these migrating elk near Meeker, Colorado, on the White River.
When I was moving a sheep camp the other day, I saw Mule deer, antelope and elk, all within a few hundred yards of each other. I dove for the camera, but of course the antelope ran off and the elk moved out of camera range. The deer posed.
The migration of these three species is about a month early this year. It is dry on the desert, where they winter, along with our cows and sheep. We were trailing our yearling ewes to spring pasture, also about a month early, when we saw the other grazers on the move. We have over 100 per cent snow pack in the mountains this year, so are hoping for abundant pasture in the coming months.