Saturday, January 24, 2015


I've been clobbered with work on the ranch. A lot of little things put off in the deepest of the cold spell are coming due, and the usual daily chores don't go away.

That's not a bad thing, it's good. Makes for long days, though, and less time for blogging.

The April calves are growing like weeds, really packing on the pounds despite winter's cold. Like all young cattle they are curious. Like all young cattle, they wonder if the side mirror tastes good. It doesn't seem to.

They asked me to send a video message to their pals in Herefordshire, so of course I did.

After I sent the video I managed to catch up with and shoot a coyote that's been hanging too close and becoming too bold. It'll be calving time soon and I don't want my young calves predated.

So I shot the coyote to death. I didn't give him a sporting chance. I stalked him, used the wind to my advantage, and killed him from ambush. I used a black rifle, too. A Colt LEC with a custom .458 SOCOM upper, firing a 300 grain Hornady jacketed hollow point at just over 1,900 fps. He dropped instantly and didn't even twitch.

In the real world this is the yin and the yang of animal husbandry, conservation, stewardship and sustainability. To a great many who inhabit the artificial/fantasy world, my actions are purest evil. What can I say? I prefer the real world.

The cows will be calving in about 70 days. This group is carrying a solid 5.5 body condition score, and they are gaining condition even in the depths of winter. They will be in superb shape at calving time and will produce vigorous, healthy calves.

In another nod to the primacy of nature's reality, this is one of the tools I use to gauge the metabolic and digestive health of the cows.

That's right, it's poop. Or as we say out here in the sticks, manure. The fact that it's beginning to "stack" and that the cellulose fibers are a bit longer than I like tells me that I need to provide a bit of protein to the girls. This I'll do with a compressed distillers grain product.

Here's another bit of natures reality. It's January. The ground is frozen. The grasses of the prairie are completely dormant. Or are they?

Is that green? You can click on the image to embignify.

Why yes, it is green. Threadleaf sedge is busy here photosynthesizing, turning sunlight and carbon dioxide (yes, the evil carbon dioxide) into more sedge. I believe this may be an EPA violation.

The cows don't care. It's icing on their cake.

And now it's time to head back out into nature's reality and mend a little fence. But first, cute kitty pics.

She's not a fan of the flash, especially when it interrupts her purse-napping.

Have a glorious day, kind readers.


  1. The coyote has his way, you have yours. Both are natural, both are necessary.

    It's just the way things are, the way they were meant to be. No evil in that. None at all.

    1. Sometimes the debate gets a little goofy. I guess that's yin and yang too.

  2. Down here it's Pigs. Hate the bastiges. .40 cal S&W does pretty well at dangerously close range. Need something a bit longer range. Suggestions?

    1. I've never hunted hogs. If I were to do so I'd use the same rifle I used today. Quick google search shows a lot of support for the .458 SOCOM on hogs. Lot's of punch and quick follow up in a semi. It's a bit pricey to shoot though at $3/round.

      I really like mine and had the upper built locally by AutoLok. Snaps right on my LEC lower and uses the same magazines though in a single stack.

      Not a classic coyote rifle but I was hunting in a brushy canyon so long range wasn't a consideration. No danger of over penetration/wounding; dumps all the energy into the torso so a quick, clean, humane end.

  3. Love your pics of the calves. We tried not to shoot the coyotes as they maintained a balance with the damn ground squirrels and rattlesnakes. But when we caught a pack of them trying to run a bunch of yearlings over a cliff, we shot them. Wild pigs are the worst and we killed every single one we saw, they do so much damage.

  4. I only rarely shoot a coyote. They do a lot of valuable stuff. Occasionally one becomes a threat and the lesson seems to resonate with the others.