Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Pheasant

I turned eighteen yesterday. I don’t feel any older today but it does seem odd that I’m legally an adult. That means that I could join the military and in three years I could get a concealed weapons permit. I find it strange that the government considers me mature enough to go to war but not mature enough to carry a concealed weapon.
Also, I got my first pheasant today. I hit it at 40 or more yards with the 22. rifle. The rifle has a scope on it and I managed to hit the pheasant in the neck. Of course, I did lean the gun on the windowsill since I was shooting from inside the house. (Who wants to go outside to hunt pheasants when it’s below zero?)

The weather is cold and there’s snow on the ground so the chickens are staying inside even though I opened the chicken door so they could go outside if they wanted. The hens have started laying better now that I leave the light on all night. I hope it warms up soon and the chickens will be able to go outside but I don’t see any warm weather on the way.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

On Thanksgiving morning we butchered a bull that had an attitude problem. This summer, Dad(Dave) found him in the cows so he went to get him out. Well, the bull took his horse, but Dad escaped with only a few bruises. Dad decided to leave him until we gathered the cows thinking that he would just follow the cows in. When we gathered the cows a couple of our neighbors that were helping went to get him. They came back without the bull and said his attitude hadn't changed, so we decided to turn him into hamburger. Dad shot him on Thanksgiving and brought him to the house. We went to work skinning him, then hung him in the meat cooler.

The day after Thanksgiving I (DJ) shot a mule deer buck. I had walked quite a bit looking for "the big one" but I hadn't seen any really big ones, so I decided I would just get a decent one. They taste the same anyway. So I walked about two miles from the house and saw some deer. I saw the one I had picked out and shot him. I was sure I saw him go down, but when I started looking for him I couldn't find him. I was starting to think I might have missed, but I kept walking for about twenty minutes before I finally found him. He had dropped when I shot him, but he was further away than I thought. (When you're looking through a scope things look a lot closer.) He had fallen off a cut bank (only a couple feet) and I couldn't see him. I hit him behind the ear so it was a long ways from a miss. Dad cut off some breakfast steaks yesterday and we had them for supper. We didn't have any leftovers.

Here is a picture of him:

I shot him with Dad's 220 Swift. I like shooting it, but at ten or so pounds it gets kind of heavy. Here is a picture of it:

We have a meat cooler in the corner of our shop. We used to have to use our cellar, but the rail and rollers in the cooler are a lot nicer than what we had in the cellar. Here is a picture:

Here are its contents:


Monday, November 16, 2009

Trailing cow/calf pairs up Dry Creek

Last Saturday (11-14-09) our family and a few of our neighbors gathered some of our cattle from the rough country down Dry Creek and moved them a little closer to home. The high temperature was around 40 degrees with lots of sun early on.

This is the pasture where we started gathering. If you look closely in the center of the picture, you will see some cows on the top of the far plateau. (click on picture to enlarge)

Crossing Dry Creek. We are almost to Gumbo Hill. (notice Poco's ears)

We are now almost to Buck's place. Only about three miles to go. A few clouds are coming in and the breeze is getting cool. Fingers and toes are getting cold.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Look what showed up

A few days ago something happened that was odd. A wild turkey showed up! She's been hanging around the chicken coop for the past three days and evidently wants to stay.
Here's some pictures.

Our milk pen calf named Copper.

Our long horned cow named Killer.

Our dog, Sam, trying to play with our yearling milk pen calf named Ebony.
My calf from my half-longhorn cow named Clover.
The turkey that showed up.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Weaning some of the calves

Today we weaned the calves that we brought in on Saturday. We also sorted off about twenty cows off that were getting old or had bad feet.

Here we are taking the cattle in.

Taking them into the corral.

Jessi and Mom sorting the cows and calves.

Danny watching the gate.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gathering cattle

Today we gathered the 2 year olds and 3 year olds along with a few old cows that we are going to ship. We brought them in to a closer pasture so we can wean the calves Monday. It was a beautiful day for the 7th of November. Everything went well, so well we had time to put more tin on the ceiling in the shop. I think everbody is going to be glad when that job is done.

My four helpers, DJ, Danny, Jessi, and Bobbie.

Heading down off of the ridge a couple miles south of our house.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Various happenings in October up until November 3d

We will try to update our blog at least once a month, maybe less, maybe more. I will try to fill in what we have been doing in October.

Around the middle of October we helped Dad ship his steers. It was a foggy morning. We had a couple neighbors helping along with our crew of kids. The following pictures are up near Blue mountain at the corrals.

We needed to plow our alfalfa down across the river this fall. That usually turns in to a big job especially for this cowboy that isn't all that crazy about farming. Not only do we have to plow, but disk, mulch, and level. Fortunately I can rent a mulcher, disk, and leveler from my brother-in-law Del. Bobbie ran the mulcher quite a bit for me, and DJ got to start plowing this year. He did quite a bit of plowing. Sure was nice to have the extra help. We may not get done leveling this fall since we did get quite a bit of moisture.

Some people have asked what a roll over plow looks like so here it is.

Some have also asked what a mulcher looks like too, so another picture for them.

This is a picture of the equipment over across the river. The most important one is the airplane. I might be a little biased but I would hate the thought of having to drive back and forth all the time 45 minutes compared to 10. Besides it doesn't matter how bad of day I have farming as soon as the airplane tires leave the ground it's a good day.

Brother-in-law, Del digging beets.

Neighbor, Keith Nelson digging beets. This was when it was dry. They had about half the beets done when it turned wet. That looked like a miserable job then, but they did get them out in pretty good shape.

In our spare time we are trying to work on the new shop/hangar. This is my crew helping put steel on the ceiling. We picked up a gantry crane at a farm auction down in South Dakota this fall. After we got it home I thought it would make a good cart for a scaffold. It works really well. It rolls easy, so easy you forget that you need to stop close to 4000 lbs that is rolling. Keeping it from going to fast with three kids is the main thing to concentrate on.

Three of my helpers.

Helpers in action. They think I don't hurry fast enough when they are holding tin up. I don't see what the problem is. They look like they have everything under control, don't they?

Yesterday we gathered the yearling replacement heifers and brought them in close. Today after I got done helping the neighbor ship his calves we gathered the heifers, ear tagged them, year branded them, and Ivomected them(it kills the parasites). We didn't Ivomec them for several years but just got tired of seeing cows with no hair in Feb. when it was cold. It takes a lot of feed when they lose their hair. We have enough parasites in our government with out having them on our cows too.
After we got done working them we hauled them down to the river pasture on this side of the river. The following are pictures of that.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Last Saturday D.J. and I were going on a walk. We were kind of getting tired so we decided to go sit in a tree. We sat down in the tree and heard buzzing. It kind of sounded like flies on something dead, but then I saw bugs buzzing around a tree. I thought they were wasps and I was thinking about running (because I have wasp phobia) but I realized they didn't look like wasps. After a while of watching, I borrowed my brother's jacket and wrapped it around my head so if they were wasps they couldn't inflict as much damage to my head. I slowly approached. As I got closer, I became more and more sure that they weren't wasps. That's when I realized that they were bees! I slowly walked a little closer and realized that they looked like honey bees. There were two openings in the tree. One was a hole about three or four feet off the ground, the other was a small crack about three or four feet from the top of the tree. They weren't aggressive and it was really fun watching them. I now know that they are honey bees. It is really odd because we've never seen honey bees in a hollow tree before! It's also really neat because I'm thinking about becoming a beekeeper. Here are some pictures:

The lower entrance.

A few bees I took a picture of.

The entrance again.

The top entrance.

The hollow tree.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snowbird flyover

This was September 28th the day after the airshow.

We need to be more careful about who we give our GPS coordinates to. Sure glad they were friendlies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wings of Freedom Airshow September 26-27

We attended the local airshow in Sidney, Mt. the last weekend of September. We really had a good time visiting with pilots, making new friends and of course looking at airplanes.

We were asked if we would bring the Bearhawk in and put on static display which we gladly did.

We sat a lot of kids in the airplane and visited with a lot of people about it. I think Bobbie really enjoyed herself.

I know Danny and DJ did. Danny found a guy from Bozeman that is going to be a glider instructor that offered Danny a ride in a glider if we make it up to Bozeman. Danny also really enjoyed the airshow.

DJ pouted all day about having to look at dumb airplanes. Just kidding. I would say DJ enjoyed the two days more than any of us. He got to meet a guy that has an RV9 that is only about 150 miles away. The Rv9 is what DJ is building.

Bobbie and I went in for the meet the pilots supper Saturday night. We met Jim and Cathy Pietz along with several Snowbird pilots. Really nice people. Afterward we followed a bunch of the pilots to another hanger and sat in on their informal jam session. They had guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas. That was really fun to listen to.

Sunday was very windy and chilly so just Bobbie, DJ, and I flew into the airshow. We introduced DJ to Jim Pietz and then they both promptly disappeared. We saw them back in between the airshow planes looking at Jim's Extra 300. Then Jim took DJ and introduced him to the airshow pilots. I thought maybe he was going to run off with them.

Tim Lynn's restored 1952 Cessna 195, really beautiful.

Spectators looking our Bearhawk over.

Ken Flikkema's Harmon Rocket. (Notice the graphics)

The Canadian Snowbirds.

Warren Pietsch flying his Clipped Wing Taylorcraft.

DJ visiting with Jim Peitz, Warren Pietsch(behind Jim) and Gene Soucy.

DJ checking out the Canadian Forces F-18

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The economic crisis has hit our dog Sam hard. He's worried himself into a sweat about the price of dog food.