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Adventures on the Ranch
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Nature at it's best !
-----The last several
months I have seen 1 bull moose, 6 cow elk, a cow elk and calf a GIANT
mountain lion track, baby bear marks, our resident mother deer and her
twins as well as the goofiest little spike deer I have ever seen
all less than a mile from our house.
About 5 AM the dogs just started barking like crazy. I knew something was
out there and jumped out of bed to see what was going on. A big solid black
bull moose was walking up the road. He was right in front of the arena
by the agility equipment and just kept walking up the road. He came about
20 feet below the downstairs door and turned around and walked back down
the road!! He stopped to check out the A frame and I was scared he was
going to hit it with his horns. But he didn't he just sniffed it
and kept on going. WHEW! But he was an awesome animal so huge and
clumsy looking yet graceful in a way as he effortlessly jumped over
the gate on the road. You truly cannot appreciate the size of these animals
until you're that close.
-----Then I went
to Park Lake and did some fishing, hung out with family, had dinner and
then we headed home. I was driving and it was about 8:30 PM a good
time to see animals so everyone was keeping their eyes open when my mom
yells MOOSE! I slammed on the breaks and backed up since no one was behind
me. We all piled out with our cameras, which of course spooked him. He
slowly took off into the woods but didn't go far. I walked along the road
and called to him. He stopped just long enough to get this picture.
Not the greatest photo in the world because it was getting too dark . He
was much smaller than the one I saw by our arena but still you can't
pass up the opportunity to see one of them up close. I never forget though,
they are extremely dangerous animals and not very afraid of people. They
are quick to attack and slow to run away from trouble. They are not something
to be messed with!
of a mile from our house there is a huge mountain lion living there. I
am sure his territory comes up much closer to the house than that though.
2 weeks ago I was out working on the road filling in ditches, etc.
when we saw his track in the sand on the road. It was huge bigger
than my hand. It has to be a male cat. Think about that a paw print
bigger than my hand. That is a scarily huge cat!! We haven't seen him
and don't want to, but I know he lives there and wasn't just passing through
because over the winter with every fresh snow we see his tracks cross the
road right in the same area. And where there is a male you can be sure
there is a female with kittens not to far away.
always known there are mountain lions around but haven't ever seen
one this close. There is so much building new houses going up in
the whole area between Clancy and Helena that it pushes all these animals
our way. Because we are in their territory really, this is one of the few
safe places they can go..... not that I like having cats or bull moose
that close, it is one of the facts of living here and people pushing them
out of their old territories. So we know he is there now luckily
cats are afraid of dogs and since I am always out with at least 2 dogs
I know they would keep a cat away from me so I feel pretty safe. Cautious,
-----I have also
seen baby bear tracks on the road several times. We saw both mom and baby
this spring up in a meadow 5-600 yards off the road. They didn't know we
were there and we were able to sit and watch them graze in the meadow for
awhile. They are coming down now to check out our choke cherry bushes
they love those berries and strip the bushes clean most every fall.
ago I was taking Rhett out to go to the bathroom it was dusk. Light
enough to see images but not much more. I was talking to Rhett and getting
ready to take care of Scarlett, so I was being noisy and certainly wasn't
thinking about seeing elk! Rhett froze looked back at me, looked
forward again and sat down as if to say to me Check this out mom!
I looked down the road and saw something walking up the road. The horses
walk there all the time but I saw immediately they didn't walk like horses
it was ELK! I ran back in the house ran up the stairs calling
my mom there are elk by the arena ! Grabbed my binoculars and ran
back downstairs. We both sat there quietly watching the elk just outside
the arena. There were 6 cows, I don't know where their calves were but
it was getting dark so maybe they were just out of sight. We watched them
until it was to dark to see at all.
before I came busting up the stairs yelling ELK my mom had stuck
brownies in the oven. And Yep, she forgot about them with all the excitement
of the elk. We both came back inside and she was working with Sleepy Doo
our cockatiel when all of a sudden she jumped up and ran out of
the room she just remembered the brownies. Amazingly the
brownies were ok. -----A bit crisp on the edges but still edible!! Another 5 minutes
though and they would have been bird food. Alls well that ends well I guess!
after we saw them I went down to the mail box on the 4 wheeler and was
buzzing along at a good clip when I rounded a corner and an Elk cow and
calf had been laying on the road. The 4 wheeler scared them and they both
trotted off up the hill I watched them until they trotted out of
elk story for this time...... yesterday morning I was done with chores
and got a cup of coffee and went to sit out on the front porch swing. Sitting
right there I heard a cow elk call several times!! I grabbed my elk call
and slowly walked into the woods where I heard her but never got
to see her. She was probably just calling her calf or wanted to
see where the rest of the herd was. But they were close very close!
have a resident mother deer with twins. It was fun this spring we
saw her and she was very very fat. She disappeared for several days and
the next time we saw her she was thin! About a week after that we saw her
twins for the first time and now every time I go down the road I see all
3 of them. They aren't very afraid of us and usually just stand on the
side of the road as we go by. Even with dogs they aren't to afraid.
I guess they are just our wild pet deer!
will bring this to a close. I am off to train dogs and I just never know
what I might see when I step outside!
Everyone at Omega Shepherds-
Copyright © 2006 Omega Shepherds