Monday, June 13, 2016

Season Ends

Spring breeding season in my area came and was gone quickly.
It was another great year. Every season seems somewhat different from previous years, but then there are always routines and cycles that are in common.
Felton Angus Ranch - Tongue River Division
Breeding business tends to be "short, quick, and intense"..........
I'd like to be as busy as I can get - all over in Montana!

I'm into my next season/profession as a fly-fishing outfitter all over in Montana and Yellowstone National Park.
I will be available for winter breeding for your fall herds - December and early next year.

See you at the end of gravel road!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

2016 Bull Sales Kick Off!!

It's been a while............
Since the last update, that means the rest of 2015 were busy with things other than cattle related.
Perhaps the major event from the last fall to winter was I replaced my good old F-150........ It had gone so many miles on highways, dirt-roads, ranches & farms, and many other obstacles (such as cowpies!!) in Montana, Nevada, California, Washington, Wyoming, and Kansas (where I actually conducted AI programs).
Then my new rig is actually the F-150 with the same style and same year but half the mileage and in the different color. Within my budget, this was the best buy plus I know this truck by heart!!
It did inherit predecessor's attitude!! You can again spot me on any ranch roads!!
Now in 2016, and as February rolls, I feel I'm back to my annual cycle with cattle breeding industry.

February 8th, the first major bull sale of the year was held at Felton Angus Ranch in Springdale, MT with great folks and crowds. I again joined the event as a crewmember. Before we got started, we enjoyed some of the best lunch!!

I helped sorting and sending bulls in the sale order. It was somewhat windy - no surprising in this area - but very nice and sunny day for February. Good to be working outside!
We sorted and sent in two groups of heifers and we completed our mission!
They had another great sale! I'm very happy to be a part of production!

February 15th, I headed east to Billings Livestock Commission. I visited Bulls of Big Sky Sale, consigning mainly Simmental and SimAngus. Venue, sale, and breed, all for the first time.

It was a very good opportunity to see and learn new venue and breed.
I will visit some more sales in the area!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Branding & Breeding

I just got back from the road. Felton Angus Ranch offered me another breeding season as well as great time hanging at their ranch.

I first visited Springdale Ranch, about 20 minutes/miles driving eastward from Livingston. In between AM-PM breeding & heat-detection, I helped out the annual branding. It's been a great while, since my path changed from cowboy to breeder, that I did this line of work!!

Ranch top-hand Remington kept the iron hot and the table rolling!
Applying tattoos on both ears is a very important for ID purposes. Also it's as physical as rest of the labors!
I was a "pusher".
Then I drove to Tongue River Ranch, somewhere between Miles City and Ashland, MT.
Along the way, I had a couple of businesses in Billings, MT. I badly needed a pair of work-boots. I needed a pair that would be nothing fancy but a regular pair then with practical features. I also bought a good pair of insoles. I liked the new set-up immediately!!
We applied this synch protocol.

Right after my arrival, yearling heifers were responding very well to the synchronized protocol, actually way better than we typically experience, I sorted them off for the breeding of following day.

Evening sorting with Rich Felton.
Over all, ONLY 20 heifers didn't show signs of estrus out of 145 heifers we treated. I'd like to say and count it as some of the BEST responses we can have!!
On Day 2, we bred 90 heifers!! - I did my best and hope for the best results. That means, the ranch will anticipate a super concentrated calving period in 9-month later!!??

By the way, this trash-bag holder made by the frame of old camp-chair was proven to work very well!!
Somehow baby bunnies were hanging around my truck..............

Whenever we work at ranches with cattle, accidents can happen any time. I was sorting heifers on my own. Somehow, I mean really somehow, I smashed my own finger withe the gate handle by my own actions! But then, you know, being Lefty, my right arm goes into cows and heifers, so I could get all the AI done with my best just as always!!  It's been feeling well, good enough to type this blog update!!
Weather remained very well through branding and breeding.
This time of year is always busy and intense. But also, it's the time that I work with great people at their ranches. I hope grass will grow tall and green through summer. Then I hope to hear that heifers and cows I have just bred will produce next generations!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Midland Bull Test

Last Friday, April 3rd, I visited the annual Midland Bull Test sale. That was the third day of a three-day big sale schedule on which ONLY Angus bulls were on the list. This is one of my favorite sales and places to visit. It's an easy driving from Livingston and many people visit from all over the state. I bet there are many visitors and buyers from near-far states too.
I really went there to enjoy the sale (needed some relaxing as I've been busy with my other profession = fly-fishing!). It was really a nice day.
Yellowstone River is flowing in the back. Great location.
Sale begun!
I honestly enjoyed the lunch.
I sat on one of the best seats to enjoy lunch and watch the auction on the screen.

Though I didn't stay all day, I knew it was a good sale that made both sellers and buyers happy.

This would be the last sales that I visit around here. Now I start to talk ranches around here for the upcoming breeding season.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

2015 Season

I may have to start with "Happy New Year!!" for this site's sake....... I've been away a while. Yes, it's the off season for AI but also I've been busy with my other profession, if not another alias, LEFTY ANGLER through the winter (even now). Long story short, now I'm a MT fly-fishing Outfitter.
My schedule to visit bull sales is limited but also, from past experience, I now have favorite sales to visit and worth driving all the way. 
My season, as well as many Angus ranchers in the country, started with the first major sale in the area = Felton Angus Ranch sale on February 9th at their ranch in Sprindale, MT. 
 It was an OK weather. At least nobody in the area complained, compared to the same period of last year!
 Lots of people visited!!
 I was again a back-crew so I really didn't see the auction but I know they had perhaps the best sale!
On March 7, I visited Bulls of The Bitterroot sale with good friends. It's a bit different country from Galltin/Yellowstone Country, as Montana is diverse, but surely it's a nice cow-country.
 Jim Felton examining his potential match.
 He again won the highest bid = the best bull of the sale.

My next schedule is Midland Bull Test (Angus sale on April 3). See you at the sale barn!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last Project & Year Review of 2014

I was again called from Felton Angus Ranch. This time, it was to work on their Fall calving group = winter breeding! Working for seasonal professions (beef cattle breeder, fly-fishing guide, and fly-dresser), job orders tend to be slim during winter/cold months...... So this project was greatly appreciated!

I again hit the road to their Tongue River division in Ashland, MT. When I got there, it was still during the warm spell. However, the first lesson was: Darkness = night comes abruptly this time of year. When I saw the sun was setting in the west, it was so short & quick till I lose the light. That expands to the second lesson: Black cattle are hard to see in the dark!!
We had good responses to our synchronization protocol. Then on Day 3 cold weather was approaching.......
 Day 4, back to winter!!
It was a very good end of the season. Over all, my business has grown, compared to 2013!!!! As an AI technician, my skills & feels have been better than ever. Perhaps even getting sharper. Also this year, as a business manager, I did really well!! I didn't make a gazillion dollars but I'm sure my operation is heading to a right direction, just as I hoped when I founded. But then again, I can't thank enough all the customers and crews who worked with me and made this happen. THANK YOU! & Merry Christmas!

Last but not the least, I just devised a trash bag stand with the old camp-chair. This will be very handy!! Right along the working chute!! Even indoors? You'll see this next year!!

I wish all of you Happy X'mas and Happy New Year!!
I will see you at the end of dirt road next year!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

End of AI Season

Well, it's been fast and intense........ AI season here in SW Montana is as intense and short as fly-fishing guide services............. As of this weekend, I have gladly wrapped up the second year in business!! (I will be available for winter breeding/fall herd toward the end of the year but that will be a while).

After the last post about "on the road", my projects were home-based. I had two projects at Felton Angus Ranch ( in Sprindale. It was mostly nice weather but there were several cold mornings (even as of this typing).

Why aren't there any pictures with me breeding etc? We were busy running cows in the chute. Plus, it's really nothing new but routine that I've been doing for a long time.

Little by little yet surely, my business is growing!! I felt strongly so through this second season.
Then again, without customers'/ranchers' collaborations and loyalty, this wouldn't be happening. I really appreciate all the people who have worked with me.

My old super-faded Carhartt will be worn next year too!!
New sorting flag!!

As I am wrapping up my season, ranchers are sending their cows and heifers to summer pastures with bulls taking over my job. Depending on operations, haying season has just begun too.

I'm shifting into my other profession in SW Montana = fly-fishing guide from now till it ends (October or even in November). Winter snow accumulation, daily weather, and many other Mother Nature affect fly-fishing just as in ranching. I'm very proud of that both of my professions are deeply involved in and interacted with Montana and people who live here!

For next several months, you will see me driving the same truck, oftentimes towing a driftboat, around here. I will see you around.
Thank you again for all of your customer loyalty and collaborations!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Master Breeder On The Road

I have just got home from the week-long breeding road. I'd like to call it great success........

Last year, my businesses were around my home town. It was a very good way to get started. In this second season, suddenly yet surely it expanded to an extended road trip. Whatever we talk about, either cattle related, fly-fishing or any other things in life, the whole trip ended as one of a few examples of "everything went well"!!
First task: SCHEDULE. This is actually easy as based on conversation and communication among people involved in. I was blessed with working with very good people!!
Then here come other factors: CATTLE & WEATHER. We always plan and work for the best when we synchronize groups of cattle but every now and then we have to face some disappointments and unpredictable situations. Then who can expect Montana weathers for his/her favors/wishes? Well....... even those unpredictable factors worked very well for me and people I worked with. Let's look!!

Heading Eastern Montana. Hat and clipboard on the dash are must thing for the cattle breeder on the go!!

Don't forget attaching seatbelt on the breeder's companion. - Hardin, MT.

My first destination was Felton Angus Ranch (Tongue River Division) in Ashland, MT.
As I checked in I briefly looked around. I just reminisced my cowboy days in Eastern MT long time ago (another story). Looking at buttes in the direction of Miles City from the corral, I felt that Eastern MT was greener and prettier than Western MT at this time of year.

Heifers responded very well to our synch programs.
At the dawn of the third (& last) breeding day,  fogs and strange clouds were surrounding the ranch and the area.......... Weather forecast was predicting some severe storm (any kinds involved!!) in the area............ Little did I know this was the omen........ Our breeding went well. However, I was breeding the last few heifers under the hail..........
My next destination was a feedyard between Park City & Columbus, MT. Ranch Manager and I have been in touch since March and we gave a shot for his Charolais based herd.

Before talking about my job and result, I kinda like this picture myself. The feedyard is right along Yellowstone River. As Absarokee Range slopes down toward east, the area shows one of the most unique and iconic wilderness of Montana, if not the entire West.
White/gray hide cows in the feedlot is easy to work with when they are in "heat". As they are playing or being played, their hides are easily coated by mud and soils!!

These heifers responded to our Synch program just as we expected but it ended more than we imagined or expected.............. Believe or not, 82 heifers out of 82 heifers showed visual & physical signs of estrus!! Let me remind you that these heifers are real "range-cows", not under any special managements or treatments. They are just who they are. Really.

So here's the program I suggested to ranchers.
This season, since I was notified a lot in advance, ranchers and I decided to work on this protocol. Apparently this one takes long and needs planned accordingly. Yes, CIDR is considered expensive among any other pharmaceutical products for a per-animal base. Also each day in the schedule can be labor intensive. But reward = tightness of synchronization can be some of the best among any other protocols.

So all the elements (schedule, cattle response, and weather) worked for my favor and wish. And I did my 100% BEST. That's why I call it "great success" and all I have to do next is to wish for the best of pregnancy and calving.
However, I know and I do appreciate that these are not my solo achievement but are greatly supported by and due to ranchers I worked with and who even paid me. Without their understanding and collaborations, these results wouldn't have been achieved.
Yes, I'm doing this to make some money for living. But then again, I can't thank enough for all the blessed and funny moments that I share with GREAT PEOPLE at Montana Ranches. And this is the true and the biggest motivation of me being The Master Breeder...........