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 (www.feltonangus.com) 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...........