Monday, December 23, 2013

The benefits of eating bison meat

Bison meat is becoming more and more popular on menus and dinner tables across the country, and for good reason. Bison meat is a lean and healthy red meat that is raised naturally and still tastes great. As a matter of fact there are lots of great reasons to eat bison meat and if you'd like, you can read about my top three reasons for eating bison meat.

Bison meat is still fairly new to the market, and so it's common that we get lots of questions about bison meat and the benefits of eating it. So, if you have questions about bison meat and why you should think about eating it, here's a quick crash course. Of course, we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch with us or post your question in the comments!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bison Weather

Hey everyone,

The last time you heard from me was a month ago.  And what a month it's been!  Warm and windy, cold and wet, snowy and icy; Missouri weather at it's finest. 

The morning the snow started coming down.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Leaves are Falling and Deer are On the Move

Hey everyone,

The last time I wrote, we had 7 calves on the ground and the leaves were just starting to turn.  Two weeks later, we now have 18 Angus calves on the ground, the leaves have turned, and we've experienced our first, second, and third frost of the season.  Fall is here. 

Early morning frost.

It's an exciting, but also sad time of the year for me.  I so look forward to the beauty of the turning leaves, but once they start, it's over in a matter of days.  We are right in the middle of that short time period.  Five days ago the oaks were blood red and burnt orange, the hickorys were bright yellow, the sycamores were yellow as well, and the persimmons were vibrant red.  It lasted just a few days, and now most of the leaves are pretty much brown.  It was beautiful while it lasted. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Big Bucks On The Move!

Hey everyone,

The hickory leaves are yellow, the persimmon trees are red, and the scenery is beautiful here on the ranch. It won't be long until the oaks turn as well, and the fall colors will take over the landscape. My favorite natural event of the year and it seems that as soon as it's here, it's gone. 

The last time I wrote two weeks ago, the rye grass was newly planted and the cows had not started calving yet. I'm happy to say now that the rye is up and we have seven Angus calves on the ground! 

I check the cows twice a day, and so far I've witnessed one birth and watched two calves take their first steps, as well as their first drinks of milk. It really is a miracle what goes on in the cow pasture, and I'm really enjoying the excitement of calving season right now. Hopefully it's nice and steady until all the calves are born. Hopefully.

Angus cows and calves on the ranch.

Now for the deer talk. 

Just as I hoped and expected, the big bucks are starting to roam around checking beds, and I'm getting pictures.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Soybean Competition Results Are In!

Hey everyone, 

The leaves are turning, the days are getting shorter, and the first frost is right around the corner.  It's really feeling like fall around here. With that comes fall calving in our Angus herd, and planting rye grass for winter grazing. I've been checking the cows every morning and every night for the last couple of weeks and still no babies. A few of the cows look overdue. I'm expecting to see the first calf of the year any day. 

Monday and Tuesday I spent in the tractor discing and preparing a seed bed for rye grass seed, Thursday Randy planted it, and Saturday we got an inch an a half of good slow rain. It all worked out perfect for once! Within the week or ten days it will germinate and we will have a good stand of rye grass, dark green in color, looking like a big beautiful green carpet. 

The Saturday morning sky, just before it cut loose and rained all day.

Now for the deer talk. 

A week ago I was checking cows and I saw a bachelor group of six bucks hanging out together in an oak timber. I'm very anxious to check cameras next weekend and see if they have been wandering over to the food plots at night. They were over a mile away from where the cameras are but I'm happy that they are living on the property. Two of those bucks were VERY nice, and I do not have pictures of any of them yet. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Starting to get Fall Fever...

Hey everyone,

First off, the weather has been beautiful and it's really getting me excited for fall.  Towards the end of each of the four seasons, I usually become excited for the change. For example, when the Winter is coming to an end and the temperature starts to rise, I start to think about grass greening up, leaves on the trees, spring turkey hunting, picking mushrooms, and catching crappie. When Springtime turns to summer, I think about long daylight hours, warm nights, big bass in the shade, and cruises through the countryside. This time of the year, especially since we've had cool temperatures and dry air, I think about leaves turning, days getting shorter, football on the tube, and big bucks looking for love. 

Fall is hands down my favorite time of the year.  I do love winter also because of the bobcat trapping, coyote calling, and fun in the snow, but it just always seems to come too fast and stay too long. Fall is when the hoodies come out and the chili starts cooking, which means it's time to spend some quality time in the woods. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thank You!

Hey everyone,

First off, I want to thank you all one more time for tuning in last week to see us on Campfire Stories TV. We had viewers from all over the country, and I hope that this blog reaches you all as well. 

We have been very busy around here working on the corral, working livestock, weaning calves, and hosting company. I did find the time to check some trail cam pics a few weeks ago and I want to share with you a nice buck we snapped a few pictures of. He still has some growing to do this season, but he's definitely off to a good start. 

The food plots we planted in the spring are doing great as of lately. There for a while, the corn was looking shabby and the beans refused to grow. We have been getting plenty of rain the last couple weeks and the drought in our area is definately over. In fact, the water table is full and our creek has been flooding the last couple of days. It's kind of a hairy situation right now because we are expecting rain every day for the next 7 days, and we have plenty of work to do without dealing with more flooding. 

The competition we have going with the forage soybeans is too close to call right now, but with all this rain I'm sure we will start to see some serious growth in the next couple weeks. It will be interesting to see which brand wins. 

Once more, thanks again for watching our bison hunt with Campfire Stories. I hope everyone that viewed now has a better understanding of what our operation is all about. Please spread the word and don't hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about a hunt, a visit, or a stay in the cabin.  Take care everyone!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Campfire Stories TV on the Pursuit Channel

Hey everyone,

It's a very busy day on the ranch today, but I thought I'd take a time out to thank everyone that tuned into the Pursuit Channel Tuesday morning to watch our first successful bison hunt aired on TV.  We have been receiving lots of positive feedback since then and it's very much appreciated.

For those of you who couldn't watch it for whatever reason, it will be on again Thursday evening (August 1st) at 7:30 p.m. EST, and Saturday (August 3rd) at 7:30 a.m. EST.  The Pursuit Channel is channel 604 on Direct TV, and channel 393 on the Dish Network. 

Thanks again for all who tuned in, and keep the comments coming! 

Set your DVR's! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bison Hunt on the Ranch

I'm excited to tell everyone that this coming week, our bison hunt with Campfire Stories TV will be airing! 

Looking back to February when this hunt took place, it seems like it was only a few weeks ago as vividly as I remember it. 

First off, what a great couple of guys we met in Andy and Bob. Full of energy and all business until the job was done. Then when it was time to sit back, relax, and share a delicious bison meat supper with the guys, the stories and laughs started coming out of everyone at the table, and friendships were born.  

If you don't remember the story of the hunt a few months ago, I'll refresh your memory:

The day the guys showed up to hunt, a snow storm was brewing.  After a quick introduction it was decided that we had to get this bull down before the storm hit. 

We  searched for this bull for quite a while before we found him bedded down in a deep ravine, preparing for the weather ahead. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Busy Season on the Ranch

Hey everyone,

It's been way too long since I've wrote last, but this is the busiest time of the year.  Because of the haying, the planting, the welding, the maintenance, etc., I haven't had much free time lately.  Today the record high temperatures have drove me inside for a few hours, so I'll try to catch you all up. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bison Calves Born on the Ranch

Hey everyone,

I'm taking advantage of another rainy morning to inform you that it's officially calving season! They actually started about two weeks ago, but we have had 11 calves since then.

The first three bison calves were all born on the same day, and it's been one here, one there since then. For all of you that have never seen a bison calf, they are really cute with an orangish brown color, and soft, almost fuzzy fur.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cold Weather in May

Hey everyone,

It seems that Mother Nature wanted to show everyone who's boss one last time. The last week or so it's been 75 degrees plus, and now a nasty front has moved in. The bottom has dropped out of the warm temperatures and it's now in the low 30's. It's actually snowing right now and it's May 3rd! I heard on the news that Springfield, MO has been keeping record of the weather since the 1880's and this is the latest snowfall date on record. 

The perfect opportunity to get you all caught up on what's been going on around here. 

When I last wrote, I told you about Tipsy and informed you that I had planted some Doc's Wildlife Blends. Well, I'm sorry to say that Tipsy didn't make it. Although he was showing signs of improvement, it became obvious after another week or so that he had neurological damage and that he would never be the same. We continued to pick him up and get him to his feet, but his balance was not there and the slightest hill would make him fall over.  I found him dead in a pond one morning.  He had drowned. 

On a positive note, the Doc's Sandy Bottom Blend as well as the Doc's Premium Clover I planted has emerged and is doing well. I will include a picture when it gets a little bigger, right now it's just too small to see.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Springtime on the Ranch

A lot has happened on the ranch since I wrote last.  We've brought in more bison calves, fertilized the entire place, planted grass and clover in one of the pastures, and planted some Doc's Wildlife Blend seed in two food plots just to name a few things.  Needless to say, it's been busy around here. 

About two and a half weeks ago we got 6 inches of snow.  This last week it's been 70 degrees and sunny.  It's crazy how much everything has greened up!  The dogwoods are blooming and it seems that spring is here. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Successful Bison Hunt with Campfire Stories

I would like to thank Andy Weichers and Bobby Haley from Campfire Stories for a great experience and an exciting bison hunt. Although it was our first hunt here at Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch, everything went fairly smooth and Andy got the trophy of a lifetime with his crossbow. 

The guys came in on Monday at around 11 am. After a short visit and a plan of action, we went right after the big bull, hoping to have him down before the storm rolled in. 

After driving around for an hour trying to locate the bull, we finally found him bedded down at the bottom of a ravine in a thick oak timber. We tried to get into position without spooking him, but there was simply no good shooting lanes that were camera friendly. When the bull spotted us, he immediately got up and took off running up the hill and out of sight. We then had to sneak down and around the bottom of the thick timbered ravine to try to put a stalk on the bull without him seeing us.  He seemed to know what was going on, but we managed to get around 90 yards from him before we were forced to stop and watch him stomp and snort at us for a few minutes before he took off running again. To put it lightly, it was intimidating. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Icy day at Elkhead Ranch

Hi everyone,

Like the majority of the country, we are getting hit with a winter storm today.  Unlike the snow storms north of us, we are getting sleet and freezing rain. It's the perfect day to get our followers caught up on what's been going on around the ranch.

This last weekend my family came to visit me. It was so nice to see my daughter, wife, and parents. My daughter Harlea is growing up so fast! She's recently started to smile, and I have realized that there is no greater feeling than being on the receiving end of that smile. My wife keeps me posted with pictures, but I can't wait to see her again in person.

We've been staying busy around here for the last few weeks bringing in bison calves, pregant bison cows, and big breeder bulls from Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, and Canada. The newest addition to the herd and the most exciting to me, is a Wood bull from Canada that Randy and Jane picked up at the Denver Stock Show. For those of you that don't know the difference between a Wood bison and a Plains bison, the Wood breed originates from Northern Canada, and grows to be much bigger both in height and weight.  In fact, the sire of our new bull was 2,500 pounds!. As a yearling, he already stands taller than the rest of the herd. I'm really excited to see the calves he produces next year.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Success

I met a lot of great people this weekend at the Big Buck Classic, which made it a complete success.  I would like to thank everyone that took the time to stop and visit with us at our booth, and I would especially like to thank those who bought jerky, and/or our Doc's Wildlife Blends products. I would like to remind these people that I am a phone call or email away if you have any questions, comments, or would like to purchase more product. 

I want to send out a special thanks to Kendra and Gale for committing to what is sure to be an awesome deer hunt this fall. As you can see in the game camera pictures, we have mature bucks that would be a trophy on anyone's wall, but keep in mind that our spring and summer will be dedicated to the nutrition of our deer herd. The Doc's Wildlife Blend products that we will be using have proven to make great bucks even greater, and given the potential of the younger bucks on our ranch, we are sure to see some serious results this fall and I couldn't be more excited about it. 

For this being our first trade show, we walked away with some awesome contacts in the industry. Dr. Ken Vettel and Dr. Tim Jones are the ultimate professionals. They are both great people with extreme knowledge and belief in their Doc's Wildlife Blends products. They are always willing, and never too busy to answer questions about their mineral, feed, and seed, as well as any other general question a person might have about anything from hunting to personal health. We are proud to be Doc's dealers and welcome any questions you may have about Doc's products. 

Lastly, I would like to thank Andy Weichers and Bobby Haley from Campfire Stories TV for showing interest in a buffalo hunt on the ranch, to be aired on the pursuit channel in 2014. We are currently ironing out the details, but we are all 100% committed to making this happen, maybe as soon as next month.  Thanks Andy and Bobby, it will be an experience you will never forget. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Big Buck Classic

If you're in the Omaha area this weekend, come check out our booth at the Big Buck Classic located at the Century Link Center! 


Hi everyone,
My name is Andy Thies, and I am the ranch manager of Elkhead Ranch near Bruner, Missouri.  I was born and raised in small town Sterling, Nebraska.  I am 30 years old and married to an art teacher. 

Together we are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, Harlea Mae, who was born 13 days ago.  I am 10 weeks away from an Associates of Aplied Science Degree in Divesified Agriculture Production.  I was in the Army Reserve for 8 years, and during that time I served 2 tours of duty overseas in the Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom campaign.  It was shortly after my second tour that I asked my beautiful wife Kristie to marry me.  Shortly after that I decided to pursue a degree in Agronomy.  I thought that with an Agronomy degree I would create more employment oportunities in Southeast Nebraska, and planned to get into the wildlife food plot business one way or another.  As luck would have it, I met Randy and Jane Miller who own Elkhead Ranch. They had serious intentions of creating a guided hunting service on the ranch, and had a need for a ranch manager with a hunting background and a willingness to learn the ins and outs of the bison business. The rest is history.

I am pleased to announce that after 5 years of habitat management and wildlife nutrition practices at the ranch, we are officially open for business guiding whitetail, turkey, and buffalo hunts. 

Throughout the year, I will be keeping you updated on what goes on in the day to day operations of a working bison ranch and hunting retreat.  I will share with you the experiences of everyday life on the ranch.  This includes working the bison, calving season, wildlife management practices for deer and turkey such as planting food plots, habitat improvement, controlled burns, etc., and of course, monthly game camera pictures.   

Thank you for following our blog from the beginning, and I hope that you will share the experiences of the ranch with us through our blog, and in person. We would like to welcome you into our ranch family. 

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