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. 

A bottom pasture with recently germinated rye grass and oak timber in the background.

On a positive note, a lot of good, exciting things have happened on the ranch in the last couple weeks.
As I mentioned earlier, we now have 18 Angus calves on the ground!  Since we started calving, it's been fairly consistent.  One, two, or three calves are born almost every day now.  It's fun to go out and check them every morning and see a new baby only hours old.  It's truly amazing to me how the instincts of an animal kick in immediately.  Within minutes of birth, the new calves are on their feet sucking on their moms.  Within an hour or two, they are literally running around, strong and healthy.

Fresh cut hay.

More positive news is that the 100 acre bottom ground has all been planted to rye and turnips, and it is all coming up! The timing has been nearly perfect every time with the rain. We've entered that wet fall season in the Ozarks, and we've been getting 2-3 inches per week. The water table is up, the natural springs are pouring out water, and the creeks are running. The creeks are beautiful with crystal clear water on a limestone bed. 

Now for the deer talk. 

The rut is starting to get going here on the ranch. I've been seeing deer (mostly doe) in the middle of the day, in places that I don't normally see deer. Without checking the cameras again I can't be sure, but I think most of the buck activity is still happening at night.

Just last night, our dog Cooper started barking aggressively from the porch at around 11 o'clock. I stepped outside to see what was going on and nice buck was running across the yard with his nose to the ground. He ran right under the yard light! It was pretty obvious what was on his mind. 

With all this deer activity and hunters coming in soon, I decided I had better sneak out to our hunting blinds and make sure they were ready to go and no critters were living in them. Of course there were no critters, but there were a few wasps. They are locked up pretty air tight, but it's a good thing I had a look.

While I was out there I took some pictures for you as readers to see what kind of set up we have.
We have two very nice blinds, 10 feet in the air on steel posts driven 5 feet deep. I designed and built them myself with the bow hunter and the rifle hunter in mind. They are 8 foot by 8 foot, and each of them have 11 sliding windows for 360 degree shooting, carpeted floors for silence, propane heat, and a four foot deck. The best part is that they overlook 4 acre beanfields intersowed with turnips for late season green feed. I might also mention that they are each equipped with 3 hydraulic swiveling barber chairs to give hunters of every height the best view possible. Only the best for our hunters! 

One of our blinds overlooking a beanfield.

The view looking West.

Bedding area, Northeast view.

Stairway to heaven!

I hope everyone enjoyed the update and the pictures. Remember, here at Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch, we offer guaranteed bison hunts as well as semi-guided deer and turkey hunts. If you ever decide to take a hunting trip, give us a call. We'd love to be your Missouri hunting outfitter

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

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