A Different Kind of Ranching

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Texas ranches I think of wide open spaces under brilliant blue sky.

I think of cows grazing in those wide open spaces, occasionally looking up to see who or what is passing by.

I think of cowboys on horseback rounding up cattle or mending fences.

Well, that’s still happening, but on a visit to a friend’s ranch I learned there’s something new happening in ranching. Horses were replaced by ATVs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand where once cows grazed, there were all kinds of exotic animals

more common to Africa than Texas.

I never expected to see zebras roaming the pastures

or geese strolling those wide open spaces totally at home with their four legged friends. 

The only animal that wasn’t a surprise was the white tailed deer so common in Texas they become a nuisance.  I’m told they are thinned out (meaning shot) several times a year to keep their numbers down. 

As we ventured around the property, I didn’t see a single cow and couldn’t help but ask why cattle had been replaced with all these other animals.  The answer was pretty simple.  This rancher was no longer interested in raising cattle and without animals on the property he’d have a pretty hefty tax burden.  Judging from his ranch, it doesn’t seem to make any difference what kind of animals so long as they have four legs!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

16 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Ranching

  1. Linda, I can’t even believe this. I guess I’m not understanding that you can’t own land without animals roaming on it – without a tax burden. Wonder when those laws were passed???

  2. Wow Linda, that does look more like Africa! How fabulous to experience those animals like that right in your Texas backyard!

    1. I kept having to remind myself that this was Texas!!

  3. Ahhh…my dream ranch…except I’d have a few horses for sure! Beautiful photos

    1. I agree that there needed to be some horses. Zebras are beautiful but not a substitute for their cousins.

  4. Linda, that is so interesting…cattle replaced by exotic animals. I would think the cost of buying these animals, feeding, and taking care of them would be so very expensive. There are so many people here in the business of raising deer with huge racks. I still love to see a pasture with cows grazing!

    1. I’m guessing most of the cost is in the purchase as all the animals are grazers.

  5. Very interesting. Lots of white tailed deer in Eastern Washington, too.

  6. We have deer hunting “seasons” to keep them under control. They’re all over the roads constantly and cause many accidents. I hit one that totaled our car. Totaled! It can be very hard to avoid them as they dart across highways of traffic. I say, we need open season year-around. Your rancher friend sure is creative with his tax advantages. 😉

    1. Yep, hitting a deer, no matter how gently, is expensive.

  7. entertainingwomen April 25, 2017 — 12:09 pm

    An innovative rancher who is doing a great job of “playin’ the hand he was dealt. Thanks for inviting us along on your journey. Cherry Kay 🍒

    1. It’s always good to have you along.

  8. In Colorado right now and was told by another visitor that she saw a RAM grazing on a hillside. That’s something I’ve never seen! Hoping to spy something like that as we move further up into the mountains later this week. I’m am getting to enjoy those wide open blue skies you wrote about, though. So pretty! Even more wide open than in Kansas and Missouri that I’m accustomed to. Deer are very common where I live, but all these others…ha! I think it’s cool, though!!! Ranching has changed and stayed the same all at once!

  9. How so very interesting!….you have to admit that the ranch is certainly unique with those beautiful animals….thanks for the tour of the ranch….must say that I do love seeing the traditional ranch with cowboys and horses!

    1. It seems that cattle raising these days is not always profitable.

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