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. 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!

  2. 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 🍒

  3. 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. 😉

  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!

  5. 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???

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