Southern Plains Bison: June 2015

Lots of grass, plenty of water; what could go wrong? Right? This year is different than many of the past, and in many ways including any normalcy in nature. We can expect that our native-grazers might also be a bit more mysterious if we don’t observe diligently – ascertain and react. I think the best way to accomplish this is to observe the herd, and their behaviors, with attention to how content they seem. The answers your looking for come in questions: 1] Compared to the herds history; are they consuming an inordinate amount of mineral? 2] Are they getting … Read more

Articles & Publications

Articles & Publications From time to time I run across a great bison-related article, and sometimes the author lets me share. The Frontier Army and the Destruction of the Buffalo: 1865-1883 David D . Smits Did the buffalo roam? by Rufus Ward Reinterpreting the 1882 Bison Population Collapse By Sierra Dawn Stoneberg Holt, PhD The Battle of Adobe Walls  By E.C. Little 1909 Where the buffalo Dont Roam By T. Frasier Should Oregon Have A Bison Range by William L. Finley -1944  

Eat The Weeds

Bee on flower

I’m writing this to you at the stroke of midnight on April Fool’s 2015. Don’t be a fool and take out your beneficial forbs and so-called “weeds” thinking a monoculture pasture is ideal. Many such plants are desirable as vermifuges, micronutrient resources, palatable food sources, window species and/or pollinator resources. Here’s a quick list of goodies in the spring lush: Plantain Wild onion Medic/vetch/clover Sedge Artemesia Asparagus Chickweed Cleavers Dandelion Chicory Greenbriar There are plenty more where those came from. I’m available for site visits and consultations if you’re interested in working with nature and maximizing productivity. May all your … Read more

Southern Plains Bison: Mar 2015

Southern Plains Pointers – March 2015 Red Dot Alert! The first new lines of 2015 models are sprinkling the southern plains with big heavy brown clouds gathering and indicating a big event.  It will soon be ‘Raining Red-Dots’. The colors of the southern plains this time of year are brilliant and diverse as ecological succession paints a canvas never to be repeated and enhanced by the colors of sable and chocolate-brown. If you are lucky enough to see this in your travels, or on your property, squint and take away all things civilization and behold – the southern plains a millennia … Read more

Southern Plains Bison: Feb 2015

February in the Southern Plains is a time for questions and checking the management-boxes for preparedness to leave the herd alone throughout the calving season. Some of those questions and boxes are: Am I feeding them too much in the last trimester?   Is my mineral program up to speed? Do I have an orphan kit organized?   Are my herd populations in balance with my grass through July/August?   Does the herd ‘appear’ healthy?   Personally I don’t like handling or changing up the populations during the calving season. The less we impact their world while they are calving, … Read more

Blanket of Snow Feb 2015

When this blanket of snow at the end of February melts gently into the landscape the steady crescendo into the symphony of spring will paint an idyllic image of green abundance.  If only the real world were that simple.  Simple may be adequate and elegant but it misses the opportunities found in nuance, diversity and productivity. What I’m hinting at is that since we live in a place where drastic change in weather is the norm, maximize the potential for positive productivity while improving the ecosystem and landscape with proper processes.  A healthy and resilient grazing landscape has a diversity … Read more

Southern Plains Bison: Jan 2015

Getting Over the ‘Hump’ Thanks to an unusual November and an atypical polar blast, the southern plains is experiencing less winter forage than we usually enjoy. Even the dedicated forage-croppers are unusually stressed for feed, causing the need for additional supplementation for bison health. This reality can vary widely within the southern plains depending on the eco-region-home; where the buffalo roam. Texas, for example, contains 11 different eco-regions and a wide variation of realities for bison with regard to winter forage and ‘green-up’ planning strategies affecting both the physical and fiscal health of the herd. Different eco-regions have different plant … Read more

Ecosystems: Jan 2015

Spend less to get more.  The more you know, the less you need.  Employing the principles of ecology allows us to construct permanently productive and resilient ecosystems that beget increasing abundance over time without applying heavy inputs of expensive and deleterious agri-business products.  Capital and energy intensive does not equal success!

Southern Plains Bison: Nov 2014

  Making the Hard Decisions Easier  Well…. Here it comes again – the season of change, with some for bison – forever. In the southern plains, winter does not have to be dead and dormant, but if we are not busy in September and October, we may not find ourselves in the bounty of ‘Happy-November’ with winter forage. Either way it’s all about feed. Knowing values and how they plug into equations will make things easier to manage with confidence. An example of this is your hay. You say you have hay, but what does it represent to the nutritional regime … Read more

Southern Plains Bison: Sept 2014

Busy-busy-busy! Fall in the southern plains is the best and most productive time to be busy in preparation for the cool-season, which is our strongest growing season in the south.  Whether you apply conventional agriculture methods or forward regenerative practices, getting some land care and habitat enhancement boxes checked will be to your advantage. Personally I like as much diversity in my food plot and pasture system as possible. Each year I plan strategic additions to a pragmatic end for soil structure health, bison-forage and wildlife benefit.  It’s always an experiment and always beneficial to my system, which includes the … Read more