I failed to mention in the day 1 post that I saw one grizzly near the top of one of the BC passes, as well as MANY mule deer, several of which were being fed on by ravens. As I slowed to get a pic of Mr Grizz, he decided he wanted to be elsewhere, so - NO pics!
Got up pretty early Wednesday, and after breakfast and coffee Harry and I drove to his feedlot (about 10 miles south of his house) where he drove me to the area he wanted "culled", a few miles west, then back to the feedlot where he gave me a quick check-out on his diesel Kubota side-by-side quad, then directed me to the fields w/ the gopher problems. Later he and neighbors were going to brand the calves, as well as "removing" some un-wanted bits from the male calves....
When Harry pointed the fields out (they were all partially tilled), my first thoughts were that there couldn't be TOO many gophers there, as my experience has generally been on pasture fields, the gophers in the short grass.
Got there pretty quickly, and I started into the fields.... Holy Smoke - gophers EVERYWHERE!!! I'll spare the details, but I drove around the fields till I ran out of .22s, then back to get a pick-up and into town for more shells.
When I returned, branding was in progress, so I was invited to watch, then join in the steak supper for all the working cowboys (...and me!). They had three cowboys roping the calves ("heeling" them), then dragging them to where another couple would flip them over, holding onto the tail to present its flank to the branding iron, and the person w/ the knife. In fact several of the workers, including the ropers, were women. Soon the 200 or so calves were done, and it was over to the ranch-house for some beers, then the dinner prepared by the ladies. VG spread, too!
After that was over we headed back north to Harry's house, where his border collie - Tes - wanted some exercise chasing a ball. She didn't tire, but we did, so I suggested using a golf club to get some yardage, and soon she was running 75 yards out, then back, and pretty soon was "tuckered-out", so we headed to bed.
Next morning we did pretty much the same, but as I got to the gopher fields one of the neighbors' dogs, a black lab, decided to join me and help by "rounding up the gophers", but that pretty much stopped the 'operation', as I didn't want to accidentally hit it, and besides - the gophers were NOW underground!
Took the Kubota back, transferred to a pickup, then drove back to the ranch house, to assemble a Kamado BBQ Harry had brought back from AZ, then Tes joined me and we hunted a different type called 'red gophers', something I'd not seen before, somehow a "high-country" cousin to the usual ones.
Soon the dinner gong sounded. After another GREAT Alberta dinner, and a few beers, we headed back onto the veranda to hit balls for the dog, then time to hit the sack!