Third generation ranchers, Cassidy, Blaine and Kacey Huffman enjoy springtime on the family’s 153 Mile Ranch where their mom and dad, Jenny and Cuyler Huffman, can see 20 calves a day born during the height of calving season.

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Calving season is just getting going at Jenny and Cuyler Huffman’s 153 Mile Ranch Ltd just south of Williams Lake, bringing some normalcy to what has been an undoubtedly challenging year for most Cariboo Chilcotin ranchers.

“It can be frustrating and stressful, but it is a good time of year as long as the weather cooperates,” Cuyler said of the calving season, this year challenged by deep snow.

“We’ve had to move a lot more snow than normal. We rented a Cat for five days, and my dad pushed snow for five days.”

Overall Cuyler said the calves are faring well, with the couple checking on their expectant mothers around the clock every three hours in a season that lasts for six to eight weeks.

“We really are just getting going. But we can have 20 [calves] in a day, easy,” Cuyler said.

“It would be nice to have 20 in a day,” added Jenny, noting all their children help out in the calving season.

153 Mile Ranch Ltd will be calving in total just over 400 head of cows and heifers this spring.

The historical ranch, which the couple purchased in early 2017, was heavily impacted by the 2017 wildfires.

Located within the Spokin Lake and Wildwood fires, much of the ranch’s private and Crown grazing fencing was destroyed in the wildfires, and the couple are having to manage the ranch around those challenges heading into spring.

“We have no containment. There are no fences left. They’re all burnt,” said Cuyler, adding that it was very frustrating that two and a half kilometres of brand new fencing from White road near Williams Lake to the main ranch was destroyed in the fire just three weeks after it was built.

This week the Huffman’s secured alternative grass for their cattle for the spring and summer months.

“We have private pasture that we’ve rented for the summer for our cows, so they have somewhere to go.”

He said there is still a lot of work to be done to recover from the wildfires.

“That’s what this next summer will be, is the ministry trying to get some fences up plus ourselves.”

Cuyler said the wildfires have certainly made their first year at the ranch a difficult one, but they are looking forward into the future with optimism, something made easier with the coming of springtime and new calves on the land.

“It makes it all worthwhile when you see those babies like that, all spry and jumping around,” said Jenny, pointing to a new calf. ” It’s perfect.”

 

Deep snow has given ranchers in the Cariboo Chilcotin more of a challenge, particularly as calving season begins. The Huffmans and many other ranchers have cleared areas of snow using heavy equipment to give calves somewhere to be out of the snow. Angie Mindus photos

Jenny and Cuyler Huffman are busy in the midst of calving season on the 153 Mile Ranch Ltd. While the deep snow is causing some issues, the calves themselves bring optimism after a difficult year.

The Huffmans calve out more than 400 calves - as many as 20 a day - during the season which lasts six to eight weeks.

Just Posted

GALLERY: Highlights from the 2018 Fernie Fall Fair

Local cooks and bakers show off their culinary skills; fibre artist spins a yarn

GALLERY: 2018 Fernie Chautauqua hailed best yet

About 8000 people embraced the century-old tradition in Fernie last week

Sparwood Skatepark officially opened

Locals call new skatepark a ‘priceless addition’ to Sparwood

U.S. Court upholds Teck ruling

Teck appealed a previous decision that the company must pay $8.25 million in the Tribes’ court costs

Ghostriders welcomed home

Fernie Ghostriders win 5-3 in front of a sold out crowd during home opener

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

UBCM Convention inspires City of Fernie

Cannabis legalization, policing and green innovation among topics discussed at UBCM Convention

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read