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

City of Port Alberni issues water quality alert for Kitsuksis Creek area

Kitsuksis Creek residents urged to use alternate drinking water source

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Learn about Port Alberni’s mayoral candidates with new film series

Alberni Valley filmmaker Dallas Dalziel discusses key issues with candidates

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Learn the basics of publishing at Port Alberni workshop

George Opacic of Rutherford Press will present keys to the professional side of publishing

Bear makes midnight front porch visit in Campbell River

A black bear paid a Campbell River family a midnight visit last… Continue reading

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated

Jury to deliberate in case of Calgary man accused of murdering woman

Curtis Healy could be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter

House arrest for man who abused disabled B.C. woman, then blamed her

‘Groomed complainant’ and ‘violated position of trust,’ judge says

Liberals want to know what Canadians think of legalized weed

The federal government will comb social media for Canadians’ pot-related behaviour

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen boasts of aiding Mueller investigation

Cohen could provide information on whether Trump’s campaign co-ordinated with Russians

Landslide forces evacuations of Philippine villages

More than 1,200 people in villages near the landslide-hit area were forcibly moved by authorities

Students asked about the positive effects of residential schools

Alberta’s education minister apologized after hearing about the online social studies course

Most Read