Inside Cowboy/Ranching Culture – First Impressions (O6 Ranch)

Jun 19, 2022 171.2K Views 786 Comments

In the middle of nowhere in West Texas lives six generations of ranching at the O6 Ranch. Join me as we learn about cowboying and ranching from these salt-of-the-earth people who are hanging on to this rugged lifestyle that is currently under intense pressure.

O6 Ranch:
http://o6ranch.com/
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057091855200

► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello
► Researched by: Kymberly Redmond

– Good morning, guys.
Here in West Texas.
And today, we have a
very interesting story
we’re getting into.
We’re going out to the O6 Ranch.
Now this is a ranch that’s
been around since the 1800s
in the same family.
And from what I’ve been told,
they do things in more traditional ways.
So let’s get out to the
ranch and see what this type
of lifestyle is like in this modern world.
(lively music)
Here we are at the O6 Ranch.
We’ve got the cowboy.
This is just a water reservoir
you got going on here?
– Yes, sir, yeah.
– [Peter] I don’t know, let’s find out.
– Yeah.
– What’s this called?
– This is called the camp.
Usually part of the
crew lives in the house,
takes care of the animals.
Down over there is the scale pens
and there’s scales from
the old West Railroad.
– [Peter] Scale pen, what’s that?
– Where you take cattle or
horses and you wanna weigh them
before a sale or whatever.
So that was like 1800… something, something
and we’re still using ’em.
– From 1800s?
– Yeah.
– [Peter] So this ranch is how big?
– I’ll let Chris tell you
that and I’ll tell you why.
Because in the early days,
if you ask someone how many acres
or how many cattle they have,
it’s like asking how
much is in your billfold.
– It’s disrespectful to ask a rancher
how much acreage you have,
how many cattle you have?
– Correct.
My background is natural horsemanship
and it just kinda happens out here.
Boy, these cowboys are so good.
Stuff that, I was kind of big fish
in a small pond up north.
And then you come down here
and everybody does everything
that I knew before breakfast.
We’re probably down to 1/3 or 1/4
of the number of horses that we had.
We had to sell them.
– Why is that?
– From the drought.
– [Peter] The drought?
How long has that been going on?
– We haven’t had a whole lot rainfall
since about five years or so.
– Five years, wow.
– And then last year, we had
so much rain all of a sudden,
one day that it washed out all the roads.
It washed out a lot of the
buildings and it was a mess.
This is one of the studs, he’s retiring.
That’s Frost.
I guess he’s been fed.
– How old is he?
– He is 20, I believe.
18, 18.
– Okay.
– That’s right.
One guy here, this dark
colt who had a bad cut.
And so he’s kinda mending
from that.
Right here.
– [Peter] Okay.
– I think this is the one.
-Yeah.
– [Peter] So your horses…
you have a close relationship with?
– Oh yeah.
Yeah, they’re like your partner
when you’re out working cattle.
I like riding these cow bred
horses because you top a hill
and they’re hunting cows.
They’re very keen.
They’re a predatory animal.
And any movement in the brush
or sounds, rocks going,
they’ll alert you to it.
And oftentimes, when you go,
when you ride here in the rocks,
you have to be in partnership with them
because you can’t put that
much horse on each rock.
I mean, they have to help
you and place their feet
in places that keeps you safe
and still where you wanna go.
– So there’s a lot of danger in this work
when you’re on the horses?
– Oh yeah.
– [Peter] So what keeps you going?
You’ve done this for a while?
– Yeah.
I was born and raised on a dairy farm.
And then I married a beef farmer up north,
and then I came down here
and now I’m a rancher.
So there is differences but.
Now out here,
these are some of the horses
you call them using horses.
Hi buddy.
Here’s a big one.
– “Musing” horses?
– A using horse.
– Like, we’re gonna use–
– Using horse, okay.
– Today to go over the mountain
or something or tomorrow.
Means he’s broke to ride and good to go.
A using horse.
– [Peter] That’s the branding
on the horse over there?
– Yes.
– [Peter] Can you tell us about that?
– The O6 is the name of the ranch.
And it’s the pay grade
of a captain officer six.
So it’s officer one, officer two.
One of his greats was in the Texas Navy.
And so in kind of a nod to him,
they called the ranch, the O6.
– [Peter] The O6.
– [Peter] Okay.
I read also somewhere that
it helps with thievery.
Like if someone steals
your horses or cattle,
this is how they would go to auction
and know that it’s not theirs, right?
– Exactly.
– There’s more going on in
densely populated areas.
Where they feed their
cattle and where they’re,
cattle will come to a horn, a honk.
And out here, they’re
just gonna run off mainly.
There’s too much country out
here to steal too many cattle.
But if they want them bad enough.
– They kiss you too?
– Yeah.
(Chris laughs)
We do lock our gates, so.
– [Peter] This is a big question,
but how is the culture right now?
Ranching, cowboy culture.
What’s your assessment of it these days?
– If you wanna see some tough folks,
I’d say this is a good time to hit ’em up
because the ones that are
still in it are tough.
– Yeah, people can’t
hold on to what they had.
The original livestock they’ve
had for years and years.
– [Peter] And so it’s
harder to do these days.
Is that what you mean
by being tough folks?
– Well, yeah, we just couldn’t
come up with hay enough
to keep them.
We wanted to keep a small
group and build back.
And in 2011, we were hit with
a big wildfire of 20,000 acres
and 20 miles of fence.
And we had to sell off
2/3 that year of cattle
because after that fire,
there was 100 days of
over 100 degree temps.
So it just scorched.
The ground was sterile in places
where the fire had gone through.
– [Peter] And I’m wise enough to know now
not to ask how many cattle,
but 2/3 would be a good
amount, like a good number?
– Oh yeah.
– Well, to me get rid of, you mean?
– [Peter] Yeah, you had
to sell off 2/3, you said
– Well, it’s just kinda
what we could hang onto,
what we could keep feeding and so forth.
But this time, we had to sell everything.
I mean, we just…
– [Peter] So, you’re in it
because you love it or in it
because it’s like a…
A marriage that you can’t get out of? (laughs)
Or both?
– I think all of the above.
– Yeah. (laughs)
– You gotta love it or you wouldn’t do it.
‘Cause it’s insane.
– Every about two years out
of 10 years is a good year.
Good years.
So you kinda have to
plan that way with rain.
If it rains, it makes so much difference.
– [Peter] So your spirits,
the mood of the cowboys
and even the town maybe is
gonna be higher when it rains?
Like people are…
– The weights of the cattle,
which is money in your
pocket to pay bills.
– [Peter] Right.
So, the rain is everything.
– Rain is everything.
– Right, yeah.
– [Peter] I see some big
homes up on the hill here.
Like there’s some big homes up there?
– Yes.
– [Peter] So people moving into town
or it’s always been
that way or what’s that?
– It’s a development.
It used to be part of the ranch.
Some of our family, our cousins
elected to…
To develop that.
Their part.
– [Peter] So when you
say it’s a way of life
and you have to love it, is
it like you couldn’t imagine
doing anything else
than being on the ranch?
– I don’t know, retiring sounds good.
– Take a cruise or (laughs) yeah.
– [Dawn] Read a book.
In daylight.
– [Peter] Read a book in daylight?
Because your daylight hours,
you have zero time other
than working on the ranch?
– Well, you’ll see when we get going,
just the mileage in itself here.
Checking where we’re going
pretty much can take your day.
– [Peter] And that’s all in the ranch?
– [Dawn] Mhmm.
– And it’s mountain roads.
So you’re not going 70 down the highway,
but there is a highway going down
through the middle of the ranch.
And it’s kinda like,
we have a highway in
the middle of the ranch,
but we got a highway in
the middle of the ranch.
– [Peter] Oh, like an actual highway?
– Yeah.
– Yeah.
– [Peter] Interesting, okay.
– So we can get trucks and trailers,
places that like in his young
age and your grandfathers,
they had to ride.
So they would have to
ride outta here to go,
well, you can’t see, the barn’s in the way.
Like to that mountain over there.
– [Peter] To that
mountain way up there, huh?
So we’re gonna go on that trip right now?
– Yeah.
– Yes.
– What’s in this building?
– Barn.
Well, right now, it’s a
stirred up mess I’m sure
because the baseball team…
Here… Need some luck?
Here you go.
– [Peter] You got the Dust
Devils baseball team out here
to take care of business?
– These are the Alpine
Cowboys baseball team.
– Players from all over?
– All over.
– Montana State.
– All over.
– It looks amazing.
– [Peter] The chuckwagon?
What’s a chuckwagon?
– The chuckwagon is when in roundup,
which is two weeks in the
spring and four in the fall,
the cook would drive this.
In the early days, it would have a team.
And up until…
When did you quit running it
with the team?
In the ’70s?
– I think, it was probably
in the ’60s, early ’60s.
– In the ’60s?
We just got this back.
– [Peter] Oh, what’s this? A Jeep?
– Yeah, we had it restored.
It’s his grandfather’s Jeep.
– [Peter] Oh, wow.
A Willys.
– It’s a 56 Willys.
When he had his baseball team,
they took a tour down to Mexico City.
Can you imagine driving
from here to Mexico City
in this Jeep?
– [Peter] And what are we…
like, an hour to the border?
– About an hour.
– [Peter] But Mexico City’s
way beyond obviously.
– Oh, gosh. Way, way…
Yeah.
(Jeep’s engine revving)
– The O6 brand on all your vehicles.
So that… I just thought
of it for the first time,
the word “brand” comes from ranching, right?
Like, oh, that’s the brand
like Calvin Klein or…
– Probably.
– [Peter] Is this what you’d call
like a more traditional ranch these days?
– Oh, very.
– Very.
– Yes.
– We were way more
traditional than we are now.
Actually right now.
We haven’t pulled our chuckwagon out
in two or three roundups
just to cut back on expenses
and try to get by with what we’re doing.
But we’ll probably get back into it.
– With the chuckwagon?
– With the chuckwagon.
– It might seem backwards,
but we can’t run an ATV.
We can’t run a four wheeler,
whatever, up these rocks.
So wherever the cattle are, we have to go
and therefore, you go horse back.
(country music)
– [Peter] So Dawn, you were saying
as we were driving in,
the left side of the road,
all the way to those mountains
and then the right side,
all the way is your ranch
where your cattle are?
– From there to Fort Davis,
the other side of the Fort Davis.
When we cross over this
cattle guard and this opens up
into this big country that
goes into headquarters.
I just always think of being
out here like the first people.
If came along in a buckboard,
down here and there’s a spring
and there’s nice trees and stuff.
I just think, boy, this would be it.
If you were coming from out east
or we had a car commercial,
the director was here
and he says, “Oh, open it up.
Wide shot.
Think Costner.” (laughs)
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Now back to the video.
– This is the headquarters.
The gate was built in 1921,
but the ranch was acquired in 1912.
They first settled here and then they sold
for the Coconut family
and went from there.
And this is where my great grandfather
and had my grandfather lived and grew up
here at this place.
Great grandparents.
Like 1883, ranched around Alpine.
And came out here and ranched here.
Went to Lubbock where Texas tech is.
That’s where was the
horse pasture up there
and then sold that and came
and bought this Pruett Ranch back in 1912
and have ever since then gone on.
– [Peter] So does it mean a lot to you?
– Oh yeah.
We’re proud to be here.
We’re proud to be part of the legend.
We try to keep it going.
I would like to have it just
like it was 100 years ago.
I’m kind of a person
who doesn’t like change.
And so I’d like it better that way.
– Do you feel as a rancher
four generations deep,
this is what you know, this is your life.
Is this under threat a
little bit, this way of life?
Or is it, like you’re saying,
you’re you like no change and
things are just easy peasy.
Nothing’s really changed, or
what are your thoughts on that?
– There’s always somebody
wanting something that you have.
we’ve got to keep an eye
on the federal government.
We’ve gotta keep an eye
on the Nature Conservancy
and anything that would cause a disruption
to what you’re normally doing.
We have an organization
called Davis Mountain
Trans-Pecos Heritage Association.
We work on private lands.
Texas has a lot of private property.
And a lot of the states
to the west are federal.
And with BLM and all that sort of thing,
we’re trying to stay away from that.
That organization was created
because they wanted to make
a national park out of
all these Davis Mountains
at one time.
And so we got that
feasibility studies shut down.
– [Peter] So these are the
Davis mountains out here?
– Yes, all this in here
is the Davis Mountains.
Would one of the threats be
maybe developers these days?
Or that would be up to you 100%
if you wanted to go down that road?
– If I wanna develop, we can develop,
we could do whatever.
It’s just a taking 30×30, or…
– The 30×30 land grab.
– What is that?
– Check it out.
– [Peter] What’s the 30×30?
– Well, by 2030,
this administration wants 30% of land
and 30% of water on this country.
And it’s already going through Vermont
and New York I think.
This can get very busy.
This is a big place and it takes…
We’re down on crew right now.
We didn’t have the cattle.
We didn’t have the work.
– Because of the drought.
– Because of the drought.
And we just had to cut.
I mean, just cut expenses
and personnel is expensive.
– We’re in the process of
running some stocker cattle,
they call it yearlings.
And we’ll run them for a while
just to utilize the grass
that we did make.
Because we have a potential
out here of a fire.
And you might as well use
some of this dry grass
before it burns up.
– So stocker cattle is like,
you basically lease the cattle or?
– Yes.
– We sell the grass to
the people that own it.
– This is a bunk house.
– [Peter] So this is where
the Cowboys would live.
– Yes, yeah.
This man was Hispanic.
He’s been with the
family for a lot of years
and we had to let him go.
He stayed here in very
simplistic life and
I gave him a microwave
about six years ago
and it was a coffee
table for the next five.
– [Peter] So this is the bunk room?
– Yeah, and this is where he lived.
– Just him?
– Yes.
Well, and then during the roundup,
sometimes we had other
people staying here.
And we had this grass studied
and it’s surprising the
amount of protein in here.
– [Peter] Why is that do you think?
Just the soil or?
– It’s just a different
type of grass lives out here
and it’s pretty high in protein.
– [Peter] You like taking people out here
’cause it gets you into the…
– Yeah, it gets me in the country.
And if we have a chance to
push some cattle tomorrow,
horseback, that’ll be
something I’d like to do.
– [Peter] As a rancher, a lot
of it’s not out in the field,
that’s actually doing
paperwork, stuff like that?
– Well, if you’re doing what I’m doing
at my age and everything, I
try to help as much as I can.
And just, you know…
Paperwork, bills.
How much taxes are going up?
My grandfather always said,
“I know two things for sure.
I’m gonna die one of these days
and they’re always gonna raise taxes.”
So, I mean, that’s
something we’ve working with
all the time.
You try to keep taxes down
and try to keep those
expenses down if you can.
– [Peter] Chris, can
you buckle me up please?
– Yeah, here we go.
I’m gonna use this right here.
That’ll save you.
– For ranching stuff.
– That’s a ranching deal.
– Ranching safety buckle.
– What’d you do there?
– [Chris] Here it is, okay.
This will do.
– Do you feel safe?
– Yeah.
I’m driving. (laughs)
My wife may not think that. (laughs)
– No comment.
They come out here?
– Yeah. Of all branches.
And they’re interested in horsemanship.
They rode our horses and
it was a good experience
but those guys are… When they’re
here, they’re so pumped up.
And then you’re friends
with them on Facebook
and those down days are pretty
down and PTSD and injuries
and what they go through in their family.
And you just have to pray for them.
– [Peter] How do you manage?
– One foot in front of the other.
It’s kinda how I operate
’cause life goes on.
– Your son…
– Jake.
– Jake was in Afghanistan?
– Hm-mm.
– Lost his life.
– Hm-mm.
– What year?
– 2011.
Fall of 2011.
– I’m sorry.
– [Dawn] Gonna put that?
– [Peter] I don’t have
to put that on there
if you don’t want me to.
That’s heavy.
That’s heavy stuff.
– It’s up to you.
that we use around the headquarters
and our shipping traps.
And we also have water
in the creek down here.
It’s getting pretty hard.
– What would you say,
those that don’t ranch,
say they live on the coast,
they’re on the East
Coast or the West Coast
that don’t live this lifestyle.
What do they not understand, do you think?
I don’t know.
What… They live at a fairy story?
Or a fairy land or make
believe or something like that?
But you have to have agriculture to live.
– [Peter] Okay, so you’re
saying for the people
that think ranching is a
negative thing or something,
that’s your response.
You need our agriculture to live?
– Yeah, yeah.
You have to, I mean, you’re gotta eat.
Where’s your food come from?
I mean, if you go to the grocery store…
– [Peter] What if you’re a–
– Where’s the leather seats
in your BMW coming from?
– [Peter] I was just gonna say,
what if you’re a vegetarian
and then, that’s the good answer.
– We have a friend that always said,
there’s no such thing as a vegan.
‘Cause you may wear a
leather or you might…
Home products are… There’s
so many byproducts in a cow
that is used for other things.
All the way from glue and nail
polish, a lot of cosmetics.
– Nail polish?
– Yup.
– [Peter] How’s your
relationship with your cows?
What do you feel about your
cattle when you had them here
and then when you’re
gonna get them back again?
What are your…
– Well, first of all,
we try to raise the best cattle possible.
And we have all those genetics
and all those years of cattle
being here and those cattle
are situated here and they live
here and this is their home.
Now you’ve gotta take them
away and sell them all.
Now you gotta start over again.
We pride ourselves on this position
and health and weight and quality.
And so you just gotta… That’s what you do.
– [Peter] You want to get the
best quality out of them,
which means they have to
be treated in the best way,
have the best grazing?
– Right.
– Gotcha.
– You don’t wanna overstock,
you can only stock one cow
at every 40 acres out here.
– [Peter] One cow every 40 acres?
– 40 Acres.
And that’s not the case right now.
The case right now is way, way less.
But I mean, there were
some instances where we–
– [Dawn] Way less meaning…
– Had one cow at every 80 acres.
– [Peter] Okay.
So we’re looking at,
what is this valley here?
Is that 80 acres?
– That’s probably 300 acres
you’re looking at right there.
– [Peter] Okay, I’m a
little off on that one.
So we could put a few cows out there.
And that would sustain
them that at this point?
– That would sustain them, yes.
– [Peter] And is that because
it’s so dry and rugged?
– Yes.
– [Peter] So if they’re in
a different… Say, Montana,
they’d need less land?
– Yes.
Hopefully for them.
– [Peter] So what’s going on here?
This cow’s caught up?
– They’re on this water trail right here.
– [Peter] Okay.
You’re just trying to get
him over there, right?
– Yeah.
– [Peter] This is a rookie question
like most of mine out here.
Are cows dumb animals or
smart animals, would you say?
– They’re smart.
– Well, that maneuver that you just saw,
that’s because horses,
cattle, prey animals like that
are usually straight line thinkers.
So they’re seeing their
friends are over there.
That’s why he got hung up on the fence.
There’s a straight line.
He wasn’t thinking about going around.
It’s only through repetition that
they’ll start figuring that out.
They have good memories.
They’ll remember places and
got a pretty good GPS system.
And I know when we’ve gathered
over hundreds of thousands
of acres, you see the
same cattle every year.
Like the same mom goes to
that area and has her baby.
So these guys, they’re still acclimating
and really haven’t
found their country yet.
– [Peter] Okay.
So it takes some time to
get used to a new land?
Is that what you’re saying?
– [Chris] Yes.
They came from Mexico,
but they’re pretty hardy.
I mean, they’re pretty tough.
– [Peter] So they’ll go back to Mexico.
– No, they won’t.
They won’t ever go back to Mexico.
Down in Mexico now is dry just like it is.
And they’re sending cattle up here
because they’re having
problems down there.
So once it rains down there,
they’re gonna stop sending cattle.
So we’re taking advantage of that.
– [Peter] So that’s interesting.
The cattle work between the borders.
– Yes.
– It doesn’t look like
they have grass here,
but they’re gonna travel off.
They’re gonna get their
bellies full of water
and then they’ll kinda take a nap
and then they’ll kind of graze off.
And all this gold that you
see here, that’s grass.
They’re utilizing that grass.
– [Peter] Okay, yeah.
These hills are–
– They’re free to cattle are climbers.
So that’s kind of why we’re out here.
We’re checking all this all the time
to see where they’re at,
where they’re kind of migrating to.
And if there’s too many, which there are,
so we’ll have to move
some of these tomorrow.
– [Peter] And how long do they stay here
before they’re off to…
They go to the slaughter house, right?
– No, they’ll go to another place.
They’ll go on to wheat fields,
probably in like the
Panhandle, Kansas type thing.
Then they’ll go to a feed
lot where they’re finished.
– [Peter] Okay.
So what’s the timeframe
from when they’re a calf
till when they’re, say,
meat in the supermarket
or leather on your shoes?
– Come here.
– Probably a year, year
and a half, two years
to finish him out.
Corn-fed or whatever you’re trying to do.
– And basically, all steps of the way,
how well they’re raised means
how good the meat’s gonna be,
how nice the leather’s gonna be?
– [Chris] Yeah.
– Is that a story?
If you have a gentle cattle,
if they have good disposition
and they don’t get harassed very much,
then the meat is gonna be a lot better.
If they’re a little wild
and they’re banged around a little bit,
you get bruising in your meat cuts.
And you get what they call red cutters.
– How do they rate that?
Is there a rating system for that?
– Yeah, they grade them.
Prime, choice.
You see that in the grocery store.
– [Peter] USDA Prime is the best, right?
– Right.
– [Peter] What’s the
price of a cow typically?
I’m sure it varies, but…
– $1,000 right now.
The cattle market is pretty good.
And if it ever does rain,
it’ll really be good.
– [Peter] That’s molasses?
That’s their nutrients?
– Antelope?
– Yes, that’s antelope.
– [Chris] Ha?
– [Dawn] Whistle, see if he’ll turn around.
(Chris whistles)
– Bad hearing.
– Yeah.
– I don’t know where his buddies are.
They’re usually with some other antelope.
– Chris has got a cow challenge for me.
He said I gotta get up
the ladder there, right?
– Right.
Just gonna go up the ladder.
– [Peter] These things get
aggressive or not really?
– We’ll see?
I wanna keep them prime, guys.
USDA prime.
– [Chris] They might lick
your hands, I don’t know.
All right, guys.
Here we go.
Here we go.
It’s easy.
I’m a natural.
Okay, so…
Chris wants to know water
situation in this tank.
Ah, we’re looking good!
It’s up to about here.
– Right here.
Yeah, this is hot and then it’s cold.
– Okay.
Is that what it is, Chris?
Work smarter, not harder.
– Yeah, well, I mean, if
you’re in a hurry or something.
– [Peter] You just feel it.
– I mean, of course, if
you’re halfway up the ladder,
you might as well look inside. (laughs)
– [Peter] Dawn, you were asking
how many miles of ranch road
you guys have here?
You’re asking Chris?
– Yeah, it’s probably a little
over 1,000 miles of roads.
– [Peter] 1,000?
So 1/3 across the United States almost?
– Seems like when you’re going
around and doing mountains
and things like that.
– [Peter] What are you looking
for with the binoculars?
– I see there’s a steer over there.
– [Peter] You see a steer?
Oh yeah, just on his own.
So what happens when
there’s one on their own?
– Well, he’s either not feeling
good and he is a little sick
or maybe there’s a few more
with him that we can’t see.
Usually they don’t go by themselves.
– [Peter] So what do you gotta do?
Bring him back?
– Well, yeah, tomorrow,
if he’s still there
and we may try to get him with a bunch.
– Tell me to stop where you want me to,
but is there ever like a thought
of, if you sold all this,
I mean, developers would
just be licking their chops
with this thought of having all this land?
– Right.
And we’ve been approached many times
about… Would you sell this?
Would you sell that?
Would you like to do this?
Would you like to put windmills?
Would you like to put solar?
Would you like to do… you know.
There’s all kind of things that come to us
all the time, every day.
Oh, the antelope.
– [Peter] You get a lot of offers?
– Yeah, there’s a lot of ideas.
Everybody’s got better idea than you do.
You ought to run this
and you ought do that.
And we get a lot of help. (laughs)
– So the thoughts never
crossed your mind though?
Just like sell this whole thing
and then not have to ever
worry about money again
ever in life?
– Well, yeah.
I’ve got some family
members that would sell.
I don’t know what they want.
It’s hard to tell.
We’re in the process
of family meetings now.
We’re trying to keep this
thing together best we can.
Hopefully we can.
– [Dawn] What’s this over here by?
– [Chris] Looks like something dead.
– [Peter] What happened do you think?
– What they go through,
dipping bath, shots, all kind of stress,
squeeze chutes, branding.
And so sometimes they’ll
suck up too much of that dip
that they dip their head
under so they can clean them,
completely from ticks
that come out of Mexico.
And it’s a good thing,
but then it makes them sick too sometimes
and they just don’t make it.
– [Peter] Yeah, what’s an oryx?
– Good question.
– [Peter] Good question?
– Yeah, we just put them out there.
It’s a game animal,
it’s an African…
They’re supposed to be something
that people go to Africa to hunt.
from back in Egyptian times.
They were highly sought after.
I guess the meat’s really good.
– [Peter] What are you
doing with them out here?
– We’ll hunt them
eventually for the horns.
– [Dawn] And the meat.
– Yeah, and the meat.
Both of them, it’s like an elk.
– [Peter] So you got a hunting
program on the ranch too?
-Right.
– One of the things that keeps us going.
– [Peter] There we go.
They’re quite huge.
That’s one way to end the video.
One of those horns in my face, right?
– Yeah. (laughs)
– We have, you know…
Hunting, cattle, horses.
Some advertise stuff, film stuff.
– [Peter] If they do
another Yellowstone series,
are you gonna be the
next John Dutton, Chris?
Fair to say?
– Yeah, probably.
– I act like him.
– [Peter] You’re nicer.
You’re a much better guy.
(Chris laughs)
– We carry.
And we wanna make sure it’s ready to go
in case there’s something
that needs to be put down
or something that you
really might need it for.
I hope I never have to use it.
– [Peter] Yeah, we’re far back in.
– What about ranches,
big ranches like this,
they sometimes have helicopters, right?
– Right.
– You don’t have a helicopter?
– No.
First of all, I don’t know how to fly.
Another thought is that the
fuel is really expensive
and it’s a high dollar to have one now.
Al Macaut, he’s got a jet ranger.
– So your neighbor, yeah?
– Yeah.
This is where your skills shine?
– [Peter] Little string cheese guys?
All right.
Is this cowboy lunch?
– Cowboy lunch.
Yeah, you’re right.
– [Peter] Eggs and cheese.
And sausage.
Here you go, Chris.
– Thank you.
– [Peter] Dawn’s freshly
made homemade cookies.
– [Peter] Fresh from the freezer.
But you made these?
– Yes.
– Okay.
Let’s see what the food
critic has to say. Chris?
– It’s good, it’s good.
– It’s good?
USDA prime?
– [Peter] So the reason you’ve
chose to lease the land out,
it’s risk management?
You were just saying off camera.
If the water ran out,
then they would just get on trucks
and go back to the ranches
they came from, right?
– Yeah.
– Some place else.
– They’ll go to a different place.
– Where if they were your cattle,
you don’t have that option?
– You wouldn’t be able to use that.
– We’d have to sell them.
We’d have to sell out again.
And my grandfather, my great-grandfather,
I don’t think they ever had to do this.
Sell out like this.
– Well, yeah, the ’30s,
the market was so bad
and the drought was bad
that the government comes in and they say,
“Okay, we’re gonna give you $25 a head.
And you’re gonna take these
cattle over here to this ditch
– [Peter] What’s the point of that?
– This side of the ranch is so big.
so they can kinda migrate
almost like buffalo herds
over here, they can
get up higher for the cool.
They can get into valleys, canyons.
And they’ll follow the rain.
So if it rained off in that direction,
five, 10 miles, you’ll see
in another couple days,
those cattle would all
drift that direction.
– We’ll get it.
Keep talking.
– [Peter] So Dawn, you were saying,
this is like your cheap date.
You don’t have to go out to dinner,
whatever you and Chris
cruise the ranch together?
– Yes.
– [Peter] You have a little
meal, some cookies, some eggs.
– We have a meal.
And then we kinda usually
take a break and hold hands
and make out for a while. (laughs)
– Next to the cows.
– Yes.
– [Peter] Yeah, that’s romantic.
– Well we have a chaperone.
Right, Jasper?
Jasper.
There you go.
– This is an oasis?
– Yeah.
It’s Sanaga, they call it.
Sanaga meaning the water’s not very far
from the surface of the ground.
It’s coming through here
and that’s why Pruetts
and Coconuts built their house.
Now when you put the chain back on,
you don’t have to snap it.
Well, you’ll snap it, but you’ll
just put it over the post.
– [Peter] Oh.
Pro tip, all right.
– I got it.
– You got it?
– So guys, it’s not easy
getting into these different worlds.
And when we get in,
you never know what you’re
gonna get into, at least I don’t.
And it’s great when you
meet awesome people.
Really quality people that
are able to show us around.
So we scored, we got lucky with this one.
Am I hired, Chris?
– Yeah.
Yeah, you did it.
You did it right at that time.
– Any time you’re talking about land,
you always try to make it better.
Try to make the fences
better, the water better.
And you have that attitude of stewardship
whether you’re checking into a motel room.
You leave it a little
better than you found it.
This idea that you have
to trash every hotel room…
And my name’s not on the paper,
but I realize that God
put me here for a reason
to help him steward this land.
– [Peter] And you were
saying also most people
are three generations from farming?
– Yeah.
I have to give credit to
Dr. Jim Heird from Texas A&M
who did a thing on
equine horses years ago.
And he was given all this
information and all of a sudden,
he flipped that statement.
And I couldn’t hear
anything else for a while,
’cause I just kept, what?
He said at the time,
this is probably 10 years
ago that the average person
walking the street today
is three generations away
from a farm or ranch.
So they have less invested.
They’re not emotionally attached.
It’s unfamiliar with them.
Food has been glamorized.
You go to Walmart, you get pretty bags
and all that type of thing.
You don’t hunt and gather.
– [Peter] Yeah.
For your families,
you haven’t stepped
away from that life yet,
not even one generation away?
– Not yet, I guess.
– Trying not to.
– [Peter] Well, tomorrow,
we’re getting up there with the horses?
Moving cattle.
– Moving cattle.
– And I know that’s why I’m here
because you wanted expertise.
– Yes.
– You wanted advice.
– Do you have training wheels for me?
Like some floaty things
for my arms just in case?
– That’s a good idea.

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