Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12:25 PM

The Yule Goat

12/17/2013 10:19:00 AM
Mocha Playing the Part of the Yule GoatIt’s been about two years since I first got my goats, so when I learned about the Yule Goat (or buck), I was intrigued. It appears that goats have been a part of Scandinavian Yule tradition longer than Christianity and have been incorporated into Christmas celebrations. Yule was basically — and still is with neo-pagans — a celebration of the winter solstice.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Barn Thieves

10:42 AM
Annie, my escape artistI had fed and watered the goats and was now collecting eggs from the chickens when I heard a rattle. It sounded like the doorknob to the back door of the barn. Suddenly, the door was flung wide open and in came eight goats. Before I could get out of the chicken pen, the goats everywhere in the barn. Belle flipped open the grain bin and was merrily munching on sweet feed. The rest of the goats were stationed along the hay bale stacks and were pulling mouthfuls of hay out of the hay bales....


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013


7:45 PM

Hunting season has passed and now we're in a nasty cold stint.  Hunting season in Montana is somewhere around the last part of October through the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It's good we had that long, too, because it proved to be a tough hunting season.

Long story short, a favorite place where we hunted is now closed to vehicle traffic.  It just made hunting ten times harder, plus the lack of road traffic has allowed noxious weeds to flourish like never before.  We didn't see many hunters out there and the weird weather made hunting challenging.  Last year with El Nino, we had tons of snow.  This year, the National Weather Service called for "equal chances," meaning we were between El Nino and La Nina, and a mixed bag would ensue.  That meant for this season, we had a mix of cold and warm days, some with rain or snow, but with very little accumulation.

For the hunter, that sucks.  Tracking animals is a nightmare, and finding the ones you shot stupidly difficult.  The roads accumulated ice to the point where we couldn't go hunt everywhere we wanted to.  In the end, I filled my antlerless tag with a small buck and my husband got a spiker with his regular deer tag.  My regular deer tag, both elk tags, and bear tags remained unfilled.  Still, I suspect we were luckier than others.

The last day of the season was nasty.  Snow and freezing rain pelleted us as we looked for signs of animals.  The only sign we saw was tracks from a buck who went onto private land and tracks from a mountain lion that were as big as my fist.  Both tracks were made within the hour.

We have interesting stories: how my husband had a moose and calf get curious, missing good shots, the taunting grouse, among others.  We would've liked more meat in the freezer, but this will have to do, along with butchering goat wethers this winter.