CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Wildlife

Colorado Ranch Wildlife – ​Black Bears: Living Bear Aware

As temperatures rise, so do your chances of encountering a black bear in the mountains and on your western Colorado ranch. These majestic animals have been in deep hibernation all winter long. With the warm spring air rolling in, the bears start to make their grand entrance back into forest society. Safety is key when it comes to interactions with large mammals, such as the Black Bear. At the end of this article you will find tips on how to live “bear aware” in the high country. But first, let’s talk about these glorious animals that reside in our beautiful state.

Colorado Ranch Wildlife - Black Bears: Living Bear Aware

Black Bear Habitat

The Black Bear population has increased immensely in the past decade. It is now estimated there are around 19,000 black bears in the state of Colorado. Although this sounds like a big number, your chances of running into them are still quite rare. Most bears stick to a lower level mountain forest elevation before hibernation, where there are plenty of fruits and nuts for them to forage on to beef up for their winter sleep. Their habitat range may span anywhere from 10 to 150 square miles, and gravitate toward areas with abundant food for them to eat.

Black Bear Mating Season

Every June is mating season for bears. Male bears start reproducing at the age of three, whereas females are not ready until they are five years old. The mother bear carries her fertilized egg for about 7 months. During this time an amazing process called delayed implantation happens. If the mother does not have enough fat reserves for the winter, her egg is reabsorbed and she will have to try again next mating season. If the egg does survive, the cubs will be born in their den during hibernation in late January. They remain with their mother for a year and a half to learn all they need to know for survival. After that time, they are independent enough to sustain themselves on their own and will separate from their mother, usually during the summer months.

Black Bear Mating Season

Hibernation begins for black bears in late October. During hibernation, bears do not eat, drink, urinate or defecate. It is quite amazing! Male bears can lose up to 30% of their body fat during hibernation, while lactating mothers can lose up to 40%. Male bears usually emerge from the den a couple weeks before females and cubs. This starts around Mid-March, which is why it is so important for you to be aware of your surroundings while out on your ranch during this time of year.

How To Be "Bear Aware"

During warmer months when bears are active, Colorado Parks and Wildlife strongly recommends putting away your bird feeders. Also, make sure to lock up your trash cans or store them in an area bears cannot access. Last, but not least, if you have an outdoor pet it would be best to move their food inside during the six months of bear activity. Bears are frequently attracted to wild animal feed, pet and people food, and trash. This means they will stroll onto your property in hopes of an easy meal if these food sources are available to them. This could result in a bear/human encounter, and can ultimately result in the injury or death of either party. Some other important tips:

  • Pick ripe fruit before it falls, and remove any fruit that has already fallen to the ground
  • Keep all windows and doors closed and locked – screens are flimsy barriers
  • Clean your BBQ grill after each use and lock it down
  • NEVER feed bears or allow any refuse or pet food to be eaten by bears

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

By doing these simple things, you help keep bears wild and our state rich with this amazing wildlife. For other insight into wildlife commonly found on mountain ranches, check out the other blog posts on our site.

When you are in the market for a beautiful ranch to call your own, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. Until then, stay bear aware!

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Ranch Maintenance Tips

​The Crowning Touch: Fencing for Your Colorado Ranch

When you own a piece of nature’s artistry in the form of a Colorado ranch, or are looking into purchasing ranch real estate, you want to enjoy the maximum benefits of your good fortune! Your ranch home reflects your style and provides you with all the creature comforts you desire to truly make it your “castle” while also bringing you pristine views of the unparalleled landscape. Whether your view is of majestic mountains, flowing waters, trees lolling in the glory of their seasons, nothing should interfere with your panoramic scene, including your choice of fencing.

The Crowning Touch: Fencing for Your Colorado Ranch

"Good fences make good neighbors."

Moving past the old style barbed wire, there are numerous benefits to installing fencing on your ranch – defining your property lines, protecting your livestock, and enhancing security. Laying out your fence’s path is also key – try to avoid very rocky areas, steep embankments, and really rough or forested terrain. There are many beautiful fencing options that elegantly maintain the integrity of your property’s landscape while providing the benefits of well-fenced property.

  • Wood rail fences preserve and even enhance your view, and hold up well over time. If there are portions of your ranch land requiring more secure mesh screening, that can be incorporated into this style in an elegant manner. Strategic Wall & Fence Company provides quality craftsmanship and evaluates and installs the type of fencing best suited for your property.

  • Another great choice is the aesthetically pleasing wood post combined with safe and durable piping. This gorgeous design has graced many high-end ranches, and its textured, grainy wood posts paired with sleek, smooth piping flow beautifully along your land lines.

  • All-metal pipe rail fences provide a durable, long-lasting way to create solid and beautiful land borders. A variety of colors are available with corral-type fencing and this fence requires virtually no maintenance.

It’s a good idea to study the pros and cons of various fencing styles before making this significant but worthwhile investment. Expect to pay between $1,100 to $1,800 per 100 linear feet for your fencing choice. But keep in mind that after you’ve invested so much of your dreams, heart, and money into a ranch, it’s worth every penny to have a well-crafted structure that will be safe, sensible, durable, and beautiful for decades to come! 

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

Contact us to find your own personal utopia in the wonder of the American West!

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Wildlife

Colorado Ranch Wildlife – The Howl of the Coyote

If you have been enjoying time on your Colorado ranch, you have undoubtedly heard the howl of the coyote. At once beautiful and eerie, it reminds us of our close proximity to the wild and how fortunate we are to coexist with animals such as the coyote, bear, moose and mountain lion. To some Native American tribes, the coyote represents a revered teacher who uses mischief and trickery to teach needed lessons. To livestock ranchers they represent a nuisance. Many of these ranchers are turning to non-lethal control such as using livestock protection animals like llamas, donkeys and the Great Pyrenees dogs to keep these predators at bay.

Colorado Ranch Wildlife - The Howl of the Coyote

Appearance and Diet of the Coyote

Coyotes are smaller than their cousin, the gray wolf, weighing anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds. They have yellowish-brown to sometimes gray fur and beautiful amber eyes. Their body is three to four feet long and ends with a long bushy tail.

Coyotes are omnivorous and opportunistic when it comes to feeding. In essence, they will eat anything available which explains their ability to thrive with the encroachment of civilization when other animals have perished. It will feed on bird seed, rodents, berries, garbage, birds and, unfortunately, small pets. For this reason, it is important to keep your pets indoors at night. Small dogs especially should be closely supervised—especially at dawn and dusk when coyotes are most active. If one of your family members is a cat, consider keeping them indoors if your ranch is in coyote territory.

Viewing Coyotes in Colorado

With the declining number of wolves and cougars, their top predators, coyote populations are at an all-time high. They can be found in the deserts of the southwest to the snowy tundra of Alaska and in almost all of the 48 states in-between. A beautiful place to view these magnificent creatures is Rocky Mountain National Park. They can be spotted frequently, even during the daytime hours, and are regarded as the park’s most cunning predator.

Coyote Behavior

Coyotes are secretive and shy in nature. They tend to sleep during the day and hunt at night. They are skilled hunters with excellent eyesight, hearing and a strong sense of smell and can run up to 40 miles an hour. A single coyote tends to pounce on its prey while a pack of coyotes often use distraction as an effective hunting method.

Coyotes form strong family bonds, with mates remaining together for several years. Mating takes place in January and February which has led to some reports of aggression during this time as the coyote searches for a den in which to raise its young. Coyotes will fiercely defend their young in late spring and are more often seen at this time as they search for food throughout the daytime hours to bring back to the hungry pups. Dens are usually on sandy hillsides, steep creek banks, as well as in thick underbrush and are solely used to raise their young after which time they are abandoned.

Living With Coyotes

With their close appearance to our canine friends, people have been known to unwisely approach these wild animals. It is always best to give them the space they deserve and make sure that they see you as the alpha. To this end, never feed a coyote or bring in any type of food that may attract them such as bird seed, pet food, or fallen fruit. If you see a coyote when hiking, stop and look right at it. Do not continue, do not ignore it, and do not run. If it continues to look at you and does not leave the area, make yourself look as big as possible by raising your arms and shouting in an authoritative tone.

Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare. There have been only two recorded incidences in the Unites States and Canada of humans being killed by these skilled hunters. In most cases, coyote attacks are due to people being bitten when defending their free-roaming pets or when feeding the wild animal. For the most part, humans have learned to peacefully coexist with this cunning, intelligent animal.

Ready for Your Own Ranch? Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

Contact us when you’re ready to experience the call of the wild and the incredible beauty that Colorado offers. We sell exclusive, luxury ranches designed to bring a lifetime of family memories on some of the most beautiful ranching land on earth.

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Wildlife

Colorado Ranch Wildlife – Red Foxes on your Ranch

For such a small creature, the red fox is quite the majestic beauty. There is something magical about seeing one saunter across the grounds of your ranch, especially after a fresh snow. They are commonly found in many habitats throughout Colorado. These habitats include woodlands, open pastures, as well as urban areas closer to the city. They are rarely found in desert lands and their preferred habitat would be an area near water. These loners like to travel solo and typically stick to an area of around 5-10 square miles.

Colorado Ranch Wildlife - Red Foxes on your Ranch

The fox is one of the smaller members in the Canidae family. Weighing in around 8-15 pounds and growing to a length of only 3-4 feet, including its tail. And don’t let his name fool you. Although red is the most common color for this animal, it does vary in color. It can also be seen in cross, silver, and black. The one trait that remains common, is the white tip on its tail. These animals have a rather short life span, of just five years, when living in the wild. Which is less than half of its peers living in captivity, they can age up to 15 years.

Spring is mating season for the foxes. The male foxes mate in burrows with the vixen for several days. After that takes place the vixen is then in gestation for up to two months. An average litter size is around six kits, although there have been reports of vixen having up to 13 kits. The kits (also known as pups) mature rapidly. They are quite independent around 20 weeks but stay close to their den until fall comes. That is when they move out and begin a life of their own.

It is imperative to remember a few things about these animals should you cross one on your ranch. Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds us that they are NOT pets. As cute and cuddly as they appear, never approach, feed or try to capture a fox. These are wild animals and you should treat them as such. The best thing to do if you see one, is to admire it from afar.

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

If you would like to enjoy these experiences in your own Colorado ranch, feel free to contact us so we can guide you through the process.

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Wildlife

Colorado Ranch Wildlife – ​The Elusive Lynx

Although it’s likely you’ll never see one in person, the lynx are most certainly out and about, roaming Colorado’s mountainous landscape. Some Colorado Ranches do have lynx wander onto their property. There was a time in history when these beautiful creatures were nonexistent in our state. The lynx population dropped to a staggering low in the early 1900’s due to European settlers poaching the animal for its thick fur to sell internationally. The lynx was placed on the endangered species list in 1975, a year after the last lynx was trapped by a hunter in Vail. Big game hunting took this animal away from our land for some time. But in the 1990’s, Colorado Parks & Wildlife began devising a plan for their reintroduction.

Colorado Ranch Wildlife - The Elusive Lynx

Reintroduction of the Lynx to Colorado

The reintroduction plan for the lynx took shape in 1999. Colorado Parks & Wildlife brought 41 lynx from Canada and Alaska to Colorado. These 41 lynx were then released wearing monitoring radio and satellite collars. This was an easy way to track their breeding, population, and monitor the geographic span of their habitat. Their range covers approximately 20 square miles. Over roughly seven years, 218 lynx were successfully introduced back into Colorado. These cats now largely reside in the desolate San Juan Mountains and have begun to live that wonderful Colorado life again. It is now estimated that somewhere between 150-250 cats are roaming our back country, an area many people wish they could call home.

Facts About The Lynx

Lynx typically weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. They have a very similar stature to that of the bobcatwith a few distinct differences. Their feet are much larger, since having larger feet allows them to move swiftly through packed snow. A lynx tail sports a solid black tip and is about half the size of its relatively large hind foot. Their coat is greyish in color during the winter months, and turns to more of a reddish tone during the summertime. Their distinct ear tuft is an easy way to identify a lynx.

Their main source of nutrition is the snowshoe hare, but they also feast on other small mammals like mice. They breed in the winter and, after only nine weeks of gestation, the female lynx gives birth to a litter of around four kittens.

If you spot a lynx while strolling around on your ranch, here a few tips to avoid conflict:

  1. Do not approach the animal if it is near a kill or toting around its young.
  2. Do not offer Lynx or any other wild animals food.
  3. Never run from a Lynx, it has a natural instinct to chase.
  4. Try to appear larger in size, as this may frighten it which would in turn cause it to flee.
  5. Never turn your back or take your eyes off the animal when it is nearby.
  6. Speak calmly, but loud as you slowly back away.
  7. If the animal has not regressed after all of this, then be more assertive by shouting, raising and flailing your arms in the air. If you have anything that could be thrown at the cat, this would be a good time to do it.

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

Are you looking for a lifestyle change? Perhaps you would like to be closer to nature and beautiful wildlife, enjoy breathtaking scenery, and live life to the fullest. To learn more about finding the perfect ranch home that suits your needs contact us and we will be happy to show you mountain ranches to fit your needs!

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Western Lifestyle

Ranches for Sale – All about Luxury Log Homes

Nothing much beats the fresh smell of the great outdoors. The mountains and woodlands offer a very distinct and charming atmosphere unparalleled in its tranquility and beauty. From lovely, tall trees to its unique wildlife, there just isn’t a better place to be than a forested landscape. So what would be better than to make it your permanent home? With today’s luxury log homes you can have all of the benefits of living in the calm backwoods, with all the accommodations of a modern ranch home. And with great ranches for sale, you can make one of these beautifies your home.

Ranches for Sale - All about Luxury Log Homes

The uniqueness and beauty of log homes do have some unique maintenance requirements to keep in mind.

  • Log walls dry out and settle over time. Even a home that has been standing for a hundred years is going to see some settling due to the unique nature of wood. Log walls consist of billions of tiny cells that were once very alive. Shrinking, twisting, and yes, even cracking are very much a part of the log home charm, and need addressing when necessary.
  • Make sure to give your home an inspection every six months. During this routine, keep an eye out for mold, mildew, and dry-rot, as catching these early can save thousands in repair costs. This is also easily done by a company specializing in the upkeep and maintenance of log homes.
  • Staining your home does a lot more for preserving it than you might think. Staining keeps the water beading off the walls instead of soaking in, which greatly adds to the logs’ longevity. Target to complete this task at least every three years, and possibly more for areas that are exposed to direct sunlight, wind, or severe weather.
  • Finally, expect to focus on pest control, since living in the wilderness tends to have an increased population of wildlife, the small and the large kind.

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

The unique requirements and maintenance of log homes offsets the tremendous benefits of living in one of these masterpieces. When you are ready to own your own piece of history, heaven, and nature, feel free to contact us , as we would be happy to help you find the home of your dreams.

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Western Lifestyle

Colorado Ranch Wildlife – ​Living with Moose

Moose, the largest member of the deer family, can weigh as much as 1800 pounds and reach a height of seven feet at the shoulders, making them the tallest wild mammal currently roaming through North America and now frequenting Colorado ranches across the state. Due to their massive size, they enjoy very few predators save man, wolves, bears and cougars. When they live to adulthood, their survival rate is 95 percent, and their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years.

Colorado Ranch Wildlife - ​Living with Moose

Bighorn Sheep Behaviors

Today, the moose population in Colorado exceeds 1,000, up tremendously since their reintroduction in 1978 when only a few stray animals remained. Colorado moose are slightly smaller than their cousins that dwell in Alaska, the Shiras moose tops out at about 1,200 pounds and reaches six feet tall. There are an estimated 1.5 million moose living in North America.

Because moose are vegetarians, they are most frequently spotted where there is brush for them to graze on. They favor riparian habitats—land by a river or stream—and you can often see them near willows, their favorite food, as well as in aspen and pine forests. One of the best places to see these magnificent animals is State Forest State Park near Walden. Due to the park’s population of 600 moose that live there year-round, it has been named the official moose capital of Colorado.

Moose Behaviors

Moose are extremely curious animals and are generally unafraid of humans. While normally docile, a female moose can be protective of her calf, and a male can be territorial, particularly during mating season in September and October. Only during this time do they use their six foot antlers, which are shed after mating season. Be sure to keep dogs away from them as this can initiate aggressive behavior since moose can mistake dogs for wolves.

In general, it is best to give moose their space, and stay at a distance. If you see a moose with its ears laid back, head cocked, licking its snout, or hair raised up on its neck, back away slowly. If the moose does decide to charge you, get something large between you and the moose such as a tree or large boulder. If nothing is available, run as fast as possible and don’t let them knock you to the ground – where they will typically stomp on you. Keep in mind that, though they look cumbersome, a moose can run up to 35 miles per hour.

Watch Out For Moose When Driving

The biggest physical threat to moose are vehicle-moose collisions. Because of their stature, a run-in between a moose and a car usually causes serious injury to both the animal and the people in the car, not to mention the car. Pay close attention when driving along Colorado’s mountain roadways, particularly when signs are posted warning of wildlife crossings, and during sunrise and sunset when moose are most active.

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

Contact us when you’re ready to become a part of the wild and incredible beauty that Colorado offers. We offer exclusive, luxury ranches designed to bring a lifetime of family memories on some of the most beautiful land on earth.

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Western Lifestyle

Colorado Ranch Wildlife – ​Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep are one of the most unique and iconic animals in the West, and frequently wander onto Colorado Ranch real estate. Chosen as the state mammal of Colorado, nothing typifies the rugged, beautiful landscape of snowy peaks and cold, rushing rivers more than these amazing creatures.

Colorado Ranch Wildlife - ​Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep (occasionally misidentified as ‘mountain goats’) are best known for their dense, thick, fully rounded horns on mature males. These horns alone can weigh up to 30 pounds, up to one tenth of the animal’s maximum weight. The females have horns as well, but they are thinner and do not curve in such a marked way, and the younger males do not develop them until they are three or four years old.

Bighorn Sheep Behaviors

Usually grouping in large herds during the winter, and unable to move easily through deep snow, the sheep prefer sunny, south-facing slopes, and are often spotted in the disturbed areas near roads and highways where non-native grasses often grow year-round.

During warmer months, the largest herds will often separate into groups of ten to thirty, as they spread out through verdant alpine slopes, seeking out the dense, ground level vegetation or low shrubs they prefer. During the ‘pre-rut’ season, the males will attempt to establish a mating hierarchy through repeated ‘clashes’ or full speed head-butts, against other males.

Bighorn Sheep & The Colorado Ecosystem

Bighorn sheep are considered a crucial bio-indicator of the health of an ecosystem because they are quite susceptible to human impacts such as interruption of grazing pattern due to development; stress during winter months from human intrusion into their habitat; as well as diseases introduced by domestic livestock such as pneumonia and scabies. In fact, a population that once soared into the millions in North America was nearly decimated by these diseases in the late nineteenth century.

Because this amazing species is so essential to the delicate balance of life in the Rocky Mountains, conservation groups such as the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society work tirelessly to educate the public and preserve the bighorn population. The successful reintroduction of a herd near Kremmling, Colorado in 2014 is one of the great successes of these efforts, allowing bighorn sheep to once again roam their native land. Hunting tags for both rams and ewes are highly sought after and are carefully regulated to support these conservation efforts.

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

We know ranches and are expert on the Colorado Ranch Lifestyle. Contact Ranch Sellers with any questions about selling or buying a recreational ranch in Colorado.

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Western Lifestyle

Why Horses are Great for you and your Colorado Ranch

Colorado is a state of 14,000 plus snow-capped peaks, mountainsides covered by the changing leaves of aspen in autumn, and rivers that span great divides and narrow gorges. It is a land of immense beauty where rodeos and cowboys have been the mainstay, and mustangs can still be found amidst the pines and pinion-junipers. Riding through the majestic lands of Colorado atop a horse is one of great traditions living in the west.

Why Horses Are Great For You & Your Colorado Ranch

Horses on Working Ranches

In today’s world of rounding up cattle on ATVs, horses have found their positions as wrangler’s helpers in decline. But, as the cowboy Tony Marshall relayed in an article in, “Four-wheelers have their place, and I use them all the time, but moving cows on one is like digging a ditch with a spoon. It can be done, but it isn’t a good use of one’s time.” Trying to rein a cow in on an ATV can produce a wild cow, especially if she’s accompanied by her calf. Recently, a trio of stockmen traveled to 20 states demonstrating this principle in what is commonly referred to as low-stress livestock handling.

Besides helping maintain a calm environment, horses offer an extra set of eyes and ears which are much better than humans, locating cattle quicker and more efficiently. Cattle and horses develop a rhythm and there are some locations that only horses can get into and out of quickly. Their instinctive nature can respond to predators and potholes quicker than a man by himself on an ATV.

Horses on Recreational Ranches

As Winston Churchill stated, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” There’s a bond that develops—an unspoken trust between rider and horse. Riding just as the sun begins its ascent into the eastern sky and the clouds are transforming from pink and purple wisps to sun-kissed gold is one of the best ways to start your day. It reminds us of the peace that transcends all and the importance of taking time out of our busy lives to reconnect with something greater than ourselves. Just try to remain stressed when you’re on a horse! On second thought, don’t. Chances are you won’t stay on that horse for very long.

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

We offer some of the most breathtaking ranches that Colorado has to offer. Contact the Ranch Sellers team when you’re ready to live an inspired life, creating memories with family and friends that last a lifetime and a legacy that lasts for generations.

CategoriesColorado Ranches Ranch Lifestyle Western Lifestyle

Snowcats: Bringing the ‘Wild Life’ to Your Colorado Ranch in Winter

Wildlife abounds in the high country of Colorado. Deer, elk, marmots, foxes, bears and more roam freely through the thousands of pristine acres on Colorado mountain properties. Although summer is the prime viewing season for most of the animal denizens, winter invites some rather unique visitors as well.

Why use a snowcat on your mountain ranch in the winter?

One of the rarest and most fascinating of these creatures is the fabled ‘Snowcat.’ Larger than its feline brothers the cougar and lynx, it leaves a distinctive track. Wide belts of corduroy follow it wherever it goes, grooming out the imperfections in piles of Rocky Mountain snow surfaces.

Rumored to be a matched pair living on the property, snowcats create hours of winter fun. Sometimes they encourage cross-country skiers, out for a relaxing morning or evening tour of the property. Other days, the more adventurous alpine skiers will hitch a ride on the ‘cats’ docile backs to link some perfect turns on the way back down to their private apres’ in the lodge. These snowcats are so versatile, they even pave the way for herds of high-octane snowmobiles.

They are truly an indispensable part of winter adventure ecology.

Through a simple process, the snowcat uses its powerful rotors to turn over the snow, loosening the structure and breaking apart any icy chunks. It then smooths the disturbed snow with its drag tail to leave that iconic ridged corduroy trail. Whether softening and smoothing a freeze/thaw icy patch, or firming up the deep shoals of loose powder after a big storm, the groomed path opens up hundreds of incredible opportunities for both residents and their guests.

Caution: After prolonged exposure to the private snowcat experience, many people refuse to return to crowded resorts and long ski-day commutes.

Contact Ranch Sellers - Colorado's Premier Ranch Broker Team

To find out more about unique, private adventures when becoming a ranch owner in the Rocky Mountains, contact the Ranch Sellers team.


Monthly newsletters, ranch tips + listing updates