4R Ranch Summer Update
The term "I would rather be lucky than good" takes on a completely different meaning when you depend on Mother Nature to assist in your livelihood. In our little corner of the world, the grass is green, the cows are fat and our hunting courses could not look any better at this time of the year. We had two separate rains that totaled almost 15”. The first came less than a week after getting our hay fields planted; perfect timing! The second 7” rain came less than a week of getting our hay out of the field and into our barns. No skill involved, just pure luck. Unfortunately, as lucky as we are, you don’t need to travel far in any direction to see the reverse of lucky. Fields are bare, ranchers are moving cattle or feeding hay, and the dry land farmers are waiting on insurance checks. Depending on rain is more or less like spinning the roulette wheel in Vegas. Sooner or later your number will be called, you just hope to have some chips left in your pocket to keep putting the ante on the table.
This has been the summer of change at the 4R. I don’t want to spoil the surprises, but here is a peek under the hood. Jill had the bedrooms, bathrooms and dining area remodeled at the lodge. Scotty and his team took out the old fence behind the lodge and cleared the brush all the way to the banks of Bandera Creek. Now when you walk out the back door of the lodge you can hear the Bandera ripple its way to the confluence with the Hondo Creek. We are extremely excited for everyone to enjoy the new features!
If you are reading this newsletter, you are seeing another of our changes this summer, a new and updated website. We appreciate you taking the time to read the happenings at the 4R and hope you will sign up for our monthly newsletter. The topics will range from Jill’s recipes to dog training/dog health information. I do reserve the right to inject some good history factoids and current history reads for those of you who share in the common thread of Texas and Southwest history.
It is a time of transition at the kennels. As some of you know, we have been fighting Chagas Disease for the past several years. In the past 2 years alone we have lost 6 dogs to Chagas Disease and are currently treating 16 dogs that are Chagas positive. The good news is that we are 11 months into a 12-month protocol and all of the dogs are doing well. We also found a solution to keep the Chagas beetles out of our kennels, so Scotty and I sleep more soundly at night.
The most notable retiree from last year is Honey. If you hunted with me in the afternoon, you hunted behind Honey, usually on the last leg. Honey was an artist, her canvas the countryside. She covered the country as thoroughly and elegantly as any dog I have ever had the privilege to hunt behind. Father time caught up with Honey, as he eventually will with all of us. Like any great dog, she will be sorely missed, but forever appreciated.
As always, we appreciate you carving time out of your busy schedules to come hunt with us each year. We understand how valuable a commodity time is and we are humbled and honored you choose to spend some of your spare time at the 4R.
Adios for now;
Deryl & Jill McKinnerney
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