Summer 2023 - 4R Ranch Newsletter
Hello to everyone in The 4R Extended Family.
I will forego the weather update, as anyone living in Texas has felt the toasty conditions we have experienced the past 2 months. However, the first few months of spring and summer did supply us with much needed rain. We were fortunate to raise several hundred round bales of hay, so we will have ample supply to get our reduced herd through the winter. Even more important, we have good cover in our courses, and with just a shower or two in September & October our cover will be optimal for the coming season.
Change is not easy, but it is necessary from time to time. In that spirit, we are making the leap from English Pointers to German Shorthaired Pointers. The reasons are many, but it is one we have committed to, and we are abundantly excited to make the move. It will be a gradual transition, but we have 2 young GSPs we will be injecting into the string this season. We also have 12 puppies in the barn that will be introduced to the string when they are coached up and ready. We had forgotten how much fun Pointer Puppies were to have in the barn! They are full of mischief, but anyone wanting to witness pure joy need only to come hang out with them in the evening to recalibrate and relax the brain.
We have had an active and productive summer here at the ranch. Our first project of the summer was to enclose our barn to keep Chagas Bugs away from our dogs. We had 4 dogs text positive last year, so the precautions we were using were not sufficient to keep our hounds 100% safe from the little devils. So far, so good! We still spray insecticide every day, and find 4-6 dead bugs on the perimeter of our barn, but no bugs in the kennels! This has been an ongoing battle for as long as I can remember, so hopefully we will not have to go through the mental turmoil and financial anguish of having Chagas positive dogs in the future. And if you were wondering how much it costs to treat a dog, $2200 per dog is the average cost. It is not cheap, but the cost of not treating, especially young dogs, is the life of the dog.
We got our foreign exchange students back from Mexico this summer, so we have been busy as beavers raising the canopy in our courses. We have always taken great pride in our hunting courses, and I can say with certainty that they have never looked better. Shout out to Miguel, Albert and Nathan as they have endured the environmental challenges this summer to do a masterful job. As for me, I am the stacker of the brush. Please understand I do not do this by hand. I conduct my task in the confinement of an air-conditioned skid steer. It is cruel, but on several occasions I put my jacket on while driving the little beast, and make a shivering motion as I pass the boys. It pays to be the Patron!
Nathan built us 6 more feeders for our courses. Last year was an educational year for us, as we have never been able to maintain feeders in our courses due to the hogs. Now that all of our hogs on the 4R have been relocated to Heaven, the feeders have been like magnets for the birds. The numbers of residual birds in our courses was never greater than last season. Our hope is to make the numbers even more abundant. For hunters and guides alike, there is nothing like the experience of a 20+ covey rise to get the blood flowing!
Last but not least, we moved our wobble trap to the lodge. Nate and the boys cleared out a section of brush along Bandera Creek, and it is a beautiful setting. It will be a 2-stand setup overlooking Bandera Creek. We look forward to sharing this addition to the lodge!
As my good friend Chris Hare told me several years back, “no one gets out alive Deryl”. This is true, but when the event actually happens it is not as simple as the statement. We lost a Great Man this past year. Carroll Summers was unique to himself. His love for hunting quail, being around friends, telling stories, and enjoying the outdoors was infectious. I can say with certainty, there will never be a day I am in the field and not think of him. He was that kind of man, a great man we will miss dearly, but we are so abundantly happy to have spent time in his orbit. Cheers to you Carroll!
And with that, we say so long until we meet again this fall. We cannot say thank you enough for choosing the 4R to host your hunts, but please know it is an honor doing so. We are keenly aware that there are many other places you could choose to spend your time, and we are humbled beyond words that you carve out some of your free time to spend with us.
Adios for now,
Deryl & Jill
Posted in: News