Steamboat Springs Colorado

Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Northwestern Colorado has a rich heritage of raising sheep – either for their meat or for wool. But for decades the sheep herd, not just in Colorado, but nationally, has been slipping in numbers, outdone by countries like New Zealand and Australia.

Where there’s been a resurgence though has been in local, niche markets. Some sheep ranchers have taken advantage of the local food movement to sell to customers at farmers markets and through community supported agriculture models.   

Luke Clayton

For the past five years, my friend Larry Large and I have outfitted elk and bear hunts on a ranch located in northern Colorado, not far from Wyoming’s southern boundary. This is rough, wild country and game is plentiful. It’s one of the few places that I know of with such a large population of black bear. Elk are always plentiful here and because we hunt during the September archery season, before snowfall triggers the resident elk to migrate to lower, warmer valleys, the animals are using their summer pattern of bedding in the black timber up high and moving into the valleys and lower elevations during the day to feed and water. 

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Local food is no longer just a novelty. Farmers markets are growing nationwide and farms that sell directly to consumers brought in $1.3 billion in 2012, up eight percent from just five years earlier. Despite the demand, making local food work in some places is decidedly more difficult than others. Steamboat Springs, Colo., is one of those places.

Problem number one is infrastructure.

Luke Clayton

Howdy, Folks!

We're all settled in up here in the Rocky Mountains.  We've been hearing the bugling, and seen some pretty nice herds, but so far, we've been unsuccessful.

This morning, one of the hunters missed a pretty good shot, but there will be another.

We're all back in camp, and I'm on the porch, talking with our Camp Manager Billy about the delicious breakfast he made.

Be sure and take a look at the pictures!

I'll be back with another story from the mountains and more pictures next week!

Elk Camp: On the Road

Aug 29, 2014
Luke Clayton

 Howdy, folks! 

It's raining on the way to the mountains.  It looks like the end of the rainbow is our elk camp.  I'll be sending you audio postcards from the trip thanks to my son-in-law who got me one of those smart phones and showed me how to use it.  I'll be sending pictures too, so you can see what things look like up here.

C2 Photography

Even though the images and stories you hear of Colorado say everything is a mess, there are still opportunities to enjoy the fall colors despite the flood.