Aw, crap. Cattle are back.

So yesterday on my way to afternoon chicken chores I saw suspicious tracks…


Distinctive tracks. Round split-hooved tracks. Cattle tracks. Grrr…


I wondered at the timing of this; maybe in a month or two we’ll get some usable grass but we sure don’t have any now. If the cattlemen released cattle here now, they must be hurting for feed. And up close, these aren’t the happiest, glossiest cattle I’ve ever seen.

And there’s a bit of mystery here: I texted neighbors about the cattle so they could make sure gates were shut and dogs were under control*. One of those neighbors, who actually maintains friendly relations with the guy who has this grazing lease, texted back that that guy said he didn’t know anything about any cattle.

Of course he’s said that before and it turned out to be untrue. So not that much of a mystery now that I recall the incident.


*If cattle get stuck inside your wire and die because they’re too stupid to get back out, you are legally liable for the sale price of the cattle. If a cattleman shoots your dog because he says it was chasing cattle, even if the dog is inside its own fence and nowhere near a cow at the time, you are shit out of luck for legal recourse. Both those things have happened within my time here. In open range country, cattle have more legal rights than land owners. People in cities see open range as a charming 19th century tradition: People who live in open range see it as an astonishingly consistent pattern of politicians staying bought.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to Aw, crap. Cattle are back.

  1. Eastern, but not city boy says:

    i come from an area where if you kill a man’s dog, you may well turn up permanently missing. (even if it is considered good form to put some birdshot into a dog’s butt while chasing stock). I imagine that folks in a sparsely populated desert environment grow a few folks with that same attitude. At the very least, i can imagine a situation where many/most cattle turn into vulture bait over something like that.

  2. Judy says:

    They need a Rent-a-corgi service in your neck of the woods for ‘cow season’.

  3. Joel says:

    Funny you should say that, Eastern. The first manager that worked for the current outfit when they got this lease quit ahead of some pretty credible death threats. He’d earned them, too. The current guy is much more polite.

  4. Spud says:

    Once had a wayward young holstein bull , that kept getting into my yard and garden area. It belonged to one of the neighbors down the road that refused to fix his fences , claiming open range country rules. So it was my problem said he…
    Gave that pesky critter a case of 22 flu , one evening…sumbitch went into a friend and my freezers.

    That was over thirty years ago BTW so statute of limitations is long past lol,..
    Out west , sometimes range management is handled privately.

  5. K de AZ says:

    Sorry, but I have to side with the rancher(s), AZ customs, and laws. It is how it has been since long before we were a state.

    Keep your observations and comments in mind when you make or hear complaints about Californicators and midwesterners moving into AZ and bringing their voting habits and laws with them causing the state to turn blue. It is incremental and everyone thinks their issue is special or different. It is not.

    This from a native of Northern Arizona who has cussed many a bull and cow tangled in a fence, blocking a road, eating a vinyl top, kicking a car, etc. Didn’t like it, but that is how it is and a part of why it is/was nice here. (And no ranchers in my family or ranch-related pecuniary interest either – unless you count my enjoying beef.)

  6. Mark says:

    Cow stuff… I’ll side with K de AZ

    Dog stuff… Kill my dog on my property and I will retaliate, be ye landowner, Cop or Cowman.
    My dog is family.

    I don’t live in AZ.
    But I do live in the USA.

  7. Joel says:

    ;D Don’t think it hasn’t occurred to me.

To the stake with the heretic!