I really hate cattle.

I got caught with my pants down. Hate when that happens. Stumbling along up the hill on my beaten path with the morning sun in my eyes, the coffee tank only half full, I heard the drumming of hooves. Cattle, stupid as they are, were at least more awake than I was and I was practically in the middle of a herd of the damned things.

Can’t even say I didn’t see it coming. It’s practically the middle of March, and a warm March at that. A few cattle have wandered into our neck of the boonies, it was inevitable and indeed possibly overdue that the cattlemen would drive a whole herd into my yard.

And yup; there’s a half-grown calf. Cow with a calf like that is ready to be bred. And that’s the problem, of course. Cows don’t scare me. Cows, stupid as they are, have sense enough to run. But the purpose of these herdings is to make spring calves. And to make a baby cow you need a mama cow and a daddy cow. The daddy cows do not run. At least, it’s not their first choice. Being caught afoot with a daddy cow is a problem.

Here’s something I thought was really cool: Last January I had a houseguest, a friend of the blog. And he brought a gift of condiments and booze and ammo, the hermit’s friends. But he brought a second gift – more ammo – from another friend of the blog who wasn’t such a traveler. And this ammo, quite out of the blue, was Russian hardball practice ammo for the Makarov. I’m back to carrying the Mak since messing up my shoulder again several days ago, and as usual the magazines are loaded with expensive Hornady Super Explody 2000 rounds it would be a sin to expend as mere noisemakers. Now I will reload my belt mag with some of the last of that hardball, which I can expend for non-lifesaving purposes without shedding too many tears.

It doesn’t always work: The cattle are more impressed by Little Bear than they are by gunfire, and bulls aren’t usually impressed by either. Of course it would only be in an extreme case of the better-tried-by-twelve-than-carried-by-six variety that I would ever shoot a bull. Heaven forbid. In this state I’d get in less trouble burning down the county courthouse than harming a bull in ‘open range’ country, even on my own porch. They quite literally have more legal rights than I do. But sometimes they’ll move faster to avoid the annoying noise, and I swear that if I die of a goring the bull that does it will have some new holes in him, too.

You know what actually works better than a gun? I can’t really defend this, but I swear it’s true…

Don’t ask me to explain it. Maybe it’s just that they know what a big stick can do, but can’t see the threat in a gun. But a cow or bull who’d normally debate your right of passage will run like their fur’s on fire at the sight of a spear. I came up with this last June, and while walking with a long leash in one hand and a spear-headed walking stick in the other is kind of a pain in the ass, I’m gonna dust it off and start bringing it on walkies again. Because it actually works.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to I really hate cattle.

  1. MJR says:

    Hey Joel, You’re spot on with the Makarov all shooting a bull with that will do is piss it off then things will really get ugly. One ting you might look at is bear bangers, that is if you have a 12G shotgun. On those not so frequent occasions where I have had enough and go for a weeks walk in the boonies one of the things I have is a short barrel (12 inch) shotgun and the first round in the chamber is a bear banger to scare off the offending wildlife.

  2. Who...Me? says:

    ROFL…well Joel I would be willing to make a wager that there is in fact a reason the bulls do not like your spear. To a dumb cow it probably looks an awful lot like a cattle prod.

  3. Who...Me? says:

    LOL he is probably like “HOLY SHIT!!! look at the size of that guys magic stick!!!”

  4. Anonymous says:

    ^ That

    As one who has run from “The Mini-Zebu” Bull when season is in – big stick :-)

  5. Tennessee Budd says:

    MJR, I beg to differ.
    Interesting timing: I stopped by the local shooty shop today, specifically to pick up some 9×18. Got a box of Hornady Critical Defense 95gr FTX ($21 for 25 rounds; it ain’t cheap). I just happened to have checked my weapons locker (okay, walk-in closet dedicated to weapons) & saw I needed some. The P64 is the truck pistol; it’s last-resort, not primary.
    I’ve tested Hornady 9mm Mak for penetration in 2x stock before. I didn’t think much of that little round–considered it basically a .380, for which I have no love–but it surprised me. If a bull is close enough to need shooting, those will dissuade the critter.
    Best idea for Joel is the pointy stick (I’m guessing he hasn’t tried the bunch of bananas yet). Thankfully, although I’m in a rural area, nobody is going to get that bothered if I HAVE to shoot a large angry bovine (and a couple of years ago, the GF was late to work because a big bull had gotten out & was between her & her car, but that ain’t a killing offense, angry as she was). He best keep a bang-y thing around just in case, all the same.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    My bet is that Who…Me? is correct about the stick resembling a cattle prod. As I posted before, cattle prods are recognized and respected by livestock. A worthwhile investment for your situation if you ever get the funds available:

    Light ’em up like a light bulb!

To the stake with the heretic!