Catching Wild Cattle
 
 

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Catching Wild Cattle

This is a discussion on Catching Wild Cattle within the Roping forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Rope used to catch cattle
  • Cowboys ropes wild cow YouTube

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    01-05-2012, 12:15 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Catching Wild Cattle

I know that with different territory comes different methods. So I am curious how you guys, mainly Amazing C, how do you guys down here catch cattle?

You guys have different rigs and different dogs, and I am sure different methods...would you mind sharing?

In a different thread you said you don't really use your piggin' strings....so please Yoda teach me the ways of the wild southern cow catcher....
     
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    01-06-2012, 01:50 AM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
I know that with different territory comes different methods. So I am curious how you guys, mainly Amazing C, how do you guys down here catch cattle?

You guys have different rigs and different dogs, and I am sure different methods...would you mind sharing?

In a different thread you said you don't really use your piggin' strings....so please Yoda teach me the ways of the wild southern cow catcher....

Hahaha I love that CowChick!

Well, you won't learn much about cows from me, it's my weak point. I'm more a "horseboy" than a "cowboy". But I can show you the traditional Missouri Hillbilly ways of wild cow catching.

First I'll say if there's people reading this that don't understand, don't make yourself look stupid by posting the "Mean ole cowboys, abusing those poor cows" nonsense. Farmers call when there's no other option but a rifle. They've used a feed bucket, chased them with 4 wheelers, trucks, tranquilizer guns, etc. They don't want to go to bed that night wondering if a family is going to hit their 2000 pound bull on the highway.

Sorry Cowchick but I had to kinda make a disclaimer......Anyhow, I use a regular ranch/roping saddle, 7/8 riggin, modified association tree, rubber wrapped horn. Rubber partly cause I pickup at rodeos sometimes and have to dally saddle broncs. Breastcollar and back cinch also for me.

40' braided nylon because I like the heavy rope to throw in the wind, it doesn't get blown around. Also the braided rope is slower feeding so the loop stays open good. My rope used to be 50' but I had a few kinks and had to trim it over the years. I've had it 13 years and it's still good. I mean I use it too. I used it during the week shoeing, rodeoing on the weekends, everything. They're really strong too. I've broke twisted nylons.

My horses don't need to be any super cow horses, just pull good and go wherever I need to go. I have no use for one that won't pull. They should pull a cow in the trailer or break my saddle trying. I've broke 2 saddle trees. As far as going anywhere, they should go through a pond, river, thicket, through a herd of bigfoots, whatever. We usually don't get in a hurry, but they have to go anywhere

Continued...
     
    01-06-2012, 02:10 AM
  #3
Yearling
I use Catahoulas, but have had Catahoula-Boxer crosses that work good. I mostly want them to bay, maybe get ahold if a cow's rammy. But I don't have any "catch dogs" that just run straight at a cow and latch on, like Pit Bulls. I don't really want to try to rope a cow that has a dog hanging on it's nose. Some people do though. I've caught buffalo with mine without a catch dog. Dogs make it so much easier and safer. I can send em out and let them bay. Never get my horse out of a walk. Pick my way through the brush and gulleys and by the time I get there, they have the cow distracted and I can toss a loop on her.

What I do then depends on the situation. If I can get a trailer close, I'll do it. Just tie the cow up to a tree with a war bridle or by a front foot. Take the dogs with me and let her be. Bring the trailer as close as I can get it and load her up. If I can't get a trailer close to her, I'll halter-break her with my horse right there on the spot. Just tie her to a tree with my rope, and make a war bridle out of my spare rope. Then I dally the war bridle up and untie the first rope. Usually it doesn't take that long to get em where you can lead them. Actually it's faster than halter-breaking a colt for me.

Continued...
     
    01-06-2012, 02:25 AM
  #4
Yearling
That's why I hardly ever use my tie-down strings. Those cows usually hit the woods and there's trees to tie em to and I can handle them by halter-breaking them. Getting them broke to lead also keeps me from gutting my horse from pulling a cow 2 miles through the bushes. You can probly tell I'm the only one on these cow catchins. I don't do them as much as I used to and I usually don't take anybody with me. Not always but mostly. Most guys get so excited they won't listen and they don't let the dogs do their job. They'll run over the dogs and scatter everything. Seems like it goes smoother with just me and the dogs and a pretty good horse. It does help to have a driver for the truck and some 2-way radios. Pulling them in the trailer's probly universal so I maybe shouldn't elaborate on that. Like I said, about the only thing I know about cows is how to catch em.

Chick, how do yall do it? I'd love to hear what others do!
     
    01-06-2012, 12:59 PM
  #5
Green Broke
LoL! Love the disclaimer.....

That's cool the way you do it!

I am assuming you have her snubbed up to the tree pretty close so you can get your war bridle on while you are horseback, then once you have that on you can unsnubb her and lead her by the bridle...am I reading that right?

Also, have you found that some horses are easier to deal with in thick brush than others? I have ridden a few you can ride through anything and some just start to get panicky and don't really ever get over it...


We have big open country for the most part so tying them to a tree isn't much of an option...hence the piggin strings.

Some of the yearlings we'd get are from Arizona and trapped, they just load them straight onto the truck and dump them out on our desert. Sometimes we don't have to rope them. If you run along side of them they will start to look at you and then start pushing on them a little and eventually shrink their bubble to where you can control them horseback. When they are like that you can't get in front of them to stop them, they just run right through you and scatter. They can be pretty sneeky and have learned some cool tricks before we get them. They will lay down and hide and watch you ride right over the top of them and as soon as you get past them they jump back up and run the other way. However thinks cattle are dumb, needs to see that!

The ones we rope, usually there is two of us, we chase them down head and heel then tie him down with a string. Go get the trailer, put the ropes back on his head, run up through the trailer and drag him in. I love trailer loading...its my favorite thing! If we can't get a trailer there which happens about 90% of time we teach him to lead. Usually my husband has him necked, I heel him for giggles then turn him loose. I just follow him like I am moving him, if he tries to peel out then he gets choked....easy enough. Cattle learn fast...they like to breathe. By time we get back to the trailer we could probably show him at the county fair..gentle as a milk pen calf.

We use Wade saddles with slick horns wrapped with, mule hide, elk hide, or chap leather. That way we can slide rope to help our horses. If I slide rope when I am starting to pull it helps my horse get a little momentum before I bite down...it help teaches colts to pull too.

As far as rope we have a variety, just depending on what we are doing and feel like using. We have a pile of them twisted nylon ranch ropes, some small diameter polys, bigger heavier polys and cottons. We cut them ropes down shorter, make pigging strings out of them and cut the rawhide burners off and use the plastic speed burners. I really love the weight of a cotton on a smaller diameter rope. But they are very moody ropes according to the weather and don't do well when there is a lot of moisture..they feel horrible. So I have went back to using a nylon or poly. I think I might want to try a braided nylon...do you have a brand you like?

We don't use dogs for catching, I use mine for help gathering and pushing. We looked at some Catahoula pups last weekend. But I just don't know enough about it or how to work them. I would hate to spend $200 for a pup and ruin him.
     
    01-06-2012, 01:44 PM
  #6
Yearling
This just might end up being the longest 2-person thread EVER because I could swap stories on this subject forever! I love to hear how yall do things. There's no doubt you guys out west are more knowledgable and well-rounded about cows than me (and most folks here.) Here most of the cow operations are small farms with 10 to 100 head. There's a few little feedlots and preconditioning lots with a few hundred head. There's good grass here close to the Mississippi river. A cow can get loose and survive for a long time on her own. I caught 3 a while back that were loose for 4 years. They were far enough away from roads that they just let them be wild until they found out I could catch em. That's usually not the case though. Alot of times I have the farmers by the sack because they have to have these cattle caught. There's just enough roads and activity that it becomes a public safety issue. So I can kinda charge alot. Well, maybe it's not alot, but at least 100 a head, sometimes more. If there's cattle loose and the farmer doesn't call me, eventually somebody sees those cows from the road and they call the sherriff. Then the sherriff calls me.
     
    01-06-2012, 02:05 PM
  #7
Yearling
[QUOTE=COWCHICK77;1296536]LoL! Love the disclaimer.....

That's cool the way you do it!

I am assuming you have her snubbed up to the tree pretty close so you can get your war bridle on while you are horseback, then once you have that on you can unsnubb her and lead her by the bridle...am I reading that right?

Yes I try to stay on my horse as much as I can. Awhile back I got off my horse and I had a big wild bull toss me right back on him. Right back into the saddle! But yeah, I like to snub them to the tree, put the second rope on, untie the first rope, then start tugging on them. Just let the horse tighten the rope and let the cow put slack in it. I agree, they learn it fast.

Also, have you found that some horses are easier to deal with in thick brush than others? I have ridden a few you can ride through anything and some just start to get panicky and don't really ever get over it...

Well it seems to me that if I desensitize my horse's legs good, they don't mind wading through stuff. I always foul their legs with a rope and get them where they don't panick. Because in these woods, it's common to have old woven-wire fences that are layed down and covered with leaves over time. You'll be walking through the **** bushes and all the sudden, you're horse gets stuck. He has his legs tangled in wire that he didn't see. The vines and brush here will do the same thing. I've had to cut them out. Also I sometimes put combo boots or wraps on mine's legs to prevent cuts.
     
    01-06-2012, 02:20 PM
  #8
Yearling
I bet tying them down would be safer on them. I need to try it.

The technique of sliding rope is pretty smart. I do it some too, even with rubber on mine. I noticed on my video of my paint I'm selling, I was coming to a slick wet spot at abou the 11 second mark and slid my rope until I got past it. We were just pulling a little railroad tie, but it made it a little easier on him.
     
    01-06-2012, 02:30 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Thats family fun! You get to catch wild critters and get paid to do it!

It is a lot different down here in this part of Texas...sounds the same as where you are at. When we first came down here we got all excited thinking we would do all kinds of fun stuff...but became disappointed. Using calf tables to work calves, and gather everything by using a cake feeder on a pickup..WTF??? It explains why guys like you are needed.

This is not the Texas I had pictured in my brain! Just like because I am from Nevada everyone thinks I am from Las Vegas and if your from California you come out of the womb on a surf board. I guess that is what I get for stereotyping...
     
    01-06-2012, 02:41 PM
  #10
Yearling
OOOhhh and I always wanted to trap some! Never have done it. Sounds like yall think very similar to me. Just different country and terrain dictates techniques that are used. I agree 100% about sliding that rope to let colts get started pulling. They've been taught to give to pressure, then we ask them to push through it. Probably confuses the hell out of them. But I also do that sliding thing. Let em walk about 10 feet, then take a wrap and pull. If they get to feelin like they're going to quit pulling, make em go and slide some more.

Oh and the ropes I use came from Smith Brothers in Denton, Texas. I don't know if they still sell them because very few people use them. But they had them back in the 90's. I need to order another one. There are other braided ropes out there that are cheap. I mean bad cheap. Light weight and really just junk. They're more less a yacht cord and that's about all they're good for. The ropes from Smith Bros were much heavier and tighter braided. Hold their shape and about the lay of a poly.

As far as the dogs, my Catahoulas are pretty user-friendly. You can't really mess them up. If you could, mine would be messed up. All I really teach mine is to call off. That way if they get after the wrong cows, we don't get in trouble by neighboring farmers. I teach mine to call off while I have em on a leash, then graduate up to a longer rope, then to a couple hundred feet if heavy fishing line. So when they think they're far enough away you can't make em come back, you just give that line a yank and they're like "Oh dammit, he can reach me still"
     

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