Catching Wild Cattle - Page 6

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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

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    01-12-2012, 04:01 PM
I'm coming in just a little late to the party . We usually have to do things a bit differently around here, mostly because it's harder than hell to find a truly good hand so it's usually just one or two people to gather up a wild cow (though most aren't really "wild", just farmerized LOL). We don't keep any cattle of our own, but we do a lot of daywork for surrounding farmers/ranchers/feedlots and we keep pasture cattle for a feedlot in the summertime. They are usually those long-eared yearlings that come out of Mexico or Louisiana and have been herded with 4-wheelers their whole lives:roll:. We usually spend the first month doctoring sick ones and fixing fence.

When they get up here and get the dog and nylon treatment, they figure things out pretty quick .

I actually get to go play cow-catcher on Sunday, a local farmer shipped out his cows this last weekend, but one of them kept crashing the corral fence and running over folks so he has requested my brother and I to bring our good horses and get her trailered by any means possible . Ought to be fun.

Oh, and just touching on the dog thing, I much prefer a good border collie with some courage. Send out 3 of them after a tough cow and they'll bring her back to you one way or another....she may have both ears ripped up and fang slashes all over her body, but they'll keep after her until she goes the way she's supposed to. I always got a kick out of our old stud dog Bill. When we got fresh yearlings in the spring, he was the one we would use to dog-break them. If they tried to fight, he would just tear them up and when they finally figured out that the safest place was milling around our horses, there would always be a handful that had big old long cuts on the face or the flank from his teeth.

Now, we've got a couple of crops of young dogs that are by him...and every one of them is just as tough as he is.
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    01-12-2012, 05:55 PM
Dad often has to shoulder a bull with either the four wheeler or the ute. Last time we got the bulls out the bull wore half the skin off his gut because he was leaning into the bike so hard the wheel was wearing it off. Haven't had my new mare on the bulls yet, but a gelding I used to have was brave as anything and I swear he used to give them the stinkeye - cause if they faced up to him, they pretty soon turned around and started moving!
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    01-12-2012, 08:02 PM
I was wondering when you were going to join the fun robs! Lol!

My husband has a trick for them old cows like that too....we get them roped, he will step off his pony, take a pinch of Copenhagen and put it in their eye. I swear it works!
However it takes a pretty mean cow to get him to waste Copenhagen! Lol

Running cattle around on a 4wheeler or dirt bike takes a little finesse. Like the playas say- Hit 'em and quit 'em.
If your constantly running up on them they get stupid quick.

Wild Spot, that's funny! My friend Kristy used to tell some funny stories about trying to run cattle down in a ute and roping them out of the back just for fun... a lot like AC's story...but not quite as wild...
    01-12-2012, 08:13 PM
Before my husband and I were together he worked for the same guy that we last worked for but at a different ranch. Anyhow he would lease a big ranch then people would bring there cows for them to babysit. So they might have three different owners of cows on the same ranch. The owners just pay a fee for the care of their pairs...anyhow...

As you all know cows are like horses, you have to train them, if they get away with something it becomes a habit. Well this one guys cows had the habit of turning back at the gate going into a set of pens. I suspect they had been worked too much, not well at that and had been soured. Well they were bringing them up and they got them all in except for a couple. Boss wasn't horseback that day, so he got mad hopped on the four wheeler to see what the hold up was. I don't remember why they didn't rope her, but anyways, boss comes out knocks the ol bitch down with four wheeler and drives up on top of her, shuts it off and says "lets go to lunch". Everyone comes back from lunch, unparks the four wheeler off of the cow. Cow gets up, and trots into the pens....cow whispering at its best.
    01-12-2012, 08:33 PM
I leave the 4-wheelers to other folks, I don't even know how to ride one. My philosophy is that if 4 feet can't do it, then it can't be done . Plus, I've known a lot more people to get hurt on them things than get hurt on horses.

Brother used to do the dip thing too, when he still dipped, except he would just spit the juice in their eye. No sense in wasting a good pinch LOL.

Cattle are stupid, it's true, but that's the reason that they taste so good .
    01-12-2012, 10:19 PM
So here is kinda a chuckle....not much to do with chasing wild cows....

So sometimes we would get lazy or if no horses were up we would wrangle using the dirt bike or the four wheeler. Some horses can handle it and others can't...the sound of one will drive them crazy.

So it comes one of those days that we are just short handed and have a lot to do. Pooky gets on the dirt bike, Jake and I head out horseback. The field we are gathering is 3 miles long and about a mile wide. The river runs through it(like the movie, but different) but the river splits and causes for an island in the middle. The willows are over grown and the river is will drown a cow or horse. Plus it is boggy. The best way to gather is gather the east side separate. Then the west side and island together, the best crossings are on the west side.

Ok so back to the story...The plan is, Pook is on the dirt bike getting steers put together , Jake is going along the willows keeping them headed towards the gate and not onto the island and I am gathering the island to push over to the west side.

So I am trotting up looking for a safe place to cross onto the island so I can start cleaning it out. Pook is starting to put steers together. I happen to be riding one of those horses that freak out at the sound of the bike. I am searching for a good place to cross...and mind you it is about 25 degrees.... the bike starts coming closer and I am still looking...well ol' Turtle decides HERE, and he bales in the river. He can't touch bottom and we are swimming across as I am watching chunks of ice float by...really???? The dogs look at me like "F you lady...its cold" Finally they swim across. I am shaking because I am chinks are froze solid and I can't move my legs. So I gather the island, the dogs and I have have a couple hundred, but we have to get them across. Usually if you can just get one to go...they all will go. I am trying everything I know to get just one to jump in and swim across....thinking that seeing the other steers across the river headed towards the gate would bribe the a, them poor little thin skinned little guys wanted nothing to do with swimming with ice chunks..not to say I did not blame them. So my efforts are not working and I can see down the way that Jake and Pook have about a thousand steers balled up in the corner getting ready for the gate. At this point I have to jump island and help get them started through the gate. So again I have to jump in the river and swim across to the other side to help...what is a couple hundred if you can get a thousand through the gate? Not that I was much help everytime the bike revved up my horse would peel out and I was useless anyhow. Finally after a couple of tries we got them started through. This place had the worst gate placement than any place I had ever seen..gates were never in a corner and this gate was on a hill...makes it a little tough. Cattle will always trot down a hill and not look for a hole until they hit the bottom and slow down...duh. And they always go to a corner and windmill....duh. Gates were never where it would be obvious. Well after all that I was freezing, everyone was pissy....we didn't even talk we just passed around a pack of smokes....waited till everyone had a minute and a cigarette....then life was ok again....
    01-13-2012, 12:33 PM
We just talked to a guy that had one of our pups from a litter 2 years ago. He also was the previous owner of the dog that we bred my bitch to.

The dog was a Hanging Tree and he had a lot of bite...that dog would latch on to a nose and not let go...there was always blood drawn. And he would go full speed and hit them. The sound it made was pretty incredible. I wanted a happy medium between my dog and that one. I had kept a male out of that litter and unfortunately my husband accidently ran him over :( the first day I took him out and he did pretty well.

Anyhow, we asked how that pup turned out. His pup is still a little much like his daddy so he is going to breed him down a little with a Border Collie. So I want one of those pups. A friend of friend has a real nice male that is BC with bite, and he wants to breed him so maybe this spring I might put together.

I am trying to find the magic cross....
    01-13-2012, 12:56 PM
It's ok being late to this party, I do believe it's going to last awhile. Good to see ya joining in. I like Border Collies too. I had a couple over the years and they were the smartest dog I ever had.

On the subject of bikes, at one time before I had dogs, I bought a 4 wheeler to find cows with. It worked pretty good. Sometimes I'd find a cow and chase her toward my truck (and horse), then switch "horses" and get her roped.

I like the ice water story. When I was about 20, my brother was 10 and I was pulling him on a sled in the snow. I started up a pond levee and my horse slipped a little and balked. So I commenced to "over and undering" him with the tail of my rope. I got him unlocked, but probly too much. He came up the levee at a high rate of speed and didn't stop. The pond was froze and he bailed in and broke the ice. For some reason, I jumped off into the water and was waist deep. When we got out, We were frigid and miserable but I made him pull my brother and the sled around some more (you can't let them win or they'll git a bad habit started heehee). By the time we got back to the house my pants legs were frozen in the riding position, and ice crumbled off them when I straightened my legs. Good times!

I never heard of tobacco in their eye, but I heard of a guy catching cows, tying them to a tree, and propping their eyes open with toothpicks. Supposedly it keeps em from hitting the brush to get away, and he'd push them on home with his horse. Never tried it.....Any other tricks yall have used??
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    01-13-2012, 02:18 PM
I just finished reading this thread and I have to say it's my favorite topic from everything that I've read on this forum. I am in love with everything about cowboyin' but can't even claim rookie status. I have a rope but it's been collecting dust for the last few years hanging on the wall. I couldn't even tell you what it's made of or figure out how serviceable it might be.

We don't raise hot house flowers on our farm. Our horses, the two that we still have, are horses that live outside unless it's icing or the wind is blowin' the wind chills down into some crazy cold temps. I am really sick or reading about how some horse won't canter or how I never ride outside the training ring. Reading the stories y'all have posted gives me hope that there are still a few real people out there who know how to "cowboy-up."

I wish I could rope and I could tell you a story about roping our children in the backyard when the only piece of our dream that we owned was a rope. No truck, no trailer, no horse, no ranch/farm, nothing but a dream and a rope. Now, we have all the chores and the equipment and have not taken the time to live the dream.

I am encouraged and intend to bust the dust off'n that old rope and see if I can make a loop. Thanx!
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    01-14-2012, 03:52 PM
Elassar I feel the same way. I used to reply to the posts on "My horse bites me", and "How can I teach my horse to ride outside". It's hopeless. People want to be able to sit in the house on all cozy and warm, and become a hand. Doesn't work that way. Sometimes it's entertaining to respond and read the comments though.

On the ropin subject, your post about roping in the back yard made me think of something I used to do:

From what I'd seen pasture roping and clearing the arena at rodeos, I realized I needed to practice differently. Now I had team roped and roped a few calves, but roping bulls and woods cows was way different. See, these rodeo bulls has a bubble (like Cowchick spoke of earlier). Same with cows in the pasture. Some it was 10 feet, some it was 50 feet. But when you rode inside that bubble, you'd get chased. So for those critters that would "square off" and fight, I had to adapt to them.

So I built me a dummy. It was as tall as a cow and made out of a sawhorse. I wrapped the body with old saddle blankets and used the biggest longhorn dummy head I could find. Then I wrapped the whole thing with inner tube so it'd be weather-proof. I'd ride colts around it and rope it from every direction. I'd trot around it and figure out which loops worked best from each side and angle. I had it in the middle of my backyard and I wore that thing out! I roped it from the front, from behind me, and to the side. And it helped the colts too. After working colts on it all week, roping bulls on my good horse at a rodeo seemed much easier. And also I became more successful catching when a cow ran across in front of me in the woods.

I learned that roping practice should be done horseback. Later I bought some wore out roping cattle and practiced on them, and a Jersey bull that was mean as hell.
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