You can’t make this up: Schultes family calf-saving adventure

Paul Schultes
for Tri-State Livestock News

A two year old heifer was having calving trouble, without help they both would have both ended up dead. Red Owl Creek was raging out of the banks for at least 100 yards. There was no way to get to the corrals. Our son in law, Lyle and his son, Stetson and daughter, Skylee were up at our north ranch 110 miles north of here working cows. They had the horses and were supposed to be back before dark. They pulled in just at dark.

Crossing rushing water on any younger horse can be dangerous in that they sometimes get vertigo and go down in the water. I have had that happen a couple times before.

So we crossed the creek with the horses following the tractor. We found the heifer with the tractor lights. Lyle made several attempts and caught the heifer. I caught one hind leg and tried to give the rope to my 12-year-old grandson, Stetson, riding a rather spooky, 4 year-old gelding. The heifer is finally headed and heeled in the dark. We have to get the calf puller hooked up so I am trying to tail her down. I gave a pull as hard as I could and off came her tail and I landed on my tail bone on ice packed ground. I still cannot sit on a horse. It all ended with a short tailed cow with a nice calf. We crossed the creek back home. When I told them all good job and sorry they had to miss their shooting sports that night, both grandkids commented that they would not have missed this opportunity for anything. It was scary but really fun.