Heather Hamilton-Maude: Bull Wrecks | TSLN.com

Heather Hamilton-Maude: Bull Wrecks

Bulls. We are currently in the thick of dealing with them for the few weeks they are necessary each year.

A few weeks back we had one magically miss the trip up the river with the cows, and show up in our yearling heifers. He wasn’t a heifer bull, so my husband threw his horse in the trailer, drove over to the heifer pasture, and gathered him up.

Bull and rider crested the Cheyenne River breaks, and that old bull walked over to the trailer, and stopped. My husband had an, “I wonder,” moment, and eased the trailer door open, at which point the bull jumped in.

Horse and husband still had a little slack in their jaw when they returned home to tell that story.

Last week, we were taking the open cows to town, and decided we may as well go grab the old heifer bull out of the same bunch of heifers. He was done after this year, and the heifers had just finished their clean up cycle.

The problem with bulls and, “I wonder,” moments, is we tend to think they’re repeatable. Usually they’re not.

The second bull had no intention of leaving his lady friends. Not only was he not going in the trailer, complete with a couple panels for a wing, he took the horse and went right to town causing a classic bull wreck.

But. Bull wrecks are not the same when you live on a great big flat compared to the back country of Wyoming. Not at all.

Where I grew up, bulls only sulled up, got on the fight, took horses, or tore out fence miles from corrals and/or home. In big, rough draws, or thick trees. This resulted in an all-day, exhausting, hopefully nobody gets hurt ordeal.

Where I live now, you just have to get them on the flat. Which can be a feat, but is usually possible. Then someone gets the tractor.

Drive the tractor up to the bull, (he’s usually roped in some fashion by this time), tie a log chain around his neck, and lead him home. He can take the tractor bucket, try to run off, sull up, or whatever else his heart desires. All without hurting man or horse.

We have done this exactly twice since we have been married, and it is one of the best uses I have ever seen for a John Deere 4455, despite what my husband or son will tell you. Truly a modern marvel, and a top reason to own a tractor.

Now for the disclaimer. You need to have a certain degree of patience to properly execute this option. Which is why my husband drives the tractor with the bull, and I follow with the horse or pickup and trailer. We have ended up with a live and sound bull to take to take to the sale barn in both cases.

Most recently last week.


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