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It snowed, snowed, and then snowed some more.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Learning About The Birds And The Bees!!!

Ok, I have now thought about this for a couple of days and I don't even know how to begin this story. I try to keep this a G rated blog so I will be as creative as possible....here we go!

A few days ago we went down to Meadow Creek to gather some of our wondering cows that never seem to stay where we put them. We started pretty early, around 6:30 a.m. so we could get a good start before it got very hot, this was one of our 'planned' out moves, but like I have said before, nothing ever goes as planned when you are working with cattle. Especially when you have 8 bulls and 1 bulling cow, who I discovered has no morals, principals, or scruples at all.

We picked up the first small bunch while they were laying on the Willow Creek fence line, there were 2 yearling bulls in the bunch and they just went with the cows and were very well behaved. It is a short ride from that fence to the fence at the bottom of V Canyon, about a 20 minute ride, so I was thinking that we would be on our way up Kelly Canyon in about 2 hours, yeah right. We came to the next bunch of cows and 1 bull, now this bull was a 2 year old and in people terms I guess you could say that he was a smart butted teenager with a few girls who were stupid enough to hang out with him. This is where the morning went down hill like a rock falling off a cliff, we were only about an eighth of a mile from the V Canyon fence and this bull wouldn't let the cows go anywhere, he would run back and forth in front of them and bunt them if they tried to go around him. Our quick pace came to a halt, complete stop, couldn't get a single cow to go around this idiot bull and we couldn't get the bull to go anywhere with out his girlfriends. It was getting hot and the other cows were getting tired of having the air knocked out of them so they all wanted to go back the opposite direction.

Being the quick thinker that I am, I called Sandra on the radio and told her to go up to the corrals and we would just load him and haul him up to the top of Kelly Canyon. Now I know that Sandra is fairly new out here but she has helped us brand in Meadow Creek several times and I would have thought that she had paid attention enough to be able to get the horse trailer to the corrals......wrong again.

By the time we made it through the Meadow Creek gate and up to this little hill about 3 hours had passed, I kept thinking all we have to do is get this idiot to the corrals and then we will be able to move the cows again. Just about the time we got to the top of the hill I could hear an engine rev up and then it would stop, then it would rev up again, I asked Roger if he could hear it and he said no. Then I heard it again and this is when it hit me that Sandra was stuck, do you have any idea how deep a person can spin a truck down into the sand in 3 hours. I am here to tell you that when it is sitting on the bottom of the truck bed and the door is making angel wings when you open it, you just might want to stop digging. OH MY HECK it isn't like anyone is going to be coming along to pull you out!!!

Now I was already mildly upset over putting up with the idiot bull, I told Roger to go see where she was at. He takes off over the top of the hill and the engine noise stops, I figured that he was doing some digging and she would be off and headed up to the corral in just a few minutes. After all how bad could it be on a perfectly dry road, a rock maybe. Well I am certain that it took me another 30 minutes to get to the top of the hill, a short 100 yards, and I was not expecting to see what I saw. It seems that Sandra couldn't tell the road from the wash, the wash that ALL of the rain storms fill with silt not sand, but dust, like quick sand. The only thing that kept her from disappearing was the horse trailer, and even that was about to go under.

I am pretty sure that Sandra and Roger had already had the conversation about me being just a tiny bit upset, so I surprised them and didn't say a word and kept trying to push my cows. What they didn't know was that I had just seen a very large bear coming their way and I had the gun, so I rode past them and put my cows in the meadow where I was hoping they would stay unattended for a few minutes and went back to see if it was as bad as it looked, it was. Roger sweating up a river while he was trying to dig a hole under the buried truck so he could jack it up and put something solid under it, so he could fill in the hole and start all over again. I know that they were both expecting me to ask her what she thought she was doing, but instead I told her that the bear was on his way and I didn't care how she got it there, but this truck better be on top tonight when we get there around 10. I told Roger that I was going to keep going and he could catch up when he fetched the truck out of this hole. Then I handed Sandra my gun and some extra bullets and told her that if it got dark she probably otta say inside the truck, that we would be back sometime tomorrow to get her after we rode home all night. After all, we still had about 10 miles to move this idiot bull and then a 15 mile ride home and it wasn't going very smoothly so far.

This is where the other 5 bulls come into the day. I regathered my cows and managed to get them round the next bend to another batch of cows, so now I have the idiot, 2 yearlings, another yearling, a 3 year old, a very lazy red angus, an older bull,  and Bob the bull. It is hard enough to move a herd of cows with one bull in the herd, but you add 7 bulls and you ain't going anywhere.

Bob the bull is like a guy that hangs out in the fitness club, he lays around all winter putting on the body structure that a working bull needs to get him through June to November. I don't think I have ever watched another bull even try to take him on in a fight, that was until I came along with the idiot. Bulls can really carry a punch, but just from the looks of it Bob must really have a knock out blow. I am only guessing this because when he hit the idiot, he laid him out flat, I really thought that he had killed the idiot but within a 15 more waisted minutes he was back up staggering around like he was drunk. If I wasn't so irritated with the idiot I might have felt sorry for him, but I can't lie, I was very happy that he was finally going with the flow. I called Sandra on the radio and told her that I was leaving the canyon, and I was a little shocked by her reply, "So do you want Roger to go back to the house?" There are those questions that just don't need to be answered, I said, "NO!!! HE NEEDS TO CATCH UP WITH ME, I AM NOT DOING THIS ALONE TODAY".

Since I am not a cow I really have not a clue what makes the breeding cycle kick in or what a bull sees in a cow, but I found out that whatever it is can mess up your day worse than one idiot bull could ever think of doing. I had no sooner gotten the herd through the last gate and was getting back on my horse when I see the newly built pipe fence fall over right up to the gate that I had just closed, and on the other side of it was this cow and the entire herd of bulls doing some sort of courtship mating dance and her calf running around trying to get back with his mom. Since the gate was kinda jammed in the pipe pole now, I walked across the fence and go get the bulls and cow, this is where I decided no matter how sick Rusty is, he is never staying home again because Buddy just wasn't doing the job. I was just leaving Meadow Creek and it was already 1:30 p.m. and I was praying for clouds to show up.

The first part of Kelly Canyon has been pretty much cleared of brush by our wondering cows so it isn't really bad to push cows through, normally. I looked back one last time to see if Roger was coming, then turned to start up the canyon alone again, yeah I was feeling sorry for myself but I had my lunch and 3 bottles of water so I was prepared - not. I started the bull ball up the canyon first then went back and got the cows going, this is when the bull ball came back through the herd like a bowling ball and all of the cows turned around with them and started back to the freshly flattened fence. My feeling sorry for myself soon became, oh no I better get them stopped. For the life of me I don't know why other cows would even want to become involved in this mess of one cow and 8 bulls but for some reason they did. Now my entire herd of cows were running every which way for no reason at all, and Buddy was just sitting there watching. Some how I got them turned back around before they crossed the fence line again and we started off again.

It really was going well once the cows started up the canyon because every single one of them have been pushed out the same canyon at least 15 times this years already so they know the way. The bull ball was quite a ways ahead of the herd and just kept on going, it was easy to see where they were at because the brush was waving back and forth as they plowed through it. On occasion the bulls would get into a fight, but then they would realize that the bull ball was getting away so they would run off to keep up. I really didn't care what the bull ball did as long as they kept going, and I figured that the mass bull attack would stop because she surely had to be bred by now, because it surely don't take that much to get the job done, right. Wrong.....just as we started up Kelly Canyon there is a wash that was made by last years flood, it is only about a cow wide and cow deep, that is one that is laying on her back because the bulls have rode her in the wash.  I noticed that all of the bull were just standing in one spot, and when I rode over there I could see this cows feet, that is never a good thing, but the most amazing thing was that the bulls were still trying to poke her feet!!!

As I am standing there wondering how I was going to get her out of there, Roger finally catches up with me. I can't tell you what he said, because of my G rating, but it was very colorful. He was riding Donkey, I was riding Grimm who are both colts, never been roped off of or had a rope use on them before, so I picked Donkey...better Roger to be bucked off then me and mules are stronger than horses. I then put the rope on her front legs and hand the other end to Roger and tell him to dally it off and pull, he did and his horn snaps off of the saddle and about hits me out as it zips past my head. Back to my quick thinking, I tell him to put my saddle on Donkey and we will try it again, I was not going to pull that cow with Grimm. This was a mans job and a man was going to do it. It must have been a miracle because on the second try the cow was sitting on her behind which only gave more area for the bulls to be doing their poking. With some prying and pushing the cow was back on all fours and off running again. Roger said, 'What the heck'! I said, 'they were doing ok until just now'.

We were getting to the end of the canyon where the water was running so the cows could get a good drink before they climbed out of the canyon to the top.  We were sitting there eating our lunch and getting ready for out climb to the top and we here this crash, it sounded like a rock slide, but oh no, it was a bull ball slide. Once again all of the other cows come running back at us because I am sure that they hadn't ever witnessed a bull ball slide before and it did make quite a racked.

Since we didn't know that the cow has just been rode all the way down the side of the mountain by the 8 overly aggressive bulls, we started the cows back up the trail over the cow laying on her back with her feet up in the air again and of course the bulls were still poking away. I started feeling bad for this cow as I was removing the trees and rocks from around her, it wasn't as bad as the first time but she was stuck pretty good. Once she was back on her feet, she takes off again up the side of the mountain with her calf right behind her, then the bull ball. Now I am not joking, it hadn't been 5 whole minutes when we here another crash. This time she was stuck between 2 large fallen trees.

Now for all of you that don't know, bulls can break their wieners. I have ofter wondered how they do this and I have asked Clay, the only answer that I have ever gotten is that they get hit while ridding a cow. I call BS on this, they break those things by ramming them into whatever is around the cow, like trees, rocks, cow legs, cow ears, cow eyes, cow noses, cow belly while cow is upside down. They break those things by misusing them. Another thought that I had, was that this cows calf was going to have an ear from one bull, a nose from another, a tail from a total different bull, and I was sure that it would come out half red and  half black. Seriously enough was enough. As I was having all these thoughts, I climbed over the tree trunk and ripped my new jeans from crotch to the knee, which just happened to be my breaking point. I picked up a branch and started swinging at the bulls, they didn't seem to care to much they were just waiting for me to get her out of there so they would get back to the poking.

There were 2 more cow crashes after this one, and on one of them I didn't think we were going to be able to get her out. She was tangled up in the trees and headed down hill, of course the bulls were still going at her. I didn't want to shoot her now, so with the both of us we managed to get the trees moved off of her and then rolled her over. To our surprise she got back up and off the bull ball went again. By this time our cow dog Buddy had climbed up the hill across from all the activity and was watching like some fan at a sporting event, I would try to call him but I was out of water and nothing would come out. It was late and the bull ball was now standing in the bottom of the canyon doing their thing and neither of us had the energy to try to get them out of it again so we left them there.

Before we started our climb to the top, we went and sucked water off the rock where it comes out of the spring, dirt and all, it tasted and felt so good. Then we started the climb, hoping that we had a truck on top to go home in. It took us another 2 hours to ride back to the truck and the whole way I was trying to figure out why those bulls wouldn't give that cow a break. It must be like the new girl in school, all the boys chase after her. Males are the weirdest things ever made.

Just as I was thinking over the events of the day, Grimm spotted a bear and ran right over the top of me. This should not have shocked me because he is a male too!!!