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It is always the bulls: Part II

James Beckham for Progressive Cattle Published on 20 November 2020

In our last episode of “It’s always the bulls,” one Charolais bull had been delivered to the auction, but Charolais bull number two had refused to go anywhere near a trailer.

Some weeks passed after the first attempt by my partner, Pat, to catch bull number two. Then, one day, the bull wandered into the ancient wooden pens on the leased ranch, and Pat closed the gate on the bull. The decrepit pens had been shored up in places with portable steel panels, so Pat thought he could take care of some chores and come back to load the bull.

 Pat recounts, “The bull was already mad because I closed the gate. I arrived back just in time to see the bull get his head under one of the steel panels and lift all the panels into the air before he tore through the rotten fencing behind.”

“So, I got on my horse to bring him back.” Pat went on. “I knew better, but I was mad,” he said. “When I got close, the bull tried to get me – in fact, he got under the horse before I could get out of his way. Somehow, the horse kept his feet, and I stayed with the horse!”

“’Well, you,’” said Pat to the bull, “’I’ll get you,’ and I went and got the pickup.”

Pat tried for several minutes to maneuver the bull with the pickup to no avail. Finally, the Charolais made his stand in the middle of the overflow pond from the windmill.

“He stood there holding his ground and daring me to come after him,” Pat said. When Pat would get too close with the pickup or on foot, the bull would come after him.

“I thought, ‘You S.O.B,’” reported Pat. “I was terrible mad, beyond control.”

Pat had a lariat in the pickup, so he put a loop in the tail end of the rope to go over the tow hook on the front of the truck. Pat hoolihaned the lariat around the bull’s neck and, keeping a wary eye on the Charolais, tried to get the loop over the tow hook.

“I almost got the rope over that drag hook,” said Pat, “and he jerked the rope out of my hands.”

Pat went on, “Now, if you’re going to reach the end of that rope to try again, he’s going to get you. So, I went and got the rope off my saddle and did the same thing,” Pat said with a laugh. “I didn’t know what I was going to do with him when I got him out of the pond, but I was going to figure that out when it happened. I was just mad.”

“I almost got the loop of the second rope on the tow hook,” he went on, “when he jerked the rope out of my hands again.”

“’Now what?’” Pat wondered aloud. “I’m out of rope and I don’t have a gun, which was a good thing, or I would have used it.” Pat just had to drive away and leave the bull standing in the pond with two ropes around his neck.

A month later, Pat was putting feed into troughs when here came the Charolais. The bull put his head in the feed trough, and Pat gingerly took both lariats off the bull’s head. The bull had been dragging those two ropes everywhere he went for a month.

“We gathered him that fall with the cows,” said Pat, “and he was no trouble loading at the same time as a few cows.”

Sure enough, if you have a problem, “It’s always the bulls!”  end mark

  • James Beckham

  • Writer
  • Commercial Angus Producer
  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Email James Beckham