July 1, 2009



Well, I made it. When I left you last week, I was just going after the wild longhorn cow. Shirley was worried about my return. But then, she worries about my return if I go to town for a gallon of milk. She worries easily.
The longhorn hunt did not go as I had planned. It started snowing and blowing and got pretty darn cold and slippery. I am kind of a fair weather cowboy. With age I have learned that what can be put off until a nicer day, should be postponed. So the longhorn hunt is delayed for a few days. They may live to tear down another fence. As I have chased these two cows around, I have come to realize why cowboys of years ago wore guns. It is much easier to shoot a cow when you are real mad.
It kind of reminded me of years ago when we were producing rodeos. We had a couple of bucking bulls that were just impossible to keep in a corral. They were both really good bulls. Bar 33 and Tornado. They would crawl under a corral. They would jump over a corral. They would go through a corral. I swear, Tornado could crawl through a fence that would hold a pig. And Bar 33 could jump over a fence that would hold a buffalo.
But, I always knew when they left the ranch, where we could find them on Friday morning when we were loading up for the next rodeo. Tornado would be out on the flat with the dry cows, and Bar 33 would be seven miles north with Henderson’s milk cows. He had this thing about those spotted cows that he just couldn’t get over. He would go through five hundred plain old range cows for a chance to spend a few days with those spotted cows. Amazing.
Both these bulls had been roped enough where they were pretty well halter broke. They looked a lot worse than they were. You could rope Bar 33 a half mile from a horse trailer and he would lead along pretty good. You just leave the end gate open, drag him up close, and he would jump in.
Tornado was a little tougher. But he would lie down as soon as you roped him. You just shot him a with a little birdshot to get him out of the brush, rope him, have somebody (Shirley) bring the trailer, and drag him in. At least that was always the plan.
The year of the Great Escape, they got out in Mandan during the night. Then they went across a footbridge over the Heart River, down a side street, and into a trailer park. There they went into a nice yard with a nice garden and camped for the night. Right in the knee high sweet corn.
In the morning, sirens were wailing and phones were ringing. There were three wild Brahma bulls threatening the people of Mandan. I quickly got the police calmed down, which is quite a feat in itself. They were bound and determined they should kill or at least tranquilize these beasts. Now, we needed them to buck in a rodeo at two o’clock. We did not need dead or hung over bulls.
I talked the cops into just stopping the traffic a few spots, while I took my dog and sicced ‘em back to the rodeo grounds. I honestly believe that Bar 33 learned his manners from those milk cows he had been visiting. They walked right out of that yard, down the street like they were in a parade, right around the end of a police car, and across that footbridge back to the rodeo grounds!
I only hope the longhorn hunt goes half that well!