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Thread: Cattle

  1. #1
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    Default Cattle

    This weekend I was on the FT in Yates Marsh. The area doubles as a cattle ranch.

    The herds of cattle did little more than idly watch us and none were close to the trail (except a few that crossed it ahead of us but kept going) so they were a non-issue.

    But on the way back, we had a lone bull away from any of the herds that stared down the 4 of us and snorted at us a couple times as we passed by. He was off the trail itself and we gave him an wide berth, but it was an open field with no trees or fences between us and him nor even close enough to detour around.

    I've heard cows can generally be persuaded to leave you alone with some waving and shouting. But besides giving them a wide berth, what's the best way to deal with a bull? And how should you react if he starts moving toward you (instead of just giving you the evil eye) or worse charges?

  2. #2
    Registered User moongoddess's Avatar
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    As far as I know, the only way to deal with a bull is just what you did: stay calm and quiet, and give the animal a very wide berth. If a bull decides he wants to flatten you, nothing you're carrying will be enough to forcibly change his mind. Bulls are unpredictable and dangerous!

    A dairy bull that escaped from a local slaughterhouse put my grandfather in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. My grandfather had spent his life as a dairy farmer, and was very experienced with cattle. That made no difference; the escaped bull spotted my grandfather and charged him. My grandfather was in a large, open yard at the time, and had nothing to get behind and nothing to use as a weapon. The angry bull charged straight into my grandfather and crushed his pelvis. Fortunately, the bull then decided to leave rather than continue attacking. He could easily have killed my grandfather. And my family was lucky that day in another way: we kids were outside playing, but by some stroke of luck we happened not to be in our favorite play spot - the apple orchard that bull subsequently decided to run through.

  3. #3

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    Just pick the slowest one in your group, give him all your brightly colored bandanas and RUN like hell!

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    unless the cattle in Florida are different than they are in California or Montana the best way to handle it is to just quietly walk on by. They are like bees, if you don't mess with them the won't mess with you.

  5. #5
    Registered User Capt Nat's Avatar
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    The best way to handle that situation would be to dress like a clown and roll a large plastic barrel around in front of him...

  6. #6
    Springer to Atkins, VA
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    As stated...Bulls can be very unpredictable...some calm....and some nasty. I've worked with both...I finally got rid of my black angus bull after getting knocked down more times than I can count...getting old for that stuff...final straw was getting my hand broken by the bull in the head gate when he butted me....now I make steers out of the little bulls....at least this way I don't have to constantly look over my back while I'm walking around the pasture with my pack on getting ready of next section hike!

  7. #7
    Registered User moongoddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowpoke View Post
    As stated...Bulls can be very unpredictable...some calm....and some nasty.
    Yep. Some bulls are just plain mean (dairy bulls especially are notorious for this), and the really mean ones will sometimes go after a person for what seems to be no reason at all. If bulls are like bees (as a previous poster said), then some of them are placid European honeybees, while others are Africanized... Why folks keep the nasty ones around, I'll never understand. Shouldn't a reasonably safe temperament be just as important to breed for as rapid weight gain or high milk production?

    Anyway, the best way for hikers to deal with bulls is just to stay far away from them. I suppose as a last resort, if a bull did charge, you could try spraying it with bear pepper spray if you had any at hand, but I can't think of anything else that would have even a remote chance of deterring a vicious bull who's up for a fight. They're just too tough and too strong to be frightened off by a puny little human.

  8. #8
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    If there is more than one of you spread out slowly. Do not wave your hands and arms at him! Then start retreating from the bulls area. Spreading out may confuse him and keep him in check. If not and he charges one of you then the others need to try and distract him. Bulls arn't smart enough to fear anything. Like others have said, get as far away as you can.
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    Default bull being tased

    If you find yourself in a fair fight; your tactics suck.

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