Feb 28, 2013

No Bull

We have far ranging and interesting conversations on our Yahoo Group.  You can join us at:

The conversations jump around a bit. This one started about political conventions which jumped to Bull___ which morphed into why ranchers castrate.  I worked on my Uncle's South Dakota ranch during my summers at MPHS so I was able to answer.

Marie asked why ranchers castrate.

Louise answered correctly. A cattle herd typically has only one bull for every 20 or 30 cows. They are able to take care of business quite nicely, although they say very busy.

Sounds kind of like male heaven.

Of course the castrated guys might not think so. But then, their destiny is meat.

Speaking of political conventions and castration, I am reminded of another western South Dakota story.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a neighboring rancher came over to tell me that one of our bulls was on his ranch working his way with the rancher's cows. Most of the cattle then in South Dakota were Herefords, white faces with red bodies. The rancher's cows were Herefords and our bull was a Black Angus, and I guess the rancher was opposed to mixed marriages.

I was 16 and had no idea what to do about this situation. So the rancher who was older then dirt (younger then us now) took me back to his ranch. The bull was near a lake, so we approached on foot to move him away. The bull began to paw and prepare to charge and I thought I was toast. But the old rancher knew what to do - at just the right moment he jumped and waved his arms and yelled and spooked the bull who bolted off.

Then we got in the ranchers old pick up truck. The bull decided to fight the truck and butted his head against the front of the pickup.  The rancher knocked the bull back several times and bull decided discretion was the better part of valor.

The bull then walked off - kind of like a strutting tough guy - I am leaving but I am not scared of you.

This ticked off the rancher, who accelerated, and hit the bull in the back. The Bull's butt (but?) was driven up on the hood of the pickemup truck, with the bulls front feet madly running to keep from falling, and his rear quarters perched prettily on the hood, with his back feet nicely tucked under his posterior on top of the truck hood.

The rancher backed off. The bull was now briskly running, and not as cocky as before.

The rancher accelerated faster, and:

BOOM!! - BIG BODACIOUS BEAUTIFUL? BALLED BULL BUTT (BUT?) BOUNCED BOUNTIFULLY up the over the BUMPER again, deeper on to the hood, almost to the

Bull was now in high gear as we backed off, heading for somewhere else fast. Not very cocky any more and not nearly as full of fight.

For the third time the rancher took after Mr. Bull, this time shifting up to second gear and this time Bull Butt did almost reach the windshield, spattering the windshield with what Bulls produce under extreme stress, BULLS_______.

Which is what reminded me of political conventions. Butt, I digress.

Bull was now in full panic mode, running faster then would seem possible.

BULL BOLTED the BARBWIRE BARRIER & BEAT it, never to return.

But at least he was not castrated.

Craig Hullinger MPHS 66

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