Why I never get around cattle on foot, always on horseback

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I was talking with a CT member the other day, and he asked me about this. He had seen me comment this several times. He asked was it because I was afraid of cattle? Or due to age, injury, etc, I felt like I wasn't able to get around them nimbly or fast enough? ( could be part of the reason now, I guess). Like I have said, the main reason I fool with cows, or ever did fool with them, is because of my horses, or other people's horses I am training. Now, if it is Corriente steers for roping, or beef steers or heifers for cutting, penning,. sporting, etc practice, this will just happen naturally. These are usually kept in a pasture adjacent to the arena, and everyone there for the practice or jack pot is mounted anyway, so it would be stupid to get down, tie up your horse, and walk them from the pasture to the pen.;

The main reason, is due to some occurrences around here in the early 80's. From 1980-1983, a lot of cattle were stolen...rustled...right out of the pasture around here and surrounding counties. This area was still very rural back then.. with a lot of dirt roads. Every farmer left a dirt track around his soybean and cotton fields ( called "field roads") back then, and some of these fields butted up to pasture.
There was a family, brothers and cousins,. 6 of them in all, that were the "gang". They had a 1-ton, 4wd, single axel crew cab Dodge, and a 36' gooseneck, soft top cattle trailer. They had racks built on both sides to hold panels. These guys would locate herds with a hidden drive, or one that backed up to a cotton or bean field, or a few times, that had the main gate on a little used public dirt road. Some of these guys actually did work for some of the people they stole from. Others, they had asked permission to coon hunt., and would use that cover to explore the pastures and locate where the cows spent the night, and possible places to cut the fence ( or the lock or chain on a gate). They would pull down in the pasture, set up the panels, often using the fence as 1 side, and just go find your cows and walk them into the pen. IF...they weren't able to just stand in the pen and shake a plastic bucket of whole corn! That was their favorite target; cattle that was "broke to a feed bucket". There preferred time was about 3 AM, and they would do it the night before a local sale. Just cut the ear tags off if they had any, and carry them straight to the auction barn.

The oldest one, in his 20's, did 18 months in prison after they were caught by some legitimate coon hunters. Most of the others were juveniles. The oldest was working at a place I went to work for in 85, as plant manager. He had became a preacher, and was the inventory manager at this place. He told me all about how they did it. He said he'd listen to farmers at the sales and the co-op etc, bragging about how they could take a bucket of feed and do anything with their cattle. So the next new moon, they would go get his cows. I fired him when I caught him selling materials and not recordinmg the sales.

I had already decided in 1980 when they first started, that my cows would never see a man on foot, that I would never operate a 4-wheeler, dirt bike or side by side around them, and they would never hear a bucket of feed rattled. I wanted all of mine afraid of a man on foot, so they would run when they saw one, or ty to kill him. These days, what the rustlers did would be impossible around here. All paved roads, and most pastures are surrounded by subdivisions, industrial parks, or Walmart shopping centers. So now, it is all about the horses.:)
 
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Just because I can pen my cattle with a utv or truck or on foot does not mean you can. They are very much "one person" cattle.

Plenty of cattle get stolen horseback too. In fact, breaking cattle to horses and random people pushing them is the easiest way to get them stolen. Most recent cases of stolen cattle I'm aware of came from day workers coming back and helping themselves.
 
Just because I can pen my cattle with a utv or truck or on foot does not mean you can. They are very much "one person" cattle.

Plenty of cattle get stolen horseback too. In fact, breaking cattle to horses and random people pushing them is the easiest way to get them stolen. Most recent cases of stolen cattle I'm aware of came from day workers coming back and helping themselves.
No, not hardly. These boys all had horses and 3 of them rodeoed. 2 of them were also cow catchers, for people with wild ones that got out,. Had it been easier on horseback, then that's what they would have used. Muggs ( the ring leader that worked for me) said they would have had to use a 2nd truck and trailer to use horses. They never attempted to get any off a place they knew the cattle were worked horse back, or skittish cattle like Brahma, etc, They got the cows that the man on foot had trained them to be rustled, by training them to come to a feed bucket. The sound of a truck, if the victim fed hay or cubes with a truck, etc. But yes, a lot of their victims were people some of them had helped in the hay fields, building fence, working the cattle, etc.
 
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Good story. In rough country and a man that owns horses, why not!

Mine are all puppies.

Friend went to feed ONE time for me, I got 3 phone calls and a text saying someone was at my lease place. 🙃

Blessed with lots of good neighbors !
Well, I use horses if the pasture is like a manicured golf course. Yep, those "puppies" are what this ring went after. Most cows back them were Angus, some Herefords and baldies. Occasionally a Char or Simm, but not that many and they wouldn't try to steal the last 2 kinds. Those would draw attention at the sale, but the Angus, Hereford and black baldies blended in with the hundreds of others there just like them. And they never entered anywhere a neighbor might see them. Muggs said one herd they got had a Jersey nurse cow in it. They just walked up to her and put a hay string around her neck, and led her into the panels, and the rest followed. They turned her back out once they had the cows loaded. You rarely if ever saw a grown Jeresy at the sale barn, so they didn't take her.
 
I can't remember the last time I heard about somebody around here losing more than one or two at a time. A pilfering dumbass with a deer rifle is a bigger danger to your cattle these days around here.
I haven't heard of any since the "Easom Hill" gang was busted. Back then, there was a sale barn in every county, but now, only 2 in this area, Calhoun and Carrollton. And, no where near as many operations, and none in a secluded enough area to do what these boys were doing.
 
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Last deer season a Neighbor of ours had a cow shot and Only the back strap and hind quarters taken off of it. Of course the rest of it was to old for human consumption, when it was found.....
 
Last deer season a Neighbor of ours had a cow shot and Only the back strap and hind quarters taken off of it. Of course the rest of it was to old for human consumption, when it was found.....
We had a big beautiful bull calf shot dead and another animal wounded, both by the same pack of Mexicans (no hate for my Mexican friends, that's just what they happened to be). They were using .22lr. It was queer, because that calf had kinda of a wooly head and face and walking up on him you couldn't really see much blood and at first we were looking around and on him to see if perhaps he'd just elected to up and die or if he had taken sick. Then we figured it out. Involved the law, they did about as much as you'd expect, just said we had no proof and went off to hunt up someplace to doze away the tax dollars. That was also the only set of neighbors we had on that side of the property, they were known trouble, and you couldn't see that pasture from the road, but I'm no policeman so I guess that's not good enough.
 
Dad found several cows that were shot by someone when he worked for Warrens Livestock. Usually all they took was the front shoulder, and were gone. Dad almost caught them once, it's maybe a good thing he didn't. The ranch was not far out of Cheyenne.
 
Dad found several cows that were shot by someone when he worked for Warrens Livestock. Usually all they took was the front shoulder, and were gone. Dad almost caught them once, it's maybe a good thing he didn't. The ranch was not far out of Cheyenne.
They didn't carve anything off of ours that got killed, though that may have been their intention until they saw somebody out checking cows or hauling in a bale or something.
 
We had a big beautiful bull calf shot dead and another animal wounded, both by the same pack of Mexicans (no hate for my Mexican friends, that's just what they happened to be). They were using .22lr. It was queer, because that calf had kinda of a wooly head and face and walking up on him you couldn't really see much blood and at first we were looking around and on him to see if perhaps he'd just elected to up and die or if he had taken sick. Then we figured it out. Involved the law, they did about as much as you'd expect, just said we had no proof and went off to hunt up someplace to doze away the tax dollars. That was also the only set of neighbors we had on that side of the property, they were known trouble, and you couldn't see that pasture from the road, but I'm no policeman so I guess that's not good enough.
When the coon hunters saw them, one of them leashed the dogs and hauled ass back to their truck, to go wake the farmer up and tell him. The other 2 snuck close enough to see them,. heard them talking, and knew who they were. They already had the cattle loaded, ran the ones they couldn't fit on the truck back out of the panels, and were loading the panels up. The one going to get the farmer, ran up on a game warden and flagged him down, and the game warden went on and stopped them about 1/4 mile down the road, and held them for the sheriff. ( They had stolen some of his the year before) So, when the one got to the farmer's house, he told them the game warden was going to stop them, so he and the farmer loaded up some wire etc to fix the fence with and went on out there. Muggs' 17 yr old nephew ratted them all out...told where all they had stole cattle the past 3 years,. where they sold them, and how much they sold them for! They all pled guilty and Muggs caught 18 mos in prison. I think the judge made them all pay restitution, but whether they had money to do that., I don't know. It was like it is now, an up-cycle in the market, and cattle were high. That's why they thought they could make some easy money.
 

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