Another true cattle story


True story: Texas Long Horns Part 2, the late 50s; the attack

We had a huge corral that I built all by hand (no machines). It was made with railroad ties, bridge timbers and thick hardwood planks. There was a 20-foot wide hardwood swinging gate.

The far end tapered to a narrow shoot so only one Hereford could slowly go through at a time. This was to trim hoofs, clean and bandage any injuries. Also, to give shots when needed and to load or unload the Herefords.

The state notified us that they wanted to test all the cattle in a two-day operation. This was a new program. They had a shoot on wheels and a two-man crew. Their shoot had a steel end neck squeeze gate to hold the cow, and the sides were wood boards.

They put their shoot in our corral. One state man stayed by the squeeze gate to lock the cow in (or so he thought). The other state man helped me chase about 30 head into the corral and my dad shut the big hardwood gate. The state man and I were pretty far out in the field with the rest of the herd.

Well, two long-horns in the corral went into the shoot, one behind the other, but they didn’t stop. The first one took out the entire steel squeeze gate. The state man ran for his life. The second, being so close, went through the side of the shoot. There was splintered boards and broken steel everywhere, and what a noise. All the cattle were worked up and excited by now.

Myself and the other state man were still in the field with the rest of the herd. One long horn was about 75 yards away from the state man. It put its head down and charged at him. Now it happened there was a 70-pound bale of hay laying about 15 feet from the man. None of us had noticed it before and it was the only one around. I shouted for him to “run,” but he did not move. Those big horns speared and went right through the bale of hay. As the cow raised its head going past the state man, the end of the bale just brushed him. The cow ran off into the field, head held high and the bale on top. What a close call.

I said why didn’t you run for cover. When the state man could finally talk he said that he was horrified, paralyzed, petrified and frozen to the spot. He also said they were never coming back again.

Well, thanks to that and the lone bale nobody noticed before, he was still alive. I wondered if he had any nightmares afterward.

Anyways, maybe another true cattle story in the future.

William Schmitt

Retired Logger