Scattered Thoughts: That’s Bull!

Getting caught on the wrong side of the fence creates a problem for a pair of coyote callers.

Scattered Thoughts: That’s Bull!

“Stevenson’s bull is out again!” my host and hunting buddy Bill announced as we drove down a paved two-track past a farmstead coming back from a successful coyote stand. I looked out the window on my side of the truck and sure enough, a large bull was standing on the wrong side of the barbed wire fence in the farmer’s front yard.  

The bull gave us a suspicious glare as Bill pulled his truck into the driveway. “Should we call this Stevenson guy and let him know about his bull?” I asked.  

“He’s out of town for the weekend. You and I are going to have to wrangle him back into his stall,” Bill returned. “It’s the least we can do for a guy who lets us hunt coyotes on his property.”  

“Ummm, I’ve never wrangled a bull before,” I cautiously informed Bill.  

“Don’t worry, if the bull starts running at you, just make yourself look big by waving your arms around,” Bill responded.  

I’ve always bragged I’d be willing to do just about anything to get access to good coyote hunting property but wrangling a 2,000-pound bull that had gone A.W.O.L. was pushing the limits. I reluctantly got out of the truck while Bill explained what we were going to do.  

“Now, I’m going to go around the other side barn and push the bull in your direction,” he said. “Once he comes to your side you are going to need to persuade him to enter that narrow opening in the gate.”  

As Bill disappeared behind the barn, I started questioning my life choices and what had brought me this point. A few minutes went by, and I heard nothing. I was hoping there was an open gate on the other side of the barn that Bill would discover so I wouldn’t have to be a part of this plan. No such luck.  

The silence was broken by the sound of heavy hooves pounding the dirt. I’m not sure if I heard it so much as felt it. My heart started racing when suddenly the enormous bull came around the barn — stopping to stare at me with two ginormous eyes.  I stood frozen in place, motionless.  

I’m not a country guy. I’m not a cowboy or a ranch hand. I’m a city guy — a cartoonist. The bull took one step in my direction, testing my mettle, and I threw my arms up and started waiving frantically. I added in some yelling for good measure. The bull startled, and I took a couple steps in his direction. 

Suddenly, the bull turned to go back around the barn, but Bill was there. It was a stand-off — a Midwestern farmer, a Chicago cartoonist and a 2,000-pound bull. The bull weighed its options and ran for the small opening in the pasture gate. 

After the gate was locked and we got back in the truck I turned to Bill and announced between heavy breaths, “In the future, we need to find a place hunt coyotes that doesn’t have a bull!” 


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