One day when I got home from work and checked my email there was a message from a guy down around Albany. He wanted to know if I had a dog for hire. When I called him to ask what was going on, he said he had bought a calf and it ran away when he was trying to load it in his trailer. He told me that she had run through 6 fences so far and the next one would be into a subdivision. At the moment she was in a field with about 8 lamas. I told him I would come catch her but it’d take me a bit as he was about 100 miles south of me.
I asked my son, Jason, if he wanted to go and he said sure because he knew that I always got into some pretty wild situations. I also called a buddy of mine from Cottage Grove and asked if he wanted to join in and he said the same as Jason. Jason and I loaded up my horse Badger and his horse Comit. Then we loaded up the “real help”, Hanging Tree Sport and his side-kick, Chick, a female Cattle Master dog. Once loaded we headed down to Albany where we meet up with the guy who owned the calf and my buddy, Tim. The guy asked me what I had in mind. I explained to him that I would try and get the dogs to hold up the calf and Jason and I would rope it. We saddled up and rode over to where the calf was and sure enough there were a lot of llamas around but fortunately the people had them all haltered and tied up. Well, the horses didn’t care much for those llamas but we got by and into the field where the calf was. Sure enough, one more fence and the calf would of been in the neighboring subdivision and I don’t think those people would of appreciated that!
We all talked about it for a few minutes and got a plan together. It probably only took us about 5 minutes to get the calf stopped and bayed-up with the dogs! These Hanging Tree Cow Dogs make gathering cattle an easy job. Once the dogs got their job done, I was able to get a rope on her. Jason roped her back feet then him and Tim tied her down and together we slid her into the trailer. The reason we tied the calf and loaded her this way was because the guy had a small, open-top single axle trailer and we weren’t sure it would hold the calf.
The main reason it all went bad for the guy was not getting the calf loaded right. He had bought two calves and when he went to load them in the trailer, one went in and one went by the outside of the trailer. The one that didn’t make it in the trailer went wild and crazy because it couldn’t find its partner. When they tried to stop her she got more crazy and just started going through fences. That’s when he decided to call us!
Our best luck that day, besides how easy our dogs made the job, was a lady out there who took a lot of pictures and was kind enough to load them on a disc and mail to us.
Watch for the next story of my cattle gathering experiences. I have a lot of them to share. I’ll also put up some photo albums soon of some nice trips I’ve been on – to Montana and one wild, hot trip I took to Arizona.Marvin