Learn’n Bulls

In the “seventies” we embarked on an enterprise, we decided to become purebred cattle breeders. We took on a herd of over a hundred Simmental cattle. Actually, some were half-bloods, then some three-quarters, and a few were seven-eights Simmental. They had been started by artificial insemination using Hereford cattle from Max Watts and Pinky Tolbert as a base. We continued to A.I. them for a few years but since Simmental bulls were becoming available we started to breed them “live cover.” One bull we used was a son of our #91 cow, sired by a well-known Simmental A.I. sire. He was massive, probably every bit of 2500 pounds in good flesh, we called him Giant. We purchased a bull from Bar 5 ranch named Capitan, also a monster bovine. They were supposed to be in separate pastures, but they constantly fought through the fences, often tearing down a hundred yards of fence in a night. We would repair fences, and they would tear them down. In the summers we would pull the bulls off the cows and put them up in individual pens to feed. They fought there too! One time they got in such a battle that Giant bodily heaved Capitan into the feed trough, upside down, all four feet up in the air “cuatro pa’ arriba”. He finally wriggled out. We decided we had to do something drastic. We had a friend who was selling Gallagher-Snell power fence. We asked him to come set up two pens with his wire and put these two thugs in them. When they were set up he told us that the wire carried two thousand volts, so be careful! We turned on the charger. As if on cue the two bulls started slowly lumbering toward each other. The new power fence was between them. They were grunting their “bull song” as they walked. It reminded me of, “I’m gonna whip yer…“ And then, “oh no you ain’t!” Finally their moist noses were about six inches from the fence. Simultaneously a white spark snapped off the wire to their nostrils. I expected a volcanic reaction. But it was like when the little guy in the movies punches the big guy. They each shook their massive heads, backed away from the fence, then turned and slowly walked away. We almost wet our pants laughing!

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