Free Grazers in the Yard
Spring comes late at 6500 feet, but not this year. I already have my garden in thanks to a frost blanket. The free grazing cattle are getting driven into the backcountry and our grass is green. The other day we had a bull tooling down our driveway heading directly for house and home. Our cattle guard is anything but. He simply skip over it like it’s the yellow brick road. Tim jumped on the 4-wheeler, called the dogs and got the big sucker out of our fence in no time. We had no idea that a couple of small calves would prove to be more difficult to extricate. The little buggers weave into the sage brush and disappear. One particular calf wouldn’t budge. Tim got him on a lasso and managed to get him out of the brush and onto the road. Our neighbor Sally tossed me a camera so I could capture the moment. Perhaps board shorts and sneakers aren’t the typical cowboy attire, but Tim got the job done. We had a tense moment freeing the little guy from the rope. They are stronger than they look. That same evening, Tim went back to Jackson for work. I went upstairs around 9 PM to close the windows and in the still bright daylight, I saw that the calf had already returned. He was standing not too far from our house, still wondering what happened to Mommy. This morning, the rancher arrived and said his mother quit on him. They picked up the calf and took him on home to be bottle fed. I kind of miss the white-faced baby, but I don’t miss the bull. Today, I rode Two Feathers with a friend out on the BLM. The herds haven’t dispersed yet, so when we crossed the creek, we had company. Three bulls and a bunch of cows didn’t take warmly to our intrusion of the waterway. Two Feathers had to mention her unease as well. Throw in some gusting wind and I had a wild west moment. Just another day on range here in Idaho.