Cows On The Range

Jackson stars down the cows.  August 20, 2014
Jackson stars down the cows. August 20, 2014

While hiking on the range a couple of weeks ago, I got a frantic text from my assistant.  It read:  “We have 3 black cows in our camp and I don’t know who to call”.

I had to read this twice.  Cows are not allowed on the Pryor Mountain Range, one of the things that make this range even more special.  I wasn’t too alarmed about this discovery.  With the price of beef right now, I figured the owner would be up to claim them pretty fast.

By the time I got back to camp, the cows were gone.  They had moved down the road towards Mystic.

I learned real fast who NOT to call when there are cows on the range.  Given the limited phone numbers and lack of choices, before I returned to camp, my assistant had called 911.  For future reference everyone, DON’T DO THIS!!

I do need to add, the day before the cows came to camp, we had a very nice FWP guy stop by to chat with us.  He informed us then, that if we ever had any trouble up here to call 911.  So Jeanne, given those instructions and your current situation without me there, I do not fault you for your decision!  🙂

Apparently this call did cause quite a stir with the law enforcement in Cody. (where the 911 dispatch was).  They contacted Jim Sparks (BLM) and the next day when I got down the mountain, I had a rather long message (followed by a phone call) from Jim on why this is not a 911 emergency!  HA

Sorry Jim and thank you for understanding.

The ranchers did come up looking for the 2 cows and calve, but were unable to find them.  I got their name and number and promised them I would call if I saw them.

Cows at Mystic, August 19, 2014
Cows at Mystic, August 19, 2014

Wild in the Pryors

I did not see them again until August 19.  They were at Mystic enjoying a drink.  It was amusing and interesting to see Custer and his band see them for the first time.  Remember, no cows are allowed on this range, so these horses most likely have never seen a cow.

Custer's band approaching Mystic before seeing the cows
Custer’s band approaching Mystic before seeing the cows

Custer and his band not knowing the cows were there, walked towards Mystic for their evening drink.   The cows and the horses saw each other for the first time, not sure who was more startled, but it was interesting to witness their reactions to each other.  The cows, being cows, settled down more quickly.  It took the horses a bit longer, but I was surprised and relieved that they did figure it out quickly and went down to the water’s edge.  On the opposite side and keeping a close eye on these intruders, but they did stay and drink.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

I called the rancher to let him know that I had seen his cows and for the next few days, I tracked their patterns so when he arrived, I could tell him where they were.  They were very much creatures of habit and I did not have to spend much time to figure out where they would be at any given time of the day.

During that time, probably the most entertaining of horse/cow interaction that I saw was early the following morning.  Jackson, being the strong, confident stallion that I knew he was, had the cows “put in their place”  all on his own. (See photo at top)  Who says Mustangs can’t be good cow horses?  Not sure if any of my domestic horses would have done that on their own.  After keeping them where he wanted them for a while, he calmly turned and continued on his way.

A couple days later the rancher came up looking for his cows.  The cows of course, were no where in sight.  I told him they were in the trees behind Penn’s Cabin.  He was on foot (another person was in an ATV that stayed on the road). Once he located the cows were unwilling to co-operate.   As I watched the cows sprint towards Mystic, I jumped out of my truck and ran on foot to assist him.  We were able to push the cows up on the road, where he then continued to take them off the range.

Cows are now off the range.   Not sure how they got there, but the horses now have the range to themselves again.


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell.  Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.


16 thoughts on “Cows On The Range

  • I laughed out loud while reading this post. Glad things are back to business as usual on the range though I’m guessing the cows are probably plotting their next escape as I type. I also love that photo of Jackson, “No, you shall not pass.”

    • Hi Amelie! It was so good to finally meet you and spend time with you on the mountain! Really enjoyed that! Hope you have some good memories of our time there! 🙂

  • Amazing to see there is still water in Mystic, even if it is pretty muddy. Have they checked to see if there’s a hole in the fence? Or do they think these cattle just don’t mind walking on a cattle guard? At least no one took the law into their won hands and shot the strays like they used to in the past—at least the horses. I’m a little surprised the 911 call went to Cody. I thought it was the Red Lodge law enforcement who had jurisdiction up there. Maybe that’s only in certain cases… Anyway, I would love to have witnessed Jackson’s encounter with the cows. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Cows not co-operating??? No surprise there! Glad they were removed and all is back to normal. Jackson did a good job!! Nice pictures!

  • There seem to be a lot of these guys on Sage Creek Rd. so I can imagine how a few got through the gate on to the Range. There is no cattle guard – – just the push poles.

  • I would have loved to see Jackson move those cows around! Maybe just the confidence boost and motivation he needs to go get some of his girls back! 🙂 I would have also loved to see the looks on the faces of Custer’s band as they suddenly realized there were big black monsters of death waiting for them at mystic pond. And then I see Custer headed out just like a good band stallion and went to check them out first and then lead his band around them. It must have been fun seeing the interactions between them and the horses, but I’m glad that they’re off the range now. Maybe the rancher could have used Jackson’s help with herding them back down the road! I don’t blame them though for not wanting to leave the Pryors. Who would want to leave such a great place!

    • Hi Sarah, Jackson actually seems to be just fine by himself right now. Enjoying life and getting fat. It reminds me of the summer that Chino was without the Toppers (2010). Jackson seems to like teaching the young bachelors a thing or two and doing and going where ever he likes. The brief interaction I saw with him and Doc, may have been just an accident. Jackson was simply strolling off away from the cows and came over a rise to find Doc and band right there. Being the incredible stallion that he is, he did not turn and run away, but did stand his ground with Doc. His days of a band stallion are not over, I am sure of that, but it is really good to see him enjoying life as a bachelor right now.

  • Some time ago you had a post of about 15 horses that had not been seen in some time. I know some of them have been spotted since. Who is still considered to be unaccounted for? Thanks for this update!

    • Hi Gretchen, Yes, I have updated that post. If you search (above) for Missing Horses, it should direct you to that post. But here is the latest that I have: Still missing are: Quelle Colour, Teton, Topper and Madonna.

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